Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Black Republican

With polls showing that the majority of African-Americans are supporting Senator Barack Obama for president, now is a tough time to be a Black Republican. But there's a resolute group of African-Americans around the country proudly waving the GOP banner. Essence talks to some of them about where they stand on the issues and why more of us should join their party.
- Aina Hunter

So another good article in Essence this month (man, get on that August 08 Essence!) discussed Black Republicans. I am not a Republican, however, there are a few in my family and I go back and forth with them about particular issues constantly! But this article really took the time to delve into the psyche of the Black Republican and their views on the election, politics in general, and the black community. I found myself nodding in agreement to many things they were saying and shaking my head hell naw to some of their other views! I am going to try to briefly outline some of the highlights...

Self reliance seemed to be the primary driving force in the minds of the Black Republicans mentioned in this article. Many Republicans believe it is up to individuals to make their own opportunities rather than expect the government to provide for them. Peter W.D. Bramble, PhD, a Yale alumni, believes that if he can make it out of a one room school house in Montserrat, anyone can. In the article he states, "I took advantage of educational opportunities. Rather than wait for people to do things for me, I got up and did it myself." Some of his other views are as follows:

Socialized health care: "There should be some minimum health care, but if the government pays for everything, it will crush the economy and destroy us as an economic power."

Welfare: "It's destructive to the Black family. It drove Black men out of the home."

Affirmative Action: "It's demeaning. Affirmative action virtually says that we're less than other folks. It's really sick."

Now Dr. Bramble I understand where you are coming from with these views, however, I have to disagree on a few. I think the government as well as Black people have made the instruments listed above detrimental instead of helpful. However, if used correctly they can be assets. As far as socialized health care I believe it can be made a reality, or at least a partial one, where there is more help to low income families. Let's face it Dr. Bramble not everyone is ballin and it is not necessarily because they are lazy! It is done in many European countries without a second thought so why can't we have socialized health care? I do agree with the comments on welfare though and am particularly disgusted about how it is designed to keep people ON IT instead of helping them to get OFF OF IT and NIGGAS will milk that! As far as the affirmative action comment I am just a strong believer that because of the premise on which this nation was built Blacks in America are always going to have it harder PERIOD! The founding fathers of this country were not thinking about my black ass when they were saying "All men are created equal" because my peeps were in somebody's field. And though we have come a LONG way from then we are still behind. Not to mention the people who have benefited the most from affirmative action are WHITE WOMEN!!!

Another Black Republican by the name of Preston Gray according to the article suspects that many Blacks vote Democratic without considering what they are sacrificing. He states, "We go to church. We are not supportive of gay marriage, especially not here in the south. There is not large open support for abortion. But to be a Democrat, you have to compromise these things." Do you really Mr. Gray? Am I honestly compromising my religion because I do not necessarily care what a gay couple decides to do with themselves? Or that I will not let anyone especially a MAN dictate what I want to do with my body as far as pregnancy is concerned? And who is to say that every Democrat even believes in abortion or gay marriage? Just because I say I am not a vegetarian doesn't mean I eat every type of meat. However, another Black Republican by the name of Scoggins states, "Many elements of today's (Republican) party are the antithesis of what the Republican Party was years ago. They get bogged down with moral issues and social things that would appear to be intolerant. I'm not saying you should condone gay rights, but they seem to have a fixation with it." I agree Mr Scoggins!

The article also goes into how historically the Democratic Party was "largely made up of white racists." And it wasn't until 1964 that "segregationists flocked to Republicans, touting the idea that the federal government--which had forced integration on them--should have less power over states. Meanwhile, as democrats began passing legislation addressing poverty and injustice, large numbers of African-Americans switched parties."

Many Blacks are skeptical of joining a party dominated by White southern conservatives. Political scholar Bositis referenced in the article how in the 2000 presidential campaign when Senator McCain defended South Carolina flying the Confederate flag on statehouse grounds. Bositis asked, "How could any Black Republican support a party that cherishes the Confederate flag? You have to ask, when does this 'insensitivity' get to a point where it's just racist?" (Oh yeah and McCain later apologized and said the flag should be removed. HA!) But Black Republicans raised an interesting point as well. Denice Johns stated, "No other group is predominantly one party except for us." The article states how Johns applauds Latinos for using representation in both parties as leverage to demand what they want. The main question that Black Republicans agree on that is directed at Democrats is "What have they done for us? Democrats take African Americans for granted because the day the Democratic Party has to worry about the Black vote is the day we take that first step to full political empowerment." says Michael Steele. (GOPAC Chairman)

Sorry Mr Steele I'm still not voting for McCain though. I do not think that will give me political empowerment. I do see your point though!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Keep it real! What do you think?