I’ve let this account lie fallow, and the fault is mine alone. A lot has happened to me this year: I moved to DC, jetted to California to do a semester of graduate school in six weeks, and am preparing to move to China for a year to teach English, complete a thesis, and finish my graduate degree in international development. Not to mention life has its way of stepping in the ring and throwing the occasional right hook. My reasons are legitimate, excusable even, and so I let myself be excused for the summer while I studied, packed, shopped, and did homework. Priorities are priorities, after all.
But something happened tonight that made me realize my hiatus must end. A longtime Internet friend, the person who runs the Twitter account Black Republican, has decided to call it quits. I don’t know why; no reason was given, although right before the announcement there was a rant about a lack of viable candidates of color in the GOP. That may have something to do with their decision, but I can’t be sure. I wrote them an impassioned letter begging them to reverse their decision. They have not yet replied. I hope I can convince them to stay, but I’m not optimistic.
If their decision is permanent, then there is a void in serious political conversations among black conservative intellectuals of color on the Internet. I myself owe quite a lot to Black Republican: they regularly tweeted my articles when I was at The American Conservative and facilitated a media appearance on BBC radio earlier this spring. Their confidence in me and my work was inspiring and humbling. Writers don’t write for the acknowledgement, and glory in our line of work is rare, but it is nice to get appreciation and respect for what you do. It’s part of what makes the job worth it.
This absence doesn’t just affect black Twitter users; I’ve seen many white Twitter users respond positively to Black Republican and express appreciation for the work they do. Black Republican was a crucial voice that represented sensible, moderate Republican views on modern politics. I believe they have vastly underestimated their importance and influence, and it is my sincere hope they realize this. But maybe I’ve taken their presence for granted, and it is time for me to stand on my own two feet and start writing down the opinions that I often verbalize to friends and family. For a long time I felt that believing in your own opinions was arrogant. Now I see that there is a difference between arrogance and having the courage to follow your own convictions. I hope to do that with this blog.
I’ve had a lot of difficulty writing anything of substance since I left DC, but the summer is over now. There needs to be a conservative of color who writes about politics and policy and keeps the discussion going, and I must do my part. It won’t be perfect–I won’t be perfect. I certainly can’t replace Black Republican, but I can certainly contribute to public discourse.
I don’t yet know how this plays out in practical terms regarding scheduling. I’m going to take the weekend to think it over and will post something on Monday with the details. Of course, my traveling and studies take precedent, but we must make time for the things that matter. And this matters.
Yours in (political) arms,