Several weeks ago I heard a story on NPR & was turned off to learn that the Republican Party is increasing its Black membership numbers as more hot social/political issues arise. From what I heard, some Black preachers are inviting Republican candidates to speak during Sunday services with hopes of rallying last minute votes (act of desperation) and conservative/Republican preachers are influencing their congregations to move/vote Republican because of the recent gay rights &abortions etc issues across the nation. Apparently Black America is more against gay rights than another other group especially with those who are religious.
I find Black Republicans to be oxymoronic big time; how can you be Black & Republican does that mean that you are actually not Black & do not care about Black-issues-culture-survival. As I was looking for information on Black Republicans, I was really surprised to see how many web sites that are for Black Republicans, like www.theblackrepublican.net & http://www.nbra.info.
Earlier this year, the Washington Post ran a story titled “The Year of the Black Republican?” which detailed the Black gubernatorial candidates J. Kenneth Blackwell of OH & Lynn Swann of PA (former Pittsburgh Steeler), & Black senate candidate Michael Steele of MD. According to the article “Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal first brought African Americans into the Democratic coalition in the 1930s, and Lyndon B. Johnson’s 1960s support for civil rights legislation cemented their allegiance. In the subsequent four decades, Republicans have seen their presidential candidates win a dwindling share of the black vote. It hit bottom in 2000, when George W. Bush managed to garner just 8 percent of the votes of African Americans.”
On NPR’s Ed Gordon program, there was a roundtable discussion with Julianne Malveaux (my girl) – economist/author; Michael Meyers – executive director of the New York Civil Rights Coalition; and Robert George – editorial writer for the New York Post. During the discussion, George stated “You have individuals that cannot be portrayed as Uncle Toms that are somehow out of step with the black community,” says George. “Steele, Blackwell, both of them have long-standing social and business roots within the black community and that allows them to take what is still a Republican message into the community and get votes saying, ‘I am part of you. We may have certain disagreements here but I have a particular vision and it’s something that you should listen to.”
The roundtable discussion was breakdown of the candidates mentioned above in addition to some of the Democratic counterparts like Kwesi Mfume.
Frankly speaking (as always), the 2 most notable Black Republicans (IMHO) Colin Powell & Condoleeza Rice, were not seen as blacks with a positive light in large & I know they do not own any Ghetto Passes (wait, I do not have a Ghetto pass myself).
I hope that Black Republicans:
- Do not become the new black
- Candidates will not be tokens
- Can bring change on our BLACK communities