Thursday, February 02, 2006

Republicans and Blacks

This is something I've been thinking about for a while. Perhaps Republicans need to forget about trying to convert blacks from the Democrats. It's not likely to happen anytime soon. The more poorer, blue collar, or even liberal amongst us are not likely to vote Republican anytime soon.

Indeed there are polls that suggest that blacks getting out of college are more open minded about their political affiliation than say their parents or grandparents were. In addition to that I do believe there is a ready constituency or there have always have been in the black community who might be willing to consider voting Republican. The only gripe I have against Republicans is that they lack a presence in the black community. Especially in Chicago the only office I've seen in a predominantly black ward in Chicago is one that I'm pretty sure no longer operates and that's on 71st and Stony Island just before you cross the Metra Electric tracks on 71st.

Unfortunately since Republicans are generally not winners in Chicago or to some extent in Cook County, they don't get as much attention. Of course you have to look hard to find Republicans from Cook County and Chicago. Some may even have had some success in elections against powerful local political figures.

Well in any event this article from Thomas Sowell confirms my idea. Think about this...
When Republicans from time to time try to reach out to blacks, they tend to do so ineptly, if not ridiculously. For reasons unknown, they seem to want to appeal to black voters in the same ways that Democrats appeal to black voters, by adopting a liberal stance.

Why would anyone who wants liberalism go for a Republican imitation when they can get the real thing from Democrats? Republicans do not have a snowball's chance in hell of winning the votes of liberal blacks.

Nor are they likely to win a majority of the black vote as a whole any time soon. But if Republicans can get just a fourth or a fifth of the black vote nationwide, that can shift the balance of power decisively in their favor.
This is a good column. They talk about Republican attempts to make inroads...

Back in 1997, when black Republican Congressman J.C. Watts denounced people like Jesse Jackson and then D.C. mayor Marion Barry as "race-hustling poverty pimps," House Speaker Newt Gingrich took it upon himself to apologize to Jesse Jackson.


Another conservative black Republican who had the rug pulled out from under him was Michael Williams, when he was in charge of civil rights at the Department of Education. Mr. Williams ruled that setting aside scholarships exclusively for minority students was racial discrimination in violation of civil rights laws.

This courageous ruling was over-ruled in the first Bush administration, leaving Michael Williams with egg on his face.

The article talks a little bit about Ohio Ken Blackwell who's running in the Republican primary for governor. He talks about how the Republicans in Ohio try to be like Democrats. So I guess for this reason Sowell sees Blackwell ....

...a golden opportunity for Republicans, not only in that state but on the national political scene as well. Still, Mr. Blackwell would do well to watch his back.
Republicans and Blacks by Thomas Sowell from FrontPage Magazine

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