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Juan Williams: Kanye West and Herschel Walker are puppets for Trump

The rapper and the Senate candidate each, in their way, offer up a ridiculous caricature of Black conservatism.

Fox News viewers tell me I’m a Black liberal.

A lot of people who know me personally, tell me I’m a Black conservative, citing the fact that I work for Fox News, my church-going and my long marriage. 

I’ll give both sides this much:

I am a Black Democrat with some conservative views. And I am always happy to defend the value of Black conservatism in American history. 

To my eyes as a civil rights historian, Booker T. Washington and other Black conservatives did well to advocate Black self-help, for creating Black business, supporting Black churches, and celebrating the Black family.

So, it hurt last week when the mantle of Black conservatism was claimed and then degraded by the rapper Kanye West, who now calls himself “Ye.” 

First, he claimed to be thinking for himself by appearing at a Paris fashion show wearing a shirt that read: “White Lives Matter.”

No, he thoughtlessly used the shirt to call attention to himself while undermining the power of the words “Black Lives Matter.”

At a moment when Black Americans are responding to rising white supremacy with a powerful message — Black Lives Matter— he faked being an independent or conservative thinker to escape responsibility for being offensive. 

This is the same man who years earlier, again without thought, called for the repeal of the 13th Amendment ending slavery. He has also argued that Black people bear responsibility for slavery because it lasted so long.  

Then, in a second act of hate, while again pretending to defy orthodox thinking, he unleashed an anti-Semitic Tweet.

He suggested that fellow rapper Sean “P Diddy” Combs is under the control of Jews. He then Tweeted that he was “going Death [sic] Con 3” on “Jewish people.”

Ye’s despicable behavior came as another Black man tried to hide by disguising himself as a Black conservative.

Herschel Walker, the Black GOP senate nominee in Georgia, said he is being unfairly attacked for his conservatism. In fact, it is the women and children in his life who are pointing to his hypocrisy.

He says he is running as an opponent of abortion, a Christian and family values candidate. But his family, not his political rivals, are telling reporters he paid a woman to have an abortion, failed to raise children he had with several women, and even held a gun to the head of his former wife.  

There is a cruel hand chaining the rapper and the football player together as they pretend to be Black conservatives.

They are puppets for former President Trump.

They are useful distractions from Trump’s record of racism by entertaining Trump’s followers as Black faces who insult and mock other Black people.

In my book, “What the Hell Do You Have to Lose? Trump’s War on Civil Rights,” I chronicled the damage Trump has done to race relations.

His awful record on race includes damaging the noble tradition of Black conservatism.

Washington Post columnist Karen Attiah called out Trump’s exploitation of West and Walker.

“Especially in our MAGA era, anti-Blackness and misogyny are profitable in America, especially if you’re a rich and famous man of any color,” she wrote.

“West will get the publicity, the outrage clicks, a spot in the news cycle… In Walker’s case, he got the MAGA-activating endorsement of Trump. And he’s getting even more cash and support from other Republicans.”

Attiah concluded that because “our culture rewards anti-Blackness and misogyny, we will be sure to see more Wests and Walkers.”

Real Black conservatives are nothing like that.

Thinking back to the best of Black conservatives in recent history, I have reverence for the late Secretary of State Colin Powell and Secretary of Transportation William T. Coleman. 

These days I have strong disagreements with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. But he was once a Malcolm X acolyte, an admirer of the Black Panthers, looking for new solutions to advance Black America.

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson are Black conservatives with records of success who are models of Black achievement. 

Too often Black progressives and white media elites are suspicious of Black conservatives for rejecting the mainstream Black approach to advancement.  

Yes, it is true that Blacks vote for Democrats roughly 90 percent of the time — but that does not mean we all think alike.

But West and Walker are not coming up with new ideas outside the canon of mainstream strategies to help Black Americans. What they are doing is making money with a clownish act, a masquerade that perverts and distorts Black conservatism.

For years, I have been critical of liberals who demean conservative Black intellectuals as sellouts. Frankly, it is condescending for liberals in the media and academia to dismiss brilliant Black conservatives with different views — people like Thomas Sowell.  

But Trump’s Black provocateurs cannot escape history’s judgment that they are cashing in by dancing to the former president’s hateful, authoritarian tunes.

All their fame can’t hide them from the scorn of people who see them as useful idiots for Trump, Ultra-MAGA ethno-nationalists, and corporate interests throwing around media distractions while they take the money and run.

They do not represent Black conservatism. It is time for Black conservatives of every stripe to call them out.

Who will join me?

Juan Williams is an author, and a political analyst for Fox News Channel.

Tags Herschel Walker Kanye West

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