Friday, September 22, 2006

A Note of Caution to Black Republicans

A recent radio ad by the National Black Republican Association airing in Maryland has quite a few (listen here) people visibly upset:

Pam: Dr. King was a real man. Tina: You know . . he was a Republican. Pam: Dr. King, a Republican? Really? Tina: Democrats passed those Black Codes and Jim Crow laws. Democrats started the Ku Klux Klan. Pam: The Klan . . . White hoods and sheets?! Tina: Democrats fought ALL Civil Rights Legislation from the 1860’s to the 1960’s. Democrats released those vicious dogs and fire hoses on blacks. Pam: Seriously! Tina: And the Dixiecrats? Remained Democrats and vowed to vote for a yellow dog, before a Republican. Republicans freed us from slavery and put our right to vote in the Constitution. Pam: What? Tina: Republicans started the NAACP, affirmative action and the HBCU’s.

OK - when looking at the facts, as shocking and difficult to accept as it may be, African Americans were overwhelmingly Republican up until the Great Depression, when a rather dramatic and massive switch took place. It's difficult to dispute that fact - and many other unsavory facts about the Democratic party. Why should we even try - simply put: it's all history.

The real question here is if it really matters in the modern political scheme of things. Both parties are carrying a pretty heavy load of disturbing baggage, so it's hard to point fingers at one in an effort to absolve the other of any wrongdoing. Bottom line is that both parties are dominated and owned by White folks who could care less where Black folks end up so long as they get a few "colored" votes to get a few of their prized candidates over the top.

A note of caution still to Black Republicans. We understand you're feeling a bit hype over these high profile Black GOP candidates who've been nominated in some major battleground state races. And, you're really hype over Lt. Gov. Michael Steele's prospects at winning the Senate in Maryland - yeah, we know all about that. He's got a good shot at it. But, when you start running noxious advertisements that can potentially offend the sensibilities of a ... well ... sensitive Black electorate, you could end up potentially destroying those chances. Blowing up Steele's Republican spot is not the way to campaign - and there's a long history of foul-mouthed Black GOP activists losing the masses in misguided rhetoric.

This ad, and the zealous partisanship of Black Republicans campaigning their cause in Maryland, could seriously damage the chances of a Black GOP nominee that is trying hard to distance himself from the GOP. Still, being a Republican was his choice ...