By Barbara Howard

Back in 2000 I wrote a poem entitled, “Why Do You Call Me Names?” The genesis of the poem was the backlash I experienced when people (primarily blacks) discovered that I was a Republican.

The names that I can repeat were hurtful enough: Self-loathing, angry old woman, uncle Tom, aunt Jemima, middle class negro, house nigger, handkerchief wearing nigger, white man’s lackey dog, traiter, bourgeois, oreo, damn Republican. One can imagine what was said behind my back.

I remember one weekend I was honored with the Pioneer Award from the National Black Republican Association (N.B.R.A.) at C.P.A.C. (Conservative Political Action Conference) in Washington, D.C. I remained in Maryland with a friend until my Sunday flight out. I suffered humiliation from all the black folk I encountered even at lunch after church.

A young lady who was so cordial to me during church became so adamant at lunch when she was told that I was a Republican. Her immediate response was “I hate Republicans.”

So I asked, “Why do you call me names”? Because I have a different political philosophy? Belong to a different political party? Because I don’t scream racism every time something bad happens to black folk? Because I don’t want to march every time a black criminal is killed by a white cop? Because I want black on black crime eliminated?

But I get called names by people who call themselves liberals, progressives, and Democrats. Even worse, Democratic candidate for POTUS 2016 Hillary Clinton called me and others who support Republican candidate for POTUS 2016 Donald Trump – a “basket of deplorables.” She then defined “deplorables” as racists, sexists, homophobes, xenophobes, etc.

That’s the Democratic way to keep people in line and exert total control. Their strategy is to divide people by defining them.

During the 2008 presidential race, Barack Obama’s campaign manager, David Axelrod, known for playing the race card against his black candidates’ opponents, needed to neutralize former President Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton who was Obama’s opponent. So he called both of them racists.

Consequently black folk began to demonize every black voter who supported Hillary instead of Obama. They even turned on black elected officials who stayed loyal to Hillary.

Now Hillary needs to recapture all those black voters who fell in love with Obama and took pride in electing “The First Black President.” Therefore, she plays the race card against Donald Trump and calls him every possible hateful name to make voters think he is despicable. But she has gone so far as to demonize those voters who think Trump would make a better president than she would.

To make matters worse, on Saturday, Sept. 17, President Barack Obama addressed the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation at its gala and wagged his finger at them threatening, “I will consider it a personal insult, an insult to my legacy if this community lets down its guard and fails to activate itself in this election.”

Sounds like a threat to me.

Mind you, this is the first time a sitting president has gotten involved in his successor’s campaign. Not only is President Obama out campaigning for Hillary Clinton, but he has sent out his wife, the First Lady, and his Vice President, Joe Biden.

And they’re all calling Donald Trump names as well as his supporters. They’ve called us deplorable, but what they’re doing is despicable. They want to maintain total control. As Jean- Paul Sartre and Malcolm X declared, “By any means necessary.”

But I thought we were FREE. FREE – To think whatever we wanted to think. FREE – To speak out and say whatever we wanted to say. FREE – To vote for whatever person or party we wanted to vote for. FREE – To join whatever religion and serve God whatever way we wanted to serve Him. FREE – To do whatever.

But you still have to call me names. Why? I call it THE POLITICS OF BLACKNESS! The most vicious form of control since slavery.