Garry Reed combined a professional technical writing career and a passion for all things libertarian to become The Libertarian Opinionizer.
Woke Commentary from Your Libertarian Opinionizer
A cartoon meme that characterized a recent Libertarian Opinionizer article titled “The Real Woke Minds are Libertarian Minds” was posted on several Facebook groups in July. It caused high levels of angst among many libertarians, frequently expressed in the one-word response, “Cringe.” It was almost as though they were trying to appease the violent radical alt-left without sounding like they were trying to appease them.
There seems to be a general feeling that only black activists are allowed to use the term “Woke.” Yet back in 2016 one non-libertarian black progressive writer very adamantly stated:
“Black folks don’t have the market cornered on being ‘woke’.”
And that was the point of the Opinionizer article, that in the context of today’s usage libertarians are and have been woke to racial discrimination in society and other forms of bias, oppression and injustice for decades. It’s directly implied in the libertarian non-aggression principle against coercion, intimidation and fraud, and it’s also why there are growing numbers of black libertarians active in politics and on social media today.
Coercion, the initiation of force, is after all the root of all evil.
The best response to all the cringing then would seem to let not just libertarian folks, not just black folks, not just woke folks, but specifically woke black libertarian folks speak for themselves on the whole concept of wokeness.
Black Lives Matter means black libertarian lives matter as well because black libertarians are the wokest of the woke. That fact, to emphasis yet again, is deeply embedded in the libertarian non-aggression principle against coercion, intimidation and fraud.
Black Libertarian Walter Williams and the Woke Word
In a 2017 interview Walter E. Williams, longtime free market economist, Cato Institute Adjunct Scholar and author of 17 books—including Race and Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination?—quoted George Orwell who said, “Some ideas are so stupid that only intellectuals believe them.” He applies this quote to America’s liberal college professors and says “They ought to get rid of the idea of “White Privilege” and just call it “Achievement.”
That’s bound to trigger the slogan-spewing white privilege accusers who seem only able to think in terms of simplistic clichés and parrot ideological talking points.
But Williams, like so many other black advocates of libertarianism, was active long before the Woke word entered America’s vocabulary. Take this extremely woke observation for example:
“What our nation needs is a separation of ‘business and state’ as it has a separation of ‘church and state.’ That would mean crony capitalism and crony socialism could not survive.”―Walter E. Williams, American Contempt for Liberty.
Even some non-libertarian black folks agree with him. One is Lawrence Ware.
In his 2016 article, “The Politics of Being Woke” posted on The Root (tagline “The Blacker the Content the Sweeter the Truth”) Ware self-identifies “as a philosopher of race, I teach, write and think about the intersection of race and public policy.”
In terms of being aware of racism, bias and social injustice Ware marks the birth of “Woke” this way:
“After the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., in 2014, the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter began to be used by activists to bring attention to issues black folks are facing in America.”
Lawrence Ware is a philosophy professor and co-director of Oklahoma State University’s Center for Africana Studies. While not identifying as libertarian himself Ware seems more “woke” and open-minded than some who call themselves “libertarian.” These are telling insights:
“Black folks don’t have the market cornered on being ‘woke’.”
“There is no litmus test for being woke.”
“Black libertarians may say that less government is the answer while maintaining that the invisible hand of capitalism will fix economic inequality.”
He adds “each of these positions needs to be challenged” which is only fair. Better to be a thinking mind than simply a bogus woke mind.
Black Libertarian Deroy Murdock
But back to the woke black libertarian minds. Deroy Murdock is a Manhattan-based Fox News contributor. The following quotes are from his June 2020 article for Newsmax under the column header “Libertarian Views” for his article captioned “Overcoming Racism Last Thing Left Wants.”
He begins by noting that the FBI rushed fifteen agents, who could have otherwise been assigned to investigating violent crimes, to the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama to investigate a potential hate crime: A noose tied in the end of a door pull-down rope was found in the garage stall that had been assigned to Bubba Wallace, NASCAR’s top black driver.
Turned out it had been there for some time, before any stalls had been assigned, and could therefore not have been targeting Wallace. Murdock drew three conclusions from this in his article.
“First, rather than let investigators establish the facts, too many people instantly scream, "Racism!"
“Second, while racism still exists, America lately has seen huge examples of anti-racism designed to isolate bigots.”
“Third, the glass of racism is far, far less than half full. It likely is down to the last swig. And yet left-wing activists, media figures, and elected Democrats act as if it’s overflowing like Old Faithful. These malefactors thrive on racial tension, and are not happy unless they can pit blacks and whites against each other. And if this scares black voters into voting Democrat and booting Donald J. Trump from the White House, even better.”
As many have noted before, racism, like everything else on earth, will continue to exist for as long as someone benefits from it. A lot of power grabbing, wealth snatching and ego Binging is and has long been dependent on racism.
Black Libertarian Maj Toure
If you really want to know how self-directed, diverse and individualistic libertarians are, ranging from far left to far right personal mindsets, here’s a good example. While many libertarians, both the philosophical and political kinds, deeply despise and reject President Trump Maj Toure loves him.
"What I love about President Trump,” he says, “is right, wrong or indifferent; you're going to know exactly where he stands.”
Refusing to follow the anti-gun positions of the Woke Left Toure is the founder of Black Guns Matter, a gun rights group that, according to his website, "educates people in urban communities in all 50 states on their Second Amendment rights and responsibilities through firearms training and education."
To be sure Maj Toure is an off and on libertarian. He ran for a Philadelphia City Council seat as the Libertarian Party candidate in 2019 but later dumped both the LP and the NRA. He appears to still be a gun rights advocate but it’s unclear how much of a libertarian he may be.
