With all of their righteous indignation about equal opportunity and fairness, you would think that Democrats would be proud of minorities who by dint of personal responsibility, a positive work ethic, and entrepreneurship have succeeded in becoming self-reliant and independent. After all, liberal Democrats like to claim that concern for minorities is their exclusive domain. But as it turns out Democrats are concerned about only some minorities—those who are willing to remain on the ideological plantation of the left. Minorities who labor on this plantation are encouraged by the left to see themselves as victims who are entitled to draw their sustenance from the government treasury. They are also encouraged to view those who work for a living and pay taxes as the enemy.
The relationship between the masters of the plantation—liberal Democrats—and the economic slaves who occupy it—the perpetually poor who live off of government entitlements—is one of give and take. But, as is always the case with plantations, it is the masters who do both the giving and taking. The masters of the plantation give economic slaves government entitlements in exchange for political support but, at the same time, they take away their freedom, independence, and self-esteem.
Thomas Sowell wrote about the relationship between liberal Democrats and their perpetually poor constituents in his book, The Thomas Sowell Reader: “This is a vision of human beings as livestock to be fed by the government and herded and tended by the anointed. All the things that make us human beings are to be removed from our lives and we are to live as denatured creatures controlled and directed by our betters. Those things that help human beings be independent and self-reliant—whether automobiles, guns, the free market, or vouchers—provoke instant hostility from the anointed…the welfare state is not really about the welfare of the masses. It is about the egos of the elites.” The elites Dr. Sowell refers to are liberal Democrats.
Minorities can leave the left’s ideological plantation anytime they want by discarding their victim mentality and adopting a worldview that subscribes to self-reliance, personal responsibility, and independence, but woe to those who do. To a liberal, minorities who leave the plantation and succeed on their own are traitors deserving of nothing but scorn, ridicule, and abuse. Few things can raise the hackles of a liberal faster than a woman or a black person who refuses to toe the line of leftist orthodoxy. Liberals have built a stereotypical mold for blacks, women, and other minorities and they expect them all to fit the mold.
Anyone who dares break the mold—think of Governor Sarah Palin or Congressman Allen West—is immediately branded a traitor and subjected to unrelenting character assassination. Writing for the leftwing blog, Daily Intel, Dan Amira referred to Allen West as an “Insane Florida Congressman,” a relatively mild comment compared with those the left has made over and over about Sarah Palin and her various family members. Congresswoman Michelle Bachman, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and economists Walter Williams and Thomas Sowell are just a few minorities who are constantly vilified by the left for refusing to fit the stereotypical mold prescribed for minorities by liberals.
One of the dangers of the plantation mentality is the loss of gratitude, responsibility, and obligation it breeds in economic slaves. Thomas Sowell, again writing in The Thomas Sowell Reader, summarizes this situation as follows: “One of the most dangerous things about the welfare state is that it breaks the connection between what people have produced and what they consume…the Welfare state makes it possible for individuals to think of money or goods as just arbitrary dispensations. Thus those who have less can feel a grievance against ‘society’ and are less inhibited about stealing or vandalism.” In other words, people who live on the left’s ideological plantation eventually come to believe that they are entitled to what working people produce and that if it isn’t given, they are entitled to take it.