But it has brought out the very worst as well. Not just the obvious in looters and rioters, but the subtle, the unseen, the things people don't like to own up to.
We know that bigots come in all shapes, sizes and yes, colors. They will usually train their vitriol on others who don't look like them, or have differing opinions and views. But whenever a high profile case, especially of a racial nature is front and center, a special brand of hate is unleashed at black conservatives.
This time however, was different. It hit much closer to home. Why? Because the object of so much venom was my dear friend Martin Baker. Martin is certainly no stranger to the political landscape that is reserved for black conservatives. Having run for office a few times, and being on the front lines with various conservative groups, Martin is well prepared for the name calling, the smears, and all of the usual tactics used by liberals, especially black liberals, against other blacks. When he attended a rally recently in support not so much for Officer Darrin Wilson, but for law and order, for transparency, and for the fair and impartial carrying out of justice, a picture of Martin showed up on Twitter, and it was open season on anything and anyone Martin Baker holds dear.
He was viciously attacked in any way a person can be, but it was all really aimed in only one direction, his political beliefs. For some reason, most black liberals don't know that groups like the KKK were started by Democrats. They don't know that every single piece of civil rights legislation passed in the 1960's passed because of Republicans. Democrats blocked it every way they could. But conservatives, Frederick Douglass conservatives like Martin Baker know the true history of the Democrat Party.
But never mind the facts. Facts are pesky things sometimes. So not wanting those pesky facts to get in the way, those brave
"@Afrocentricity", (is that even a word?) said, "How U gon support Darren Wilson? U a clown, all u missing is the red nose. U no longer black". Mr. Centricity, apparent self-arbiter of all things "black", was the most polite of the bunch. "@A.Pink", could that be short for pinko or communist? Perhaps. He at least made it to the spelling portion of grade school, but unfortunately, he does not get an "A" for originality. "People can you believe this Uncle Tom? He's a lead supporter of the criminal cop that murdered Mike Brown." With random folks with law degrees running around like Mr. Pink(o), who needs a jury? Of course the usual Shakespearean wannabes who like to scribble "sell out" and the n-word all over anything that doesn't move made their presence known as well.
Why is it that all black people are required to think alike? Why is it that when black conservatives dare stray from the "Audacity of Hope" bandwagon, and form their own thoughts and opinions, they are deemed, "not officially black"? Doesn't freedom not only mean physical freedom, but intellectual freedom as well? Is this not what black people and many white people have fought and died for?
Men like Martin Baker are a rare breed. They march to the beat of their own drum. Their beliefs are unbending, never wavering, because they know those beliefs to be the truth. They stand up for those beliefs when it is not cool, and even dangerous to do so.
If that is the definition of "sell out", America is in desperate need of them.