A long-time friend and colleague of mine is a conservative college professor and part-time minister who also happens to be black. In terms of fitting in, my friend has three strikes against him: 1) As a conservative college professor he is an outcast among his colleagues in higher education, 2) As a conservative black man he is an outcast among many of his own race, and 3) As a minister he is an outcast in an increasingly Godless society. As you can imagine, with his political and Christian leanings there is much about contemporary American society this good man finds distasteful.

Today’s America can be a tough place for conservatives and Christians, but it is especially tough if you happen to be black in addition to being conservative and Christian. Of the many things that bother my friend about the current state of American society, the thing that bothers him most is seeing his fellow black Americans allowing themselves to be exploited for political gain by insincere Democrats and selected black leaders who are in positions of influence and authority. What he would like to ask Barack Obama, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and leaders of the NAACP is one simple question: When did it become a crime for a black man to reject nanny government, strike out on his own initiative, and achieve the American dream? Good question.

Another good question my friend often asks his fellow black Americans is this: When will you open your eyes and see that liberal Democrats don’t want you to succeed and that they are just exploiting you for political gain? He follows this question up with another: Black Americans as a rule have been loyal to the Democrats for more than 50 years and what has it gotten us? Then he answers his own question: With only a few notable exceptions, we are no better off than we were 50 years ago. Too many black Americans are still on welfare, still on food stamps, and still dependent on the government for our sustenance. What’s worse is that those of us who have broken free of the bonds of government dependence are pariahs among our own race. We are vilified by charlatans like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and liberal politicians who are interested not in improving our lives but in improving their own and are willing to sell us down the river to do it.

My friend finds it particularly galling to hear liberal white politicians and so-called black leaders using the race card and engaging in race baiting in an attempt to further the one cause that is most dear to them: staying in office. I agree with him that any person who would foment racial animosity and turn the races against each other to retain a political office is not worthy of that office. Bill Murchison wrote about this phenomenon in TOWNHALL.com in an article dated April 15, 2014. Murchison wrote: “Whatever intentions Obama may have genuinely harbored (as a candidate) regarding the prospect of racial reconciliation , he switched relatively quickly to the tried and true tactic of race baiting. Not the baiting of blacks; no one does that anymore; rather, the baiting of unidentified, because they are unidentifiable, white people who want to keep power out of black hands. The only race war going on around here in 2014 is the one that Democrats wage for the purpose of gaining and holding onto power. With Obama low in the polls and Democrat control of the Senate threatened, the party sinks to the occasion. Politicians alone—virtually all of them liberal; at least I haven’t heard of any conservative co-conspirators—act as though everything in the wide world is centered on race or class or sex.”

America is losing much of what was gained through the blood, sweat, and tears of those who fought in the trenches during the battle for civil rights. What is ironic about this unfortunate situation is that those who are undermining the civil rights movement are the very people who were supposed to benefit most from it: black leaders. We will never realize Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of the day when people will be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin if black leaders and organizations continue to turn their backs on black Americans who have succeeded and prospered without government assistance. As long as a black man has to be a certified liberal in order to be considered black in America, the battle for civil rights continues and Dr. King’s dream still eludes us.