Black Libertarian Eric July
Eric July opens his article on beinglibertarian.com with “This article is not designed to sway the African American vote one way or the other” and goes on to insist that “African American Libertarianism should not be surprising” which also happens to be the headline of his article.
As a “former leftist” Eric takes his libertarianism beyond the LP and identifies as AnCap, or ananrcho-capitalist, a libertarian philosophy that embraces the non-aggression principal, free markets, private property and voluntary interactions among all people.
July also uses his band BackWordz and his social media following to educate people about the dangerous reality of The State.
“I put a lot of pride in attempting to make sure that people understand that blackness is not authenticated by political alignment” July insists. He goes on to explain that the primary purpose of his article is to highlight “why and how it should not be remotely absurd for African Americans to embrace libertarianism.”
His jumping-off points are two-fold: “All one has to do is have knowledge of American history” and “I will point out how African Americans have been given plenty of reasons to push for little or no government.”
He then gives a historical rundown of how government politicians, not “white privilege,” have created the systemic racism responsible for the evils done to black people, from the Slave Codes to the Black Codes to Dred Scott v. Sandford to Plessy v. Ferguson & Jim Crow to The Here and Now.
July acknowledges that Black Lives Matter “believe that government is killing and treating blacks unjustly; and it’s because they’re black.” He then challenges his peers, “So the real questions are, “why aren’t more blacks libertarians? Why do blacks vote for Democrats who openly want to expand government?”
Eric July concludes “You should be asking why more blacks aren’t libertarians, rather than asking why one is black and libertarian. If we consider history, it should not surprise you that there are African Americans that reject the state.”
Black Libertarian Dr. Aaron Lewis
While Eric July began his article with the caveat “This article is not designed to sway the African American vote one way or the other” Dr. Aaron Lewis’ article in the October 2019 issue of LP News did just the opposite:
“Freedom: A call for black people to reconsider their loyalty to the Democratic Party”
Lewis is an educator, publisher and ghostwriter who reconsidered his own loyalty and switched from the Democratic Party to the Libertarian party to became the LP candidate for mayor of Hartford, Connecticut in 2019.
Lewis made his switch by first announcing that “the Democratic Party has posed itself as the party for African Americans and minorities throughout the United States.” He went on to explain what every libertarian has always know: “After careful consideration, I’ve concluded that is untrue and that the loyalty that people of color [have] had to the party has been counterproductive.”
He then stated what is even more obvious to libertarians, that the Democratic Party “doesn’t serve black people, it doesn’t serve middle-class or poor white people, it doesn’t serve Hispanics. It serves people at the top tier of the party.” [Editorial Note: Same for Republicans.]
Too bad so few people seem to get it. Even though he was endorsed by the LP he was nonetheless listed on the official results as an Independent and received only 59 votes out of 9,983 cast.
Not much wokeness going on in that town.
Black Libertarian That Guy T
In the end what we really desperately need is not more cookie-cutter Woke—Social Justice—Snowflake—Cancel Culture—backwards-looking Bernie Sanders style Democratic Socialism zealots but a new, younger, smarter generation of forward-looking libertarians, black, white and all others, who understand that less coercive government and more individual freedom is the only thing that makes all of us more free, more just, more understanding and caring towards one another and more socially, politically and economically equal while still being our own individual yet voluntarily cooperative selves.
That new generation of open-minded individualist black libertarians may already be here.
That Guy T “identifies as a libertarian, anti-feminist, atheist, anarcho-capitalist and an occasional asshole” who covers such topics on his YouTube channel as free market capitalism , libertarianism, social justice and racism, and is also writer/producer of two short movies, “Should You 'Trust' Your Red Pill Dealer?” and “Warski Live.”
That Guy T also identifies as Taleed Brown, Media Production Specialist at the American Institute for Economic Research, a content intern at the Foundation for Economic Education and “a creative professional with experience in digital marketing and content creation.”
Writing as TJ Brown (how many IDs does one guy need?) his 2017 article on fee.org titled “Fight for a More Civilized Bigotry” is a great example of what tomorrow’s libertarian generation should be.
Even as he rejects bigotry Taleed notes that “the obsessive rampage of millennials trying to exterminate bigotry has made people more divisive and ideologically isolated than ever.” Taleed’s position is simple: “The purpose of civilized bigotry is to minimize conflict by maximizing understanding.”
Hate speech, he understands, simply begets counter hate speech and accomplishes nothing worthwhile.
We don’t need more of that. But fortunately for all of us there are many more intelligent and caring young black woke libertarians out there than many suspect. More and more their voices are beginning to be heard.
References and Links
The Real Woke Minds are Libertarian Minds The article that made some libertarians cringe. Being woke to black issues is being only half woke. The next step is to discover what black libertarians are already woke to: The non-aggression principle against coercion, intimidation and fraud.
The Politics of Being Woke An open-minded progressive black “philosopher of race” who is woke to the libertarian view even if he doesn’t necessarily agree with it. That’s more than some “libertarians” can say.
Black Libertarian Facebook Group Black Libertarian Facebook pages have come and gone over the years but this one is alive and well and is so dedicated to their libertarianism that their cover photo displays only the LP logo.
Long article from Reason about the reality of the “Free Speech for Me but Not for Thee” reactionary Alt-Left Cancel Culture Mob that spews hatred at all who disagree with them. "if someone responds angrily to an accusation, they are probably guilty."
Why I'm Not a Member of The Libertarian Party
What Is White Privilege?
Garry Reed (author) from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas on August 14, 2020:
Hi Maria. Thanks for the kudo. Always positive, as usual!
Maria Folsom on August 14, 2020:
Wonderful, as usual.