Sunday, November 2, 2008

Black Republicans. Who Needs Them?

Black Republicans. Who Needs Them?

I have wanted to write this column for three months, but I did not trust myself to say the right thing the right way or even the wrong thing the right way. I was trying to keep in mind a blog I had read regarding writing about political views that admonished bloggers about getting personal or indulging in name calling. That is why I have remained silent. But two days before the most momentous, historical election and one of the most outstanding, if not THE most outstanding occasion in U.S. history, I feel compelled to just let it out. In the words of our guest pastor today, Rev. Mark Wilson of Oakland, California, if you need to make a stand, JUST DO IT.

I do not have any need for Black Republicans. If that sounds blunt, it is meant to be. Let me explain. My grandmother was a Republican; southern born and raised, she was proud of the fact that she was able to register and vote. If she was still living, she would be over 100 years old, so what does that tell you? The Republican Party, at one time, may have been the party for blacks but it has not been for a very long time. But even though my grandmother was a Republican, she understood that she was black first, or in her words, Negro, and that race trumped party affiliation.

I agree with a local columnist who said that the majority of blacks are overwhelmingly conservative in some of their views. In California we are voting on a controversial measure, Proposition 8, which would ensure gay marriage. This is one that many black folks have to agree to disagree on, but that is a whole other story or blog. Because black people highly regard their church and religious views, sometimes they get the thing all mixed up. Based on a religious organization’s poll, black churches in Ohio were urging their congregants to vote according to this guide.
My God, have they lost their ever-loving minds?! Don’t fall for the okey doke black people.

I also do not have any need or respect for smug, rich or wanna be rich black folk who are so self-centered and have self-serving agendas by voting Republican because people like Donald Trump do so. In their quest to be in the company of those who make the multi-million dollar deals or desire key appointments, they forget from whence they came or from whence their ancestors came. I remember back in the 1980s when the Amway pyramid was all the rage, many black people who were in that business said they were changing to the Republican party because that is the party of the rich. Come on black people. Again, don’t fall for the okey doke.

We are not a monolith, you say. You are so right. That is my mantra; we do not all think alike, we don’t all like the same thing, have the same view or values, or talk the same talk. Should we be one party? Nope, that is not what I am saying. This is a free country and everyone has the right to choose who they support and how they vote. What I am saying and I hope it comes across, is just like my grandmother, if you are a Republican, does not mean you vote Republican. There might be a Republican worthy of voting for but it sure is not in this election. I’m saying, THINK. Think about the issues, think about how those issues affect black people and realize that a vote for the Republican candidate is not the way to go.

Most of us tuned in to the Republican convention—if only for a few minutes. It was overwhelmingly white and frankly, most of them like it that way. They kept showing the same few blacks over and over. Cindy McCain even brought an African woman onstage, her friend she called her, to demonstrate that they are “We are the world.” Not buying it.
When I see a black Republican on CNN embracing the Republican ticket, they look silly to me. They look and act like puppets. One guy even had the nerve to say that Obama running for President is a conspiracy. ??? They look like they are singing and dancing a tune for Mr. Charlie. Yeah, I said it, it’s a coon dance. Paraphrasing Kanye West here, “The Republicans don’t like black people.”

Well so much for trying to rein myself in and trying to adhere to good, political blogging etiquette. Believe it or not, I did not write near about what I truly wanted to say. But I’ll leave it at that. I have had a good day at church and the sun is shining after a blustery, cold downpour of rain on Saturday. Whew! Glad to get this off my chest. Wish I had done it months ago.

*See a likeminded opinions


'Cilla said...

Great Food for Thought Dera... :-)

Beverly said...

Dera - Well said!
The current day Republican party is not for blacks. I figure blacks that are voting for McCain/Palin are so misguided and are too far gone to change their minds.

The blacks that annoy me are those that say that they are undecided - well if you are that undecided - so vote for Obama!

Yasmin said...

'Think about the issues, think about how those issues affect black people and realize that a vote for the Republican candidate is not the way to go.'

Exactly and I heard that...thanks for voicing your's your blog for your own personal perspective, reflection and introspection...glad you went here!

Genesis said...

Great blog Dera! Say it loud...

suga said...

I totally gree with you. I can see how some Black people can be Republican. I happen to be conservative when it comes to a few issues, but as a Black person, there is no way in hell one can NOT vote for Obama, and really be ok with that decision. The current Republican candidate is not focused on helping us or anybody like us, so why even give them an inkling of support?

Southern Diva said...

Hey Dera,
I'm just now reading your post, but I wanted to say that if white middle class America truly looked at the Republican platform, THEY would not vote Republican. Republicans don't care about them. If you aren't above a certain income bracket, you are azz out. When folks start talking about what Republicans do for them, I start asking them how past Republican policies have affected the bottom line in their paycheck. How much is food, gas, etc. Have they helped your kids go to school? Can you get a loan? That usually shuts them up, and hopefully gets them thinking.

Rock on girl. Do your thing!

Shelia said...

Unfortunately over the years the Republicans haven't been reaching out to the Black community. On the evening news they showed a clip of one of the Republican governor speakers (at their convention in Miami) mentioned the fact that they need to reach out to Blacks, Hispanics and even Republicans know they are not the party for Blacks.

MilesPerHour said...

So you spoke your peace Dera. Good for you. I don't speak 1/2 of what is on my mind. When I'm quiet I get labeled, when I speak up I get labeled. I only need to answer to God and to myself.

I wish more people would "listen" and process what they hear over time before agreeing or discounting what others say. By doing this I have learned so many things about myself and others.

Dera Williams said...

Thanks all for the comments. I had to get it out. Miles, we all are going to get labeled one way or another, so we might as well speak up.

Rhonda McKnight said...

Very well said, Dera. It's interesting that Republicans largely tout a conversative Christian view, but forget it's not Christian to think about yourself and your needs alone. I've recently been furloughed at my job and while I seriously need every penny of my income since becoming a single mother, I had to agree that the furloughs were a good job and they were needed. The alternative was that people, new hires, would lose their jobs. I don't know these people, but I do know we all need to eat and pay our bills, so if I've got to pull the belt tighter, so be it. Black republicans are selfish and the selfish will someday be judged.