I grew up in the deep South and once, when I was going to high school, I went to a friend’s party. A couple dozen of us were hanging around downstairs, enjoying ourselves, when we found out that the father of the girl who was throwing the party wouldn’t let a kid into his house because he was black. You may be wondering if there was any other motive. Maybe the kid mouthed off, he was dressed like a thug, the two of the them had some kind of run-in before…none of that was true. The father was just a racist who didn’t want a black kid in his house.
To me, the interesting part was what happened AFTER he did that. The black kid who came to the party had rolled up with 15 white, country boys from school. The girl’s father told them that they could come in if they wanted. They politely refused and said if their friend wasn’t welcome, then they weren’t going to go in either. Then, they all left together. When the word spread downstairs, the girl who was throwing the party was horrified and incredibly embarrassed that her father had done that and the party broke up and ended within a few minutes time.
As someone who was born in the seventies in North Carolina and grew up admiring people like Muhammad Ali, Satchel Paige, and even Malcolm X (Yes, really) that was a pretty good example of the world I grew up in. Sure, there were a few diehard racists around, but amongst people of my generation, they were few and far between. We didn’t grow up with separate water fountains, segregation, or Jim Crow laws. The KKK was considered a joke, even back then, and few people ever dropped the N-bomb in conversation unless they were reciting rap lyrics.
All this is worth noting because I do know what real “Black people ain’t no d@mn good” racism looks like. If you listened to the Democratic Party, you’d think most conservatives are that way. However, I’ve never personally seen anyone behave that way at a Tea Party, at a blogger convention, or at any Republican event I’ve ever attended. Moreover, I don’t personally know a single blogger, Tea Partier, or conservative politico who makes racist remarks behind the scenes. That’s not to say that racists don’t exist. They certainly do, but, by any sort of reasonable standard, there’s no more racism in the Republican Party than the Democratic Party. The only real difference is that if a Republican says something like, “I mean, you got the first mainstream African-American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy. I mean, that’s a storybook, man,” that’s presented as concrete evidence of racism in the Republican Party. On the other hand, if someone like Joe Biden says it, it’s treated as if it signifies nothing just because he’s a Democrat. However, that’s how Democrats HAVE to play the game because the reality is that black Americans should have given up on the Democratic Party a long time ago.
1) Black Americans have been voting for the Democrats en masse for almost 40 years. What do they have to show for it economically? Here’s what they have to show for it: In 2009, the average net worth for white households was $113,149 and $5,700 for black households. Great job, Democratic Party!
It’s truly bizarre to hear Maxine Waters, Andre Carson, Jesse Jackson and other assorted Democratic “leaders” blaming Republicans or even more improbably, Tea Partiers, because black Americans are having a tough time. In every single place in the country where black Americans are a decisive factor in selecting the politicians in charge, Democrats are running the show. How do you look at decimated cities where Democrats have had control of every lever of power for 40 years and conclude, “Republicans are the problem?”
2) As long as black Americans vote monolithically for the Democratic Party, they will always be treated like dirt. There’s never any question which party black Americans are voting for. The only real question is turnout. This leads to the Democratic Party treating black voters as an afterthought. Yes, politicians show up to a black church on the Sunday before an election or toss a little largesse towards Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton, but they could give a damn about the average black American because there’s no reason for them to care. The only thing any Democrat has to do is claim that his opponent is a racist and he’s got 90 percent of the black vote locked up. On the other hand, Republicans have absolutely no reason to pursue black voters because no matter what they do, they believe they’re going to be branded as racist, and their opponents will collect 90% of the black vote. Until black Americans start giving some indications that their votes are up for grabs, they will continue to be ignored by both parties.
3) Black Americans are thriving in today’s Republican Party. Whatever you may think of the job that Barack Obama has done as President, it is still unquestionably a big deal for America to have its first black President. That being said, the GOP hasn’t been standing still in that department either. Michael Steele was the first black Republican National Committee chairman. Tim Scott and Allen West were both elected to Congress, in majority white districts, last year. West is so popular that he was the keynote speaker at CPAC, the biggest conservative conference of the year. Their election came on the heels of George W. Bush appointing the first AND second black Secretary of State, Colin Powell and Condi Rice. Walter Williams is a fill-in host for the most popular conservative talk radio host in America, Rush Limbaugh. Thomas Sowell was voted the single most liked conservative in America in 2010 AND 2011 by conservative bloggers. Incidentally, second place in 2011 was Allen West. If the question is, “Can black Americans get the respect they deserve in the Republican Party today?” the significant number of black conservatives making an impact seems to suggest the answer is, “Yes, they can!”
4) Black Americans are not as liberal as their voting records seem to show. Many black Americans actually see eye-to-eye with Republicans on many social issues including abortion, gay marriage, and being friendly to Christianity. Many black Americans also agree with the conservative stance on illegal immigration, school choice, being tough on crime, and supporting entrepreneurs — and no wonder. For a lot of black Americans, a vote for the Democratic Party is a vote to lose their job to an illegal alien, trap their kids in a lousy school, and get criminals released back into their neighborhood.
Even someone like Louis Farrakhan, who has campaigned for numerous Democrats over the years, is in favor of corporal punishment, building small businesses, and he believes that welfare is a trap that keeps black Americans mired in poverty. Incidentally — it is.
When black Americans stop buying the phony baloney “He’s a racist” line that Democrats peddle in every election and start genuinely considering Republican candidates on the issues, suddenly both parties will start giving black Americans the attention they deserve.
5) What has the Democratic Party’s “help” over the last 40 years achieved for black Americans? The Democratic Party’s line is that black Americans need their “help” to get by in a racist world. Here’s an alternate theory: Buying into the Democratic Party’s philosophy and accepting “help” has been one of the biggest reasons that black Americans lag behind white Americans. Black males are 6 times as likely to be in prison as white males and black Americans make up 49% of the homicide victims in America. 71.6% of all black Americans are born out of wedlock and black Americans are almost twice as likely to drop out of high school as white Americans, both of which help explain why the black poverty rate is almost 2 1/2 times the white poverty rate.
Would voting for the Republican Party make all of those problems go away overnight? No. But, not only has the Democratic Party failed to deal with those issues in a meaningful way, it has exacerbated the problems with its policies. After 40 years of disastrous Democratic Party “help,” maybe it’s time for black Americans to give the Republican Party a crack at it.