I have received a lot of criticism from conservatives, both black and white, about my argument that "Sending black Republicans to recruit black people is like sending lamb chops to recruit lambs." Meanwhile, many liberals were quick to point out the obvious: black Republicans aren't really promoted to recruit blacks in the first place, but to defend conservative racism and give independents some assurance that the GOP is vaguely representative of America. Many of my critics have suggested that blacks vote for black candidates solely on the basis of race and that my previous pieces such as this one, simply make statements without facts and without a grounding in history. So here, I offer real numbers to support my claim that black don't vote based on race but on party affiliation and why. It is an edit of my edited review of a chapter of a book penned by a black conservative and addresses his claim that the "party switch of the 1960's never happened.
So for a number of years, I've been watching the YouTube videos of a black conservative named Alfonzo Rachel. "Zo" calls himself, "A Christian conservative Republican patriot". Recently, he released a book called "Weapon of A.S.S. Destruction." A.S.S. is said to stand for “American Socialist States”. The first chapter covers a topic near and dear to Zo's heart--it is entitled "The So-Called Party Switch".
But first, just a little background. I don't know if you are aware, but the GOP got its ass kicked in the last election. President Obama was re-elected with 93% of the black vote. That is high, even for a Democrat, but not THAT much higher than normal. Really. For example, President Clinton won 83% of the black vote in 1992 and 84% in 1996. Al Gore received a whopping 90% of the black vote. And even Michael Dukakis won 89% of the vote in his losing election. Before him, Jimmy Carter won 83%. It's fair to say that since at least the 1960's African-Americans have consistently and overwhelmingly voted Democrat.
This has been a source of frustration for Republicans for decades because there was a time when many blacks in America were Republicans--and for good reason. Republicans see blacks continuing to vote Democrat at such high percentages to be bad news--but they see the high numbers of blacks that have voted in the last two presidential elections to be nothing less than an existential threat to the party. In this, they are correct-- but its not just us, good folks of the GOP. In 2012, Obama won Latinos (the fastest growing demographic in America) at 71%, Jews at 69%, and (oh, this one hurts SO bad!) Asians by 73%.
Many party pundits, such as Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, and Sean Hannity will be happy to tell you that black people voted Democrat because they want "free stuff". And Latinos voted Democrat because they love illegal immigration. And white women are sluts and want free contraception AND abortions so they voted Democrat. Jews are all bleeding heart communists, of course. But Asians…hard-working, studious, generally prosperous, conservative, upstanding Asians… how could THEY?
Could it be because they realize that you are the party that cares least about people? And maybe, just maybe, that had something to do with why blacks, Latinos, Jews, gays, and yes, so very many white people, voted Democratic, too?
Zo states that the "so-called party switch" is often said to have happened as part of the Southern Strategy of the 1960's when Republicans began to appeal directly to racist southern Democrats, thereby alienating black voters. But, he argues that blacks were already voting Democrat by then. And he's right. Blacks voted for Democrat Franklin Roosevelt by about 70% in 1932 even though a majority of blacks still saw themselves as Republicans. FDR got similar numbers for the next two election and by 1948, after President Truman had desegregated the military and issued an executive order against racial bias in federal hiring, a majority of blacks identified as Democrat and Truman received 77% of the vote. And President Lyndon Johnson, after passing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlawing segregation in public places, received 94% of the black vote.
94%! For a southern white man!
In 1965, that same Democrat passed the Voting Rights Act. That's why I shake my head at claims of obvious bias when black people vote for black Democrat Barack Hussein Obama by similar numbers.
And why were we voting Democrat?
According to Zo, it was because Democrats gave us "entitlements"--"stuff". But what stuff? The right to not be discriminated against in our jobs in the military? The right to be treated equally in hiring for federal employment? The right to NOT be banned from a restaurant because of the color of our skin? The right to have our votes protected? Is that what passes for entitlements in the Land of Republicans?
Zo thinks it's a big deal that Democrat Lyndon Johnson supposedly said about pushing through the Civil Rights Act of 1964, "I'll have those ni**ers voting Democrat for the next 200 years." Well, clutch my pearls! A politician thinks passing legislation will help he and his party win votes! Why this is unheard of! I guess that's why right-wingers are always introducing stupid, dead on arrival bills that do NOTHING but pander to their base--bills to outlaw already illegal Sharia Law for example…
He thinks blacks should support the party that disparages the poor, women, and gays and is against better health care and even food safety standards. This is a group that barely believes in public education.
Oddly, Zo is very clear on the historical racism and disenfranchisement of black Americans when it is done by white Democrats. He is telling his readers--and the target of his book is most decidedly NOT black people--that black people don't know that the Democratic party in America has a long history of racism.
But we do.
It's just that blacks typically don't view racism through a political party prism. We just see it as...racism. Zo thinks blacks spend too much time talking about it anyway and mostly only discusses it when he's attributing it to white Democrats or to suggest that blacks that point out racism are the real racists.
It's almost as if he is only interested in discussing racism when it benefits the party he supports…but then he gets upset when someone calls him bad names and suggests he's carrying water for Republicans.
As for those of you who follow Zo, you should know that he is just wrong about this. He is leading you astray. Blacks don't support the Democratic party because they believe it has always supported them. They support the Democratic party because they believe it supports them now. And compared to the Republican party, it most certainly does.
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