Meet the face of African-American Conservatism. (Frickin' hilarious C-SPAN video.)

The director of Project 21, which is described as a public-relations network for conservative African-Americans, recently appeared on C-SPAN to address some controversial remarks made by the president of the NAACP, Kweisi Mfume. Mfume, you’ll remember, outraged conservatives by giving a speech in which he said that members of some black conservative groups were “like ventriloquist’s dummies [who] sit there in the puppet master’s voice, but we can see whose lips are moving, and we can hear his money talk.”’

According to Reuters, Mfume’s accusation is quite strong:

They speculate that Project 21 is a target of this shocking claim, and solicit a quote from the director:

Now let’s get back to that C-SPAN interview. The director himself didn’t originally intend to appear on the show. He arranged for a spokesman to make the appearance. Unfortunately, the spokesman had vehicular difficulties and couldn’t make it. He called the director to give him the bad news, and the director did his best to get another member of the group to show up, but couldn’t raise anyone on the telephone.

So the director sat in the guest chair himself.

You know where this is going, right?

The director of Project 21, a leading voice of conservative African-Americans… …is a white dude.

He doesn’t look terribly comfortable as he apologizes to the African-American host of Washington Journal:

The entire 30 minute show, with call-ins (including Mychal Massie) is available on the C-SPAN website. (RealVideo, unfortunately.) Here’s a direct link to the media file for those who don’t enable JavaScript.

There are some truly priceless moments here.

I like the parts where Mr. Massie is speaking, while the camera shows every facial fidget of Mr. Almasi. I’m not sure if his rigid, thin lips are just a nervous reaction, or if he’s actually doing his damndest to keep them from moving. :dubious:

Watch. Laugh.

I find it interesting that the point of the “Black Conservatism” movement, as articulated by Massie and Almasi is not Black people who stand firm on the traditional civil rights struggle but are conservative in other areas, nor is it a alternative “conservative” approach to civil rights, but the idea that the movement is over. There is no more systematic racism. Move on, and just be garden-variety conservatives. The NAACP (and yes, it is quite funny that Mfume was proven correct in the first second of teh interview), OTOH, likes to pretend that there is still serious inequalities between whites and blacks in America.

A pretty hard sell to begin with, a harder one still when you’ve got a white guy as a salesman, and can only point to athletes as examples of Black successes.

I don’t approve of everything the NAACP does. In fact, I think it’s alarmist and reactionary in general, but in I think it’s preferable to the “post-racist” conservative wing.

The biggest point to most of these other orginizations is to is to say that Black America is not some mono-culture group of sheep. There are more than a few people who are pissed off that there is this self appointed group of “black leadership” and if you dissagree with them in any significant way you become some sort of traitor to “your people”.