Opinion: Stacey Dash Versus Obama
I was probably one of very few Black people in America that didn’t entirely attack Stacey Dash for her support of Mitt Romney running for President back in 2012. I don’t pretend that Black Republicans do not exist.
To do so is a disservice to fully understanding the dynamics of the two leading parties in politics. I also assumed, based on her comments, that she may have been like most Americans (misinformed) when it came to Romney’s leadership.
Born and raised in Massachusetts, I was there during his tenure, so I’m very familiar with his regime. Dash was one of many that were Team Romney because they were dissatisfied with Obama’s first term, during which he was chosen by the American people to pick up the pieces from Bush’s two terms. When George Bush left the Oval Office in 2009, young and older Americans were still feeling that the American Dream was a relic of the past, but there was remaining hope for what the media was calling a “post-racial” America: an America that truly embraces being the melting pot it unequivocally is.
While Obama’s supporters were still at a high percentage, hopeful in his long-term vision, there was stiff competition from Romney believers that were convinced that maybe what the country needed was a whole new direction, period. Dash, an actress (of Clueless cult fame), has been one of the most vocal entertainment personalities in sharing her thoughts and concerns on a political platform. Ridiculed by many Blacks when she declared her vote for Romney in 2012 (even going as far as posing with his potential VP Paul Ryan in photo, captioned with: “fighting the good fight”), in 2013, the stings haven’t subsided for Dash.
She’s since defended popular Southern chef Paula Deen post her mea culpa of admitting a usage of vulgar and racist language in her empire, disapproved of Oprah Winfrey for comparing Trayvon Martin to Emmett Till, and she’s now declared that she regrets voting for Obama in 2008 and that she did so “naively” because “he was Black.” Below is the full quote:
“I didn’t know anything about [Obama] when I voted for him in 2008. My choice to do so was purely because he was Black. Naively, I thought he would be the right person for the job but unfortunately it didn’t turn out that way. Obama had the opportunity to really unite this country in such a profound way, but instead he has done the opposite. We are so divided right now, everything has become about race, more than I’ve ever known in my lifetime.”
Now. I applaud Dash for her honesty in why she voted for then-candidate Barack Obama back in 2008. Like many people of color, it was an obvious plus that such an eloquent and intelligent man running for the presidency was also a Black man. With his victory, the progression of America since its Founding Fathers would fulfill the dreams of our grandparents’ generations. His win would be in honor of the men and women of color of America, immigrant and citizen, that thanklessly help build this country that stands for “liberty and justice for all.”
Where Dash loses merit is that she thought she was coming across as an au courant political commentator when instead, she exposed how ill-formed and entitled she was appearing to be. In sharing her experience, she was looking for sympathy and understanding. By placing her vote for Obama solely because he was Black, the actress-turned-activist showed a great lack of inadequacy on her part for not educating herself on the candidates before placing a very important ballot. She indirectly tries to blame Obama’s outward appearance for her being gullible, and actually shows direct disregard for what the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King asked of us in 1963. As you may recall, Dr. King pleaded in front of the Lincoln Memorial that we judge people by their character and not the color of their skin.
Dash did the exact opposite and is now crying wolf as if it’s the Obama administration’s fault that she didn’t do a simple Google search or pay more attention to the debates.
To blame all of life’s problems on Obama and then admit all you knew of the man was his name and skin-tone is ridiculous. In fact, her judgment of him loses all leverage in exchange for a side-eye of “well, whose fault is that?”
If Dash, for all her outspokenness, would answer that question with honesty, she would gaze right at her own reflection to get the answer.