Great minds think a like. I applaud you for owning this. It’s easy to get swept up into the conservative racial glaze. I don’t know what it is about White conservatives snagging up Black police, military service members, and firemen.
My ex-husband was retired military and he confessed he was a conservative when we first started dating. I told him we had to break up lol. I was a Blackitty Black radical who was the only one of my siblings who did not serve because I can’t stand our racist government. In any event, he was EXACTLY everything you were in this essay. The favorite Black token. While he did change his political views based on my education on Southern Strategy conservatism and connecting it to his life as a military combat medic and registed nurse in a professional setting where he was the only Black, he saw it. I know plenty of Black men who were in the military, are currently federal special agents and are closeted conservatives.
I don’t trust them lol. Seriously. I can’t trust them. They don’t see what you saw, and I don’t try to convince them otherwise. I think that’s not my place, and they probably wouldn’t receive it well anyway.
He still enjoyed that White gaze. It eventually became a problem in our marriage. He never outgrew it. I told him he should marry a White woman because he’s too consumed with pleasing Whiteness. He once noted he liked being indispensable. He enjoyed White folks he worked for relying on his. Most of the doctors he worked for were ex-military and they definitely were Republican conservatives, so the conservative racial gaze is real. I got sick of that shit. After a few years I was done. By that time, Obama was running for office and I was working for his campaign. I was dragging my Black sons to be apart of this history. My ex got it, but he still couldn’t let go of his conservatism.
That racialized conservative gaze is a motherfucker. lol I glad you got rid of that hank. Give them back all their stuff, but by all means, code switch when necessary. Everybody can’t do that. It’s a necessary lifeskill.