On Monday evening, I watched South Carolina senator Tim Scott—the only African American Republican senator in the country—give a speech at the Republican National Convention (RNC). I poured myself a mixed drink of Grey Goose vodka cranberry juice over ice with a slice of lime.
I sipped and grimaced as I listened to Scott heap hymns of praise on President Donald Trump and his alleged diversity welcoming administration. On Tuesday evening, when I watched and listened to Daniel Cameron, the first African American Attorney General in the Mitch McConnell state of Kentucky and a die-hard supporter of anything and everything Trump, I poured myself an even bigger and more potent drink. I again grimaced and, instead of sipping, I guzzled as I listened to the young and neophyte lawyer attempt to seduce and regale me with his far from convincing stories about Trump. After the speech, I shut off the T.V.
As I reflected on the two speakers, I was reminded of a bestselling book that came out more than 50 years ago. The title is “The Spook Who Sat By the Door,” by Sam Greenlee. The book was eventually made into a movie in 1973 with the same title. In a nutshell, it is the story of one of the first African Americans to be hired by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the 1960s. It chronicles a real story about tokenism, racism, gate-keeping, and deceptive behavior by various government agencies and officials. I decided to re-read the book and download the movie on YouTube! I was riveted and mesmerized by both. The story was an early blueprint of sorts to current events starting with the current administration in the White House and trickling down to racially charged events like the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and countless others. It continues to amaze me how history continues to repeat itself.
As for the remaining nights of the RNC, I haven’t decided if I will watch the rest of it. As a journalist, I should and probably will—especially the speech by Housing and Urban Development (HUD) leader Ben Carson and Trump advisor, Ja’Ron Smith—the highest-ranking, yet seldom heard from Black man in the White House. Undoubtedly, I’ll listen to what the two men have to say with an even more robust cocktail in my hand. Cheers!