Kathy Barnette: Kanye gets it. Just because I'm black don't assume I'm a Democrat

I’m a mother, a veteran, a black American and a Christian. People who don’t know me often make a lot of assumptions about who I am. For example, many assume that because I’m black, I must be a Democrat. But they would be wrong.

Yes, I’m black. But no, I’m not a Democrat.

When I tell people this, it elicits a lot of confusion and anger. First and foremost, it’s seen as a betrayal to the black community. I lost almost all of my black friends during the 2016 election campaign.

Take it from me, there’s no room for independent thought in much of the black community. Black conservatives are seen as unicorns and the backlash we get from the “more tolerant” liberal community is often swift and cruel. We’re often deemed not black enough.

Take it from me, there’s no room for independent thought in much of the black community. Black conservatives are seen as unicorns and the backlash we get from the “more tolerant” liberal community is often swift and cruel.

When she was first lady in 2014, Michelle Obama said on TV One, a predominately black television channel: “It’s not about the person on that ballot – it’s about you. And for most of the people we’re talking to, a Democratic ticket is the clear ticket that we should be voting on regardless of who said what or did this, that shouldn’t even come into the equation.”

Meaning that if you’re black, you must vote Democratic. Don’t ask questions. Just fall in line and do what you’re told. To me, this is offensive. My vote is worth fighting over.

But it reminded me that not all overseers on slave plantations were white. There were black overseers as well. They were called drivers and their job was the same as the white overseer – to keep black folks in line.

We have black overseers among us today. They don’t care about the very real and systematic problems that are plaguing the black community. Democrats benefit when they can keep blacks voting as a block. Democrats benefit when they can keep blacks moving based on emotions instead of logic.

And what do we receive from giving Democrats our loyalty? Our schools are still some of the worst schools, our communities are some of the deadliest communities, our black children are still being gunned down by primarily black thugs, and we’re told to just keep our mouths shut and adopt the false narrative that it’s all the fault of President Trump and racist cops.

Why must the black community be told what to think? We are individuals, with a wide variety of backgrounds, upbringings, careers, income levels and interests. So why would anyone image we would all think alike when it comes to politics?

Across the black community, reality too often is a monotone. There is just one way to think, especially concerning politics. But is there any demographic group that all thinks alike? Why is independent thinking not allowed in the black community?

Kanye West recently drew criticism when he expressed support for President Trump.  Now it’s up to black Americans who are not on the Democratic Plantation to keep moving the conversation forward. Our future, in terms of the next generation, depends upon us sitting across from one another and engaging in an open, honest and logical discussion.