In a recent Facebook post by the wife of black Republican, Allen West, she offers a story about personally aiding in housing discrimination that is the epitome of the word, "sellout".
In the article, Dr. Angela Graham-West attempts to answer a question that is, for some people, controversial: is Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher that made remarks about "Negroes" that he'd recently seen around Las Vegas and how they might be better off "picking cotton", a racist?
But before she addressed that question, she took us back with her to a time when she lived in New York City, where Dr. West started an apartment matching service pairing landlords and potential tenants. She said that one of the things she learned in that very lucrative job was that, "People have biases. PERIOD." She stated that many of the "most liberal, ethereal, earth-shoe wearing, animal kissing, vegan, 'people loving'" landlords harbored many prejudices against people of all kinds and they did not want her to present them as potential tenants:
Blacks (they never pay on time), Puerto Ricans (they don't pay on time and are too loud); Indians (they pay on time but cook smelly foods), "mixed couples (too much trouble)
I don't doubt she was told this type of thing for a second. People do harbor a lot of secret prejudices and biases. Normally, though, you'd expect a reasonable person that recognized these statements as prejudiced nonsense to gently correct the potential client, pointing out to them that refusing to show housing to someone on the basis of race, ethnicity, country of origin, etc., was not only morally wrong, but probably illegal
, while assuring them that you would do your best to not waste their time with unsuitable tenants.
But that's not what the good doctor did. She goes on to write, "and because I have a tendency to never let anyone know what I am thinking......they let their collective hair down, I stoically stared at them and I got plenty of clients."
Get it? She didn't tell them what she thought, she just kept her mouth shut and signed up the business. Folks, that's not even being a good advocate for your client. You are allowing them to violate housing laws that you don't even have to know exist--all you have to do is be a decent person. All you have to do is not be so very selfish and greedy that you won't risk a commission by telling someone that they are being racist or bigoted or just plain stupid.
And I found this to be fascinating because both she and her husband often complain bitterly that they are despised by decent people and called "Uncle Toms" and "sellouts", yet here was Dr. West admitting to being told all kinds of racist nonsense without a thought of anything except a big payday. Is there a better example of a "sellout" than that? Isn't that what most of us think a "sellout" does? "Sellouts" pal around with racists and let them trash people and harm people while remaining silent--always with their eyes on what it might gain them--be it money or status or power, right? And here is a black Republican admitting to doing just that. And she's not ashamed of it. She thinks it's the sensible thing to do. To make matters worse, she is armed with degrees in business and finance and is a financial advisor to business people. One can only speculate on what she is advising them to do.
And for those of you who suspect that, while she may have stood mute in the face of racism, she probably didn't comply with their requests and instead brought them qualified tenants without regard to race, religion, ethnicity, etc, you would be wrong. Instead, she writes: "I complied and made a six-figure living."
She complied. And that makes her complicit in housing discrimination so that she could fatten her purse. And she is damned proud of it. I wonder how many fine tenants these landlords missed out on while Dr. Angela West was screening them based on their race? I wonder how many potential tenants, desperate for an apartment in a certain school district or closer to their work, missed out because Dr. Angela West colluded with her landlord clients to violate the housing laws? Now I'm not accusing her, mind you, of any wrongdoing. Rather, like Cliven Bundy, I'm just "wondering". But here, bigoted thought appears to have led directly to discrimination with a little help from a black Republican--the only group more likely to downplay racism than actual racists. Yet many still insist racist thoughts and words don't hurt anyone.
This is why I always say that sending black Republicans to recruit black people is like sending lamb chops to recruit lambs. Black Republicans are a net negative to the public discourse. They enable racism and bigotry because that is how they choose to get ahead in the face of racism and bigotry.
Oh, and not to spoil it for you--you owe it to yourself to read the article--she concluded that Cliven Bundy wasn't so much a racist as a man simply expressing his views. The article was widely-circulated in right-wing social media.