Monday, June 25, 2012
A NEW kind of Slavery!
Weekly Opinion Editorial
A NEW TYPE OF SLAVERY!
by Steve Fair
Why aren’t more African Americans registered Republican? Historically the GOP has been a supporter of African Americans. The Republican Party abolished slavery under President Lincoln, and gave Blacks the vote during Reconstruction in the late 1860s. Blacks voted Republican overwhelmingly after the Civil War and through the early part of the 20th century; because
was Republican and the white segregationist politicians who governed Southern
states in those days were Democrats who didn’t want anything to do with
They changed from R to D when FDR ran for President. Tapping into the frustration the African-American community had with the economic policies of President Hoover, a Republican, and with the country in the midst of a depression,
Roosevelt met with Black
leaders and promised he would help Blacks get jobs. That promise got him
seventy one percent of the Black votes in 1936.
Four years later, in June 1941 Roosevelt
issued Executive Order 8802, which created the Fair Employment Practices
Committee. The order stated that the federal government would not hire any
person based on their race, color, creed, or national origin. Roosevelt, the only President to be elected
four times, never got below 75% of the Black vote and since that time no
Republican presidential candidate has gotten more than fifteen percent of the
African-American vote. In 2008, exit
polls showed President Obama getting 95% of the Black vote in the presidential
election. No demographic votes in a
block like the African-American community.
Which begs the question- are only five percent of the African-American
voters in America
Former 4th district Congressman J.C. Watts and I have had this discussion often through the years. Why do pro-life, pro-traditional marriage conservative Blacks vote Democrat and shun the message of Republicans whose values mirror their own? In his book, What Color is a Conservative,” in talking about Blacks, Watts says, "Our values and belief systems have a lot more to do with how we were raised and the life we've lived than whether we are Republicans or Democrats, liberals or conservatives." So even though Republicans and Democrats have fundamental differences on values that manifest themselves in policy, that doesn’t stop many conservative African-Americans from checking those values at the door and voting for people who are fundamentally the opposite of their values in the voting booth.
According to Ellis Washington, a Black attorney and law professor, blacks vote Democrat because for the past 75 years since FDR came to power, socially and culturally Blacks have been indoctrinated to follow, follow, follow. “From antiquity, the blacks followed the African tribal chief and the shaman. During slavery, we followed ‘masser’ and the overseer and did what we were told. The next 100 years after 1865 and the Civil War during de jure and de facto segregation, we followed poverty-pimp preachers and civil rights activists (not Martin Luther King) who told us that by voting Democrat, God would bless black people through government handouts, a minimum wage and good government jobs,” Washington says.
How did the Republican Party lose the African-American vote and how do we get it back?
First, Republicans lost the Black voter because we took it for granted. Immediately after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed, Blacks were voting overwhelmingly Republican. Instead of paying attention to that loyal demographic, we allowed FDR and the Democrats to sell African-Americans a bill of goods that have resulted in high incarceration, poverty and abortion rates among Blacks. When it became apparent the Black community was not voting Republican, GOP candidates begin to skip Black neighborhoods when campaigning, further reinforcing the myth that Republicans could care less about African-Americans. The reality is that all political candidates campaign where there are swing votes and in the past seventy years that hasn’t been in the Black neighborhood. With limited time to campaign, candidates, 'fish where the fish are.'
Second, how do we get it back? Republicans have a compelling argument on why Blacks should leave the Democrat Party. Just look at the statistics. The Democrat Party has done nothing for the Black community. The leadership of the Ds only panders to them to get their vote. President Obama’s failed policies have hurt the poor in
America much more
than the middle and upper wage earners.
By promoting inflation, bailing out big business and banks, promoting
the unions, and regulating environmental policy, the President has made it
difficult on American small business which employs the majority of
African-Americans. Democrat policies over the past 75 years have resulted in a new type of slavery among African-Americans.
Republican leaders in our counties, state and nation must reach the African-American voter with the same message we have for any other voter, no matter their race, creed or color: A message of limited government, conservative values and liberty for all. We shouldn’t ‘target’ any particular demographic. Republicans should be about the business of educating the general public on the differences in the two major Party platforms and encouraging people to align with their values. If we do that, intelligent, freedom loving, conservative African-Americans will join us.