(Todd A. Smith)

True, former President Donald Trump may be making some inroads with the Black community.

True, President Joe Biden might be losing support from the Black community.

However, when conservative politicians like Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) use racist tropes and stereotypes to describe Black people, how can Black people who care about the Black community justify giving the Republican Party significant Black support?

Filip Timotija of The Hill reported, “Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.) criticized GOP Rep. Troy Nehls (Texas) Tuesday after he said she wouldn’t need protection from threats if she wasn’t so ‘loud all the time.’

“Nehls made the remarks after Bush confirmed she was under investigation by the Department of Justice (DOJ) over campaign spending for security.”

Nehls’ remarks about Bush being “so loud all the time” harkens to the racist stereotype of the angry Black woman.

That stereotype can also apply to Black men (i.e., the angry Black men).

It is funny, when a White person like Trump is loud, many see him as passionate.

His supporters from the Republican Party see him as a fighter.

They also see him as someone who is willing to do anything for his followers.

That is part of Trump’s appeal to his base.

But somehow, when a Black person is passionate about their community, they get the loud and angry moniker as if there are not things in this world worth getting loud and angry about.

Anger is a normal human issue.

Jesus Christ, who many Republicans claim to love (hopefully more than they love Trump), got so angry at his disciples that He flipped tables over.

So, if anger or passion is good enough for the Son of God, why is it a problem when a normal Black person shows the same type of passion for something that they care about?

The key to anger is not letting it boil over to sin.

Unfortunately, many Republicans have failed in that regard because their fake anger led to the big lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen and the sin of killing, because people lost their lives because of their anger on Jan. 6, 2021.

But wait there is more.

Nehls went on to say, “She doesn’t even support the police. But the idea to pay her thug, money to try to help protect her this and that, for what? Maybe if she wasn’t so loud all the time, maybe she wouldn’t be getting threats.”

The Texas lawmaker added that he does not believe that Bush deserves to be threatened, saying, “No, what I am saying is, is that when you’re out there talking the way she does, I am [not] surprised that people are probably upset because she is pretty radical. And maybe she should tone it down a little bit.”

Ain’t that a female dog on a couple of levels.

What did Nehls mean by thug?

A thug is a rough criminal.

What rough crime did Bush or anyone close to her commit that would garner that label?

On the other hand, Nehls and his Republican comrades support a former president who has called for the assassination of people who dare go against him.

He has encouraged his supporters to assault his detractors.

The former guy encouraged his cult followers to fight like hell on Jan. 6, causing several to lose their lives.

However, has Nehls referred to Trump and his cult followers as thugs?

If he did, it would be more apropos because their actions fit the definition more than it does for a so-called loud woman and her husband.

Bush said that the thug reference was intended for her husband.

On X, Bush wrote, “@RepTroyNehls just called my husband, a Black man and army veteran, a thug. And I’m the loud Black woman who needs to be silent in order to be safe from violence, or else? This is the kind of rhetoric that endangers Black lives. He must apologize.”

Nehls will probably attempt to explain away his racist remarks because no racist ever admits to being racist.

But when White people indiscriminately use the word thug to describe a Black man, who does not fit the aforementioned definition, he is indeed a blatant racist.

Calling a Black man a thug is like being able to call them the N-word and get away with it.

Twenty years ago, Black NBA players were called thugs because of tattoos, baggy shorts and cornrows.

They could have been a model; nonviolent citizens and many White people would still call them thugs.

Bush said that she does not know Nehls, so I am almost certain the Republican congressperson does not know Bush’s husband.

Therefore, to assume he is a thug is the epitome of racism.

And to want her to be quieter, or even silent, while his party parades Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) around is the epitome of racism and hypocrisy.

And although I disagree with practically everything Taylor Greene stands for; I would not make excuses if she received threats from someone from the other side of the political aisle.

Wrong is wrong.

And right is right.

But far too many Americans on the political right have a different set of right and wrong when it comes to Black people versus White people.

That blatant disrespect and double standard is why the Republican Party continues to take two steps toward Black voters, then 10 steps back.

As the country continues to get browner, that is a losing strategy going forward.

Todd A. Smith
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