Monday, June 25, 2012
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.
Monday, June 18, 2012
Weekly Opinion Editorial
In the early days of radio and TV, Edgar Bergen (yes, Candace's dad) had a ventriloquist act which featured a dummy named Mortimer Snerd. Mortimer was pretty dumb, and most of the time when something was explained to him, he'd shake his head and say "Who'd have thunk it?" You might also be familiar with another of Mortimer's inventions - the word "DUH!"
WHO'D HAVE THUNK IT?
Monday, June 11, 2012
Weekly Opinion Editorial
AFTER ALL, IT’S YOUR MONEY!
by Steve Fair
Tracking college graduation rates started in the late 1980s when then U.S. Senator and former NBA star Bill Bradley sponsored a proposal to have the NCAA release graduation rates for college athletics. That was expanded to all college students soon thereafter. An institution’s graduation rate has become a standard measurement of the quality of education a student will receive at an institution of higher learning.
Colleges that continue to do poorly in graduation rates offer a variety of excuses. But the most plausible one is the rate depends on the types of students an institution admits.*****
While it is true that graduation rates alone don't determine the quality of a degree, often students who start college but don't finish are typically no better off than those who never even started. In fact, they may be worse off, if they took on debt. Given the subsidies they give to colleges, federal and state governments have a stake in making sure that students finish what they started. And a college credential remains one of the only signals to the job market that a potential employee is ready.
"In a society that cares about the credential, finishing college matters," maintains Mark Schneider, a former
Four observations concerning
First, why is it acceptable that less than half of the students who start college in
complete a degree? While it’s certain we
don't want to end up with the higher-ed version of No Child Left Behind, where
the jobs and salaries of individual faculty members are dependent on the
academic success of their students, we do need to demand accountability from
Oklahoma’s higher education system on the product they produce and the taxpayer
money they receive. After all, it’s your money.
Second, do we need an institution of higher learning every thirty miles in
Oklahoma? It seems the twentieth century model of
building physical satellite campuses is outdated, not to mention expensive. With more and more college classes being
offered on-line and virtual classrooms being heralded as the future of common
and higher education, why are Oklahoma
taxpayers paying for more brick and mortar buildings? Shouldn’t the legislature force Oklahoma’s higher
education institutions to begin the task of re-inventing themselves and moving
to a ‘virtual classroom’ model to prepare for the future? After all, it’s your money.
Third, why does every taxpayer funded college in
Oklahoma have a separate President and other
administrators that earn more money that most CEOs of private companies in Oklahoma? Does every state college and university need
an individual President? Why can’t a
President oversee more than one institution?
The private sector has been forced to do more with less and to become
more efficient-why not Oklahoma
colleges and universities? If you want
to find out how much any taxpayer funded state employee(including college
Presidents) is paid in Oklahoma,
go to, https://data.ok.gov/. You’re not snooping- it’s a matter of public
record. After all, it’s your money.
Fourth, higher education receives a large percentage (14%)of the
state budget, but is not subject to oversight and auditing by the Oklahoma
State Auditor’s office. That’s
ridiculous. Every agency, organization,
college, school or entity that receives one penny of Oklahoma taxpayer money should be
accountable to the people who gave them that money. A through performance audit should be
conducted annually on higher education to insure taxpayer dollars are being
spent as intended. This authorization
would require legislative approval or a vote of the people, but it is long
overdue. The Presidents of the State
Colleges should be request an audit be done to show Oklahoma taxpayers they are getting their
moneys worth. After all, it’s your
Monday, June 4, 2012
Weekly Opinion Editorial
Little is much when God is in it!
by Steve Fair
The Association of Statisticians of American Religious Bodies (ASARB) publishes an analysis every ten years that ranks states on how religious they are. In the latest, study, Oklahoma ranks tenth out of the fifty states. Utah, a state where one in three Mormons in the country live, ranked number one in the study. The Pine Tree state- Maine- was considered the least religious. The study included data on congregations that meet together for worship and their average weekly attendance. This was the first time the survey has included Hindus and Buddhists and it included expanded coverage of African American churches, Judaism, and Muslims.
The survey had few surprises- Southern Baptist dominate Oklahoma with nearly two thousand SBC churches across the state. Methodist were also very strong in the Sooner state.
The ASARB study found that almost eighty percent of Americans consider themselves to be Christians and that nearly one in five are Roman Catholic. Southern Baptist makes up 6.5% of the nation’s population. You can access the complete study at http://rcms2010.org.
In a 2007 Pew Research did an in-depth study on Religion in America and found that more than one-quarter of American adults (28%) had left the faith in which they were raised in favor of another religion - or no religion at all. When change in affiliation from one type of Protestantism to another was included, 44% of adults had either switched religious affiliation, moved from being unaffiliated with any religion to being affiliated with a particular faith, or dropped any connection to a specific religious tradition altogether. That means that nearly one half of the U.S. population doesn’t follow the traditions of their parents in religious matters.
Contrast that with the other subject you don’t mention in polite company- politics. According to a study by Tuff’s University, only eleven (11) percent of children don’t align with their parent’s political party affiliation. It’s seems interesting that children are four times more likely to follow their parents in politics, but not in religion.
Pew also found that men are significantly more likely than women to claim no religious affiliation and that nearly twenty percent of men say they have no formal religious affiliation, compared with roughly just thirteen percent of women.
Among married people Pew found that nearly forty percent of those surveyed were married to a spouse with a different religious affiliation. (This figure includes Protestants who are married to another Protestant from a different denominational family, such as a Baptist who is married to a Methodist.) Hindus and Mormons are the most likely to be married (78% and 71%, respectively) to someone of the same religion. That complete survey can be seen at http://religions.pewforum.org/reports.
The irony of Oklahoma being named one of the top ten religious states in America seems paradoxical. Oklahoma has one of the highest divorce rates in America. Oklahoma has a high rate of child abuse, drug abuse, gambling, drinking- all activities that are for the most part are considered to be non-religious. How can that be? There is a church on every corner in the state, but we still have all these social issues. It happens because of those actions flow out of the natural heart of man and until God regenerates a dead heart, it’s just behavior modification.
What can state government do to help the social ill situation? They can foster an environment that allows Oklahomans to worship as they please according to the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. They should allow religion to function in the idea ‘marketplace.’
Pew found that constant movement characterizes the American religious marketplace, as every major religious group is simultaneously gaining and losing adherents. Those that are growing as a result of religious change are simply gaining new members at a faster rate than they are losing members. Conversely, those that are declining in number because of religious change simply are not attracting enough new members to offset the number of adherents who are leaving those particular faiths.
What both of these studies fail to understand is that it is not about ‘numbers.’ Just because a church has lots of people doesn’t mean it’s doing a great work and conversely a small congregation may actually be having a more lasting impact than a larger one. It’s very true that ‘little is much when God is in it.’