The Republican National Convention this year devoted a significant portion of its prime time schedule to women and minority speakers, many of whom are the equivalent of rock stars in conservative circles. I expected liberals, from the bottom of the barrel to the top, to respond to the presence of these speakers, but even they caught me by surprise with the shrillness, ugliness and unhinged anger they showed.
Archive for the ‘GOP’ Category
Note: I had the honor this past Saturday of speaking as part of a panel at the Faith and Freedom Conference in Washington, DC, on the topic, “Building Bridges to African-Americans.” I had prepared some remarks to share, but the discussion went in a slightly different direction than I expected, so I’m sharing them with a wider audience instead.
The Old Testament Book of Esther describes a turning point in the story of the Jewish people held in captivity, where Mordecai, Esther’s uncle, challenges Esther, who by this time was chosen as the pagan king’s new queen. If she so chose, she could live a life of indulgence while her people suffered. Mordecai warned her of the gravity of the moment in which she found herself:
Mordecai sent back this reply to Esther: “Don’t think for a moment that you will escape there in the palace when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. What’s more, who can say but that you have been elevated to the palace for just such a time as this?”
Then Esther sent this reply to Mordecai: “Go and gather together all the Jews of Susa and fast for me. Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will do the same. And then, though it is against the law, I will go in to see the king. If I must die, I am willing to die.” ~ Esther 4:13-16
The question I find I’m asking myself as I watch the GOP candidates for president slog their way across Iowa, New Hampshire and now South Carolina, which holds its primary next Saturday, is “Are either of them elevated for just such a time as this?”
Note: This is the fourth of a series, “Brainwashed, Incurious, Hard-Hearted or Bamboozled?” The previous installments can be found here.
I have often recounted that my conversion to conservatism began in my late teens, after I left home and began to examine what I believed and how that compared and contrasted with the platforms of the predominant American political parties.
I concluded that the values instilled in me by my parents, who were and are lifelong and loyal Democrats, were more representative of the Republican Party than the Democrats. My parents responded to my question about this dichotomy with the statement, “Republicans hate black people,” a statement at odds with history, my own personal experiences and even my parents’ history since they grew up in a South that was Democrat and hostile to black freedoms and aspirations.
I decided I couldn’t compromise my integrity in that manner, and reached my own conclusions. I’ve learned and experienced so much more since then, but nothing has caused me to deviate from my decision to live out my values in every area of my life, including the political arena.
Before I begin this next article in the series, I want to point out that, judging from some of the responses to my initial posts in this series, there are still a lot of people out there who think if they shout loudly enough or respond viscerally to my statements, I will either be cowed or won over to their side.
What many of these folks fail to realize about me and most black conservatives is that we were not born with the worldview we currently hold. We used to be them. There is no argument or ad hominem attack directed toward us that we haven’t heard before, or used ourselves. Bob Parks, who thinks conservative/GOP outreach to the black community is an utter waste of time, put it this way:
I’ll venture to say that most black Republicans weren’t born that way. It took some life-altering revelation and a good amount of cojones to put oneself into the pariah column. Remember, blacks may be the only group in this country not allowed to have a diversity of political opinion. It’s Democrat or be damned. If you become a Republican, you can (and will) be ostracized by friends and family and be called racist names by the political left with impunity.
For that reason, GOP “outreach” in the black community is an exercise in futility that also puts the Republican Party in a position of weakness. Why would you be expected to reach out to a group that has consistently maligned your character?
I understand Bob’s frustration, but I’m stubbornly pressing ahead in the hope that I will break through to enough people to prove it can be done. He likens the transition from liberal to conservative for a black person to “a kind of spiritual conversion,” so a lot of prayer is involved as well!
Mark Twain famously said, “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” One lie that has made more revolutions around the globe than the International Space Station is the one that claims the Tea Party movement in America is primarily motivated by its opposition to a black man in the White House.
You mean the black man who got a higher percentage of white voters than any Democrat not named Jimmy Carter (1976) or Bill Clinton (1996) since Lyndon Johnson, the last Democrat to win a majority of the white vote? The black man whose approval rating two weeks before he took office and actually started doing things was at 82%?
The black man who was the most revered political figure since the assassinated John F. Kennedy, and was essentially deified by his supporters, so much so that the search “Obama Messiah” brings up some of the most audacious and ridiculous words and images one can imagine, worshipping a mere human being?
That black man?
