What do you get when you cross Sarah Palin and Clarence Thomas? You get a “Clueless” actress-turned-conservative pundit named Stacey Dash. There’s no denying it. And you know it’s true that Dash is the former half-term Alaska governor and the Supreme Court justice wrapped in one. Better yet, she is the worst of the two conservative figures: anti-black and anti-intellectual. And in Dash’s case, she has benefited from the support of the black community, only to spit in its collective face and turn her back on it. Need proof? Well, let’s break it down.
Stacey Dash has made her bones in the world of conservative spokespersons of late, assuming the mantle as the leading black contrarian and all-purpose black hater of black folks and black things. Think of Clarence Thomas, who has a mighty platform and robust infrastructure in the form of the Supreme Court to help tear down the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. Dash is also the new anti-intellectual right wing “it girl” for Fox News, replacing the role Sarah Palin once played on that lowbrow, barrel-scraping network. Although she cannot make that word salad the way Palin did when she endorsed Donald Trump, Stacey holds her own, effectively reaching those low-information Republican voters who watch Fox News. That’s political jargon for uneducated white folks — the Trump supporters — who, by the way, seem to have much to say about black people, yet most know no black people.
Recently on Fox News, in response to the #OscarsSoWhite boycott of the Academy Awards, Dash came down on BET, black awards and Black History Month. “There shouldn’t be a Black History Month,” she shared with Steve Doocy. “We’re Americans, period.”
“We have to make up our minds. Either we want to have segregation or integration. If we don’t want segregation, then we need to get rid of channels like BET and the BET Awards and the [NAACP] Image Awards, where you’re only awarded if you’re black,” Dash said, calling it a “double standard.” Apparently, Dash did not realize that many whites have been nominated for the BET Awards and NAACP Image Awards and have won. Moreover, she has been called out on her hypocrisy for appearing on the BET show The Game, as well as on the cover of magazines catering to a black audience, and for being a presenter at the NAACP Theatre Awards:
— rolandsmartin (@rolandsmartin) January 20, 2016
Dash wrote a blog post in which she thanked BET for reminding her that she had appeared on their network, then accused them of throwing shade. She said she was “thankful for all of the acting jobs I’ve had,”and then she added that she looks forward to the day “when people don’t self-segregate based on skin color, while loudly complaining about a segregated society.”
“My problem goes back to the notion that every area of life needs to break down exactly according to demographic ratios except in those areas in which black people have decided they want to have their own space,” Dash added. “I don’t have a problem with black people having their own space. I have a problem with the folks at BET absolutely freaking out when other institutions don’t match up to what they think is best.”
Black America has a right and a responsibility to maintain its own institutions, tell its own story, and validate its own community members. This as mainstream society discriminates against us, humiliates and denigrates us, whitewashes history and reinforces the wall to keep us out. But that does not preclude African-Americans from opening up, infiltrating and transforming traditionally and exclusively white spaces. Indeed, we can and must multitask.
Just as Stacey Dash has been a beneficiary of black media and a movement that broke down barriers for African-Americans, Clarence Thomas benefited from affirmative action in college and law school. President George H.W. Bush nominated Thomas to the highest court in the land because of his race. And once he got there, Thomas proceeded to dance on the grave of his predecessor Thurgood Marshall — a guardian of civil rights and a giant of a man — by tearing down the Voting Rights Act and fighting against the poor, marginalized and disenfranchised.
And as for Sarah Palin, she gained popularity beginning in 2008 as John McCain’s vice presidential running mate when she questioned President Obama’s legitimacy and tapped into the racism of the white Tea Party-Birther base of the GOP.
Last month, Dash was briefly suspended by Fox for saying Obama didn’t “give a s___ about terrorism.” Last week, she defended Trump after supporting him in July by saying she would “want a guy like that running my country.”
“He’s more conservative and he’s anti-establishment which is what we want,” Dash said. “He wants to make America great. Whatever he has to do that, he wants to do that. He’s the man with the power to do that. And he’s the man who knows how to make deals.”
In her quest for the golden handkerchief, Stacey Dash, like Clarence Thomas, has decided to trade in her proverbial black card. And like Sarah Palin, she is indeed clueless. There are checks to be cashed for those who opt to climb up the ladder, only to saw off the rungs when they reach the top. When the next racial draft comes along, the black delegation has some decisions to make.
Follow David A. Love on Twitter at @davidalove