Life of the Party
In response to Randy LoBasso’s roundtable discussion with three African-American Republicans:
Thank you for this wonderful article on black Republicans. I consider myself a recovering former member of the Republican Party, and I share their concern over where the party is headed. Truth is, African-Americans were largely Republican before the civil rights era, when the party became infiltrated with racist white Southern Democrats who were fleeing their party. Unfortunately, that legacy of racism pervades the Republican party to this day.
At some point, the only way the party will survive is by recognizing that people of color, including African-Americans, largely believe in conservative principles: strong religious faith, self-sufficiency and limited government interference in our lives. What they do not embrace is the racist undertones still prevalent in Republican politics. Code words like “entitlement spending” and “redistribution of wealth” don’t help, they only hurt.
The reason people don’t know or care that Martin Luther King was a Republican, as these gentlemen say, is quite simple: He wasn’t one. That’s a right-wing myth begun by King’s Republican niece, Alveda. King generally kept out of party politics, except for the 1964 presidential election, when he openly supported Kennedy (Democrat) over Goldwater (Republican). Furthermore, the politics of his opposition to the Vietnam War and his Poor People’s Campaign were to the left of the Democrats then, and would be far to the left of the Democrats, now. Contrary to another right-wing myth, the Democratic Party is now about as far to the right on foreign and economic policy as the Republicans were in the ‘60s.
After reading this article, all I can say is these men have made lame excuses for choosing the Republican party. One says he’s pro-life. The other says his wife manages the finances, and the other one says it’s because someone told him to. It’s no surprise that African-American men and women walk away from these men when they begin to open their mouths. They haven’t realized that their sole purpose for the Republicans is to put them on display when they’re going against an African-American candidate.
First Person Arts Podcast: Proud Mom