Note: This is the second of a series, “Brainwashed, Incurious, Hard-Hearted or Bamboozled?” The previous installment can be found here.
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s accusation that the black community has been “brainwashed” into supporting the Democratic Party and liberal policies exposed to the world a frustration with which most black conservatives are all too familiar.
Contrary to the stereotype, we care deeply about the ascendancy of the black community in America, and it is heartbreaking for us to witness what we perceive to be our willing participation in our own destruction.
Fifty years and tens of trillions of government dollars have bought three-fourths of our children without fathers in the home, an unemployment rate that, even in the very best of times, has been slightly more than one and a half times that of white Americans, more than half of our young black men not finishing high school, and more of us murdered through abortion than all other causes of death in the black community combined. And those are just some of the depressing statistics, most of which I can recite from memory.
It seems impossible, at least to conservatives of color, that any thinking person could examine this dismal record and the tragic waste of human capital, and be anything less than outraged. We should be questioning the approach we’ve been taking, and asking hard questions of our supposed benefactors, who have been telling us that they have the best answers for us. Clearly, they do not.
In fact, they’ve perpetrated upon us the greatest lie in American history, a lie that has essentially erased well over a century of civil rights achievements by one political party, and brutal oppression of our race by the other.
In some respects, it’s a good thing that Herman Cain’s recent surge in the GOP presidential race gave him the platform to make the statement he did about black Americans being brainwashed into voting for Democrats and not considering conservative candidates.
It was probably a statement born of frustration. Conservatives of color genuinely care about the well-being of the black community, see the problems with the path we’ve been on for fifty years, and see a way out that is not only proven, but has worked for them personally, but no one will give them a hearing.
It was a watershed moment. When pollster Frank Luntz asked the mostly-white focus group of South Carolina Republicans to respond with raised hands to the question, “Let’s go in alphabetical order. How many of you think Herman Cain won the debate?,” nearly all hands went up.
“We can stop right there!,” Luntz exclaimed. He went on to say he had never seen anything like it in all his years of conducting similar focus groups. Only one person entered the viewing room a staunch Herman Cain fan but, by the end of the first GOP presidential debate of the 2012 campaign season, just about the entire room was aligned with Cain.
“Something very special happened this evening,” Luntz said.
Indeed. And the larger implications of this singular event are even more special.
Note: These are my prepared remarks from my presentation to the Erie County, Ohio Republican Convention on April 30, 2011.
Good evening to you. I flew here today from Dallas, Texas, where I was attending a Heritage Foundation conference. Between being surrounded by over 600 conservative conferees and being deep in the heart of Texas, my red meat conservative quotient is way up.
I needed that boost because I live in the People’s Republic of Maryland, where there is no liberal idea too stupid to enact into law.
In fact, I live in Calvert County, Maryland, one of many "red" enclaves in this deep blue state; 15 of the 24 county councils or commissions in Maryland are led by Republicans. The only problem is that these counties are canceled out in statewide elections by the counties immediately surrounding Washington, DC and the city of Baltimore.
Since we live about 45 miles southeast of DC, we get their local news and therefore know more about that surreal piece of real estate than we care to admit. You’re probably aware that they’ve been fighting for statehood for decades now, and I understand their plight. After all, I don’t think our founders intended for half-a-million U.S. citizens not to have representation in the U.S. Congress.
I also don’t think, however, they intended for the District of Columbia to be a residential area for anyone other than elected officials and diplomats. Since some would argue there are constitutional barriers to DC statehood, I came up with a novel idea.
Why not separate the residential areas of DC from the federal part, which includes the White House and the Capitol, give the residential part back to Maryland, and then create a new state called Columbia, comprised of this new entity, the DC suburbs, and the city of Baltimore?
That way, they can have their land of rainbows and unicorns, and us common sense Marylanders can get on with real life.
I need to tell you before I proceed that, while I attempt to be respectful and on good terms with everyone, I am also candid, fearless in speaking my mind, and politically incorrect. Therefore, the chances are more than even that I will offend someone in this room tonight, and I ask you to extend to me the same grace that Christ shows you and me. If you can’t do that, well, forgive me, but I still have a speech to give, so let’s get on with it.
Note to Readers: See how many song titles you can find in this article. Extra credit goes to those who can name the artists as well. Send your responses to me before the end of October and the winner will be named in the November T.E.A.M. Report (You don’t get the T.E.A.M. Report? Sign up here!). Democrats and independents can play along, too (grin)!