A couple of weeks ago, Senator Rand Paul did a courageous and unusual thing by visiting Howard University in DC. Howard is what is known as a “historically black university,” founded in the wake of the Civil War to provide opportunities for higher education to African-Americans. It’s not exactly home turf for Republicans, but that’s precisely why Paul went, in order to bridge a massive gap that is hurting the GOP.
Response to his visit was mixed, but yesterday, NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous wrote a generally supportive op-ed on CNN. Although noting that Paul missed his target in most areas, there is one area that has promise:
Paul struck out when he tried to equate today’s Republican Party with the party of Abraham Lincoln, while ignoring much of the 150 years in between. (He even acknowledged his mistakes shortly after). But his willingness to step up to the plate can provide a lesson for a GOP struggling to get on top.
Republicans will not win black votes by paying lip service to party history while attacking social programs and voting rights. But they can make inroads by showing a commitment to civil rights, something Paul managed to do briefly in his remarks.
With public acceptance of gay marriage at an all time high, social conservatives are feeling the pressure and are getting desperate. They are now planning to use race to their advantage, as an internal memo from the National Organization for Marriage reveals:
“The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks — two key Democratic constituencies,” read the memo, which outlined a plan to recruit African-American spokesmen to speak out against gay marriage, then organize a media campaign around their objections.
“Provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots,” the memo read. “No politician wants to take up and push an issue that splits the base of the party.”
Apparently NOM’s opposition to social progression doesn’t stop at marriage. Merely a few decades past the civil rights movement for black Americans, they are content to hark back to an era of racial division in an effort to provide a lifeline to their dying, antiquated philosophy of government-sanctioned social inequality.
Using the government to enforce your views onto others is anathema to the principle of liberty, but dividing a people by race to do so is a new level of disgusting.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) continued to spread his unique conservative message to a broader audience by speaking yesterday at Howard University, a school that Republican politicians typically avoid.
During the speech, Paul focused on minority rights, individual empowerment and the dangers of big government. Paul also highlighted the need for criminal justice reform and the unfairness of nation’s drug laws to Americans from all walks of life.
The focus on criminal justice reform has been gaining steam through the Right on Crime initiative in various state legislatures, including Texas, where reform has saved taxpayers $2 billion. In his speech at CPAC last month, Virginia Attorney Ken Cuccinelli challenged the “tough on crime” approach that conservatives had taken in the past and urged them to lead the way in “changing the culture of corrections in America.”
The approach taken by Paul, who has co-sponsored legislation with Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) to reform federal mandatory minimums, is intriguing given that his speech was at a historically black college to an audience that has been disproportionately affected by the country’s drug laws.
Thomas Sowell, a renowned free market economist and author, recently talked about his new book, Intellectuals and Race, in an appearance on Fox News. During the interview, Sowell, who is an African-American, told Tucker Carlson that minimum wage laws have hurt black workers:
In an appearance on Fox News Channel’s “Hannity” with fill-in host and Daily Caller editor in chief Tucker Carlson, author Thomas Sowell argued that the federal minimum wage law has been used to undermine companies that employ blacks.
In the fourth quarter of 2012, the black unemployment rate was more than double the rate for whites. But prior to the 1930s, Sowell said, black unemployment was actually lower than white unemployment.
“What changed was the government intervention into the labor market,” Sowell said. “1930 was the last year in which there was no federal minimum wage. They brought in the Davis Bacon Act.”
As we near the end of February, this article also closes a series in honor of Black History Month. In previous articles, we’ve reviewed the establishment of the Republican Party for the express purpose of ending the moral failure of slavery. We’ve looked at the accomplishments of Republicans in securing liberty for black Americans, from the passage of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments, to the 1866 Civil Rights Act (with Democrats refusing to uphold the law, and a Democrat-appointed Supreme Court later repealing the laws). We also looked at the violent, bloody history of Democrats and their sister organization, the Ku Klux Klan, which terrorized and murdered thousands of blacks.
Despite the clear facts outlined in history, somehow the Democrat Party has audaciously claimed the mantel as the party that protects blacks, a claim as ridiculous as it is incredulous. Granted, the Democrat Party no longer relies on cross-burning and lynching to keep blacks in their place. However, today it uses far more subtle and sinister tactics to keep blacks on the government “plantation”. And despite their public proclamation of love for blacks in America, their private comments, and the disastrous results of Democrat policies, show us that the Democrats are not now, nor have they ever been, a friend to blacks.
February being Black History month, we continue a review of the long relationship between the Republican Party and black Americans. In the previous two articles, we discussed the establishment of the Republican Party for the specific purpose of ending slavery, and the backlash from pro-slavery Democrats (including a slavery critic being beaten almost to death by a pro-slavery senator) which ultimate led to the commencement of the War Between the States.
We noted the 13th (ending slavery), 14th (extending rights to former slaves) and 15th (securing voting rights for blacks) Amendments, as well as the first Civil Rights Act (passed in 1866) all have a common thread…they were passed by Republicans and viciously opposed by Democrats. Democrat President Andrew Johnson would refuse to enforce the law, and a Democrat-appointed Supreme Court would later rule them unconstitutional. Over the next hundred years following the passage of these amendments and the Civil Rights Act, Democrats fought Republican efforts to secure equality for blacks at every turn, often by violent means.
When Republicans began impeachment proceedings against Democrat President Andrew Johnson, he famously declared “This is a country for white men, and by God, as long as I am President, it shall be a government of white men!” It surely must have galled Johnson when, less than two months later, Pinckney Pinchback and James Harris attended the Republican National Convention, the first black men to ever serve as major party delegates. In the fall of that year, the Democrats announced the slogan for their national convention, “This is a white man’s country: Let white men rule”. It was roundly denounced by the Republican Party.
In honor of February being Black History Month, I thought it might be informative to look at one aspect of the history of blacks in America; namely, the history of blacks and the Republican Party. Though black voters in America have in recent decades become a monolithic voting block for the Democrat Party, such has not always been the case. In fact, I think it would come as a great surprise for many blacks today to learn that not only have Republicans not always been thought of as their political enemies, they once had a political and ideological alliance. Even today these two groups agree on a wide range of issues, from educational choice and traditional marriage, to the importance of religion, specifically Christianity, to our history and culture.
On March 20, 1854, a group of people opposed to the Democrats’ policies supporting slavery met in Ripon, Wisconsin with the express purpose of organizing to end the moral evil of slavery. Just ten days later, on March 30th, President Franklin Pierce, a Democrat, signed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, a law which authorized the expansion of slavery into U.S. territories. As a result, these anti-slavery members of the Whig and Free-Soil Democrats would form the Republican Party, and within a few short years had established a major power base in the northeastern and Midwestern states.
In 1856, the Republican Party held its first national nominating convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where it nominated John C. Freemont as their presidential candidate. Freemont ran under the slogan “Free soil, free silver, free men, Fremont”. He would lose that election to Democrat James Buchanan after Democrats warned the election of the anti-slavery Freemont would lead to civil war, but despite the loss in the 1856 election, the Republicans had established themselves as a major party, and would win the presidency just four years later with Abraham Lincoln.
President Obama been bleeding support at such an alarming rate that I’m surprised his presidency hasn’t put in an IV yet. The latest news may be the most troubling for his campaign, and that’s the fact that he seems to be losing support in the black community. The Washington Post reports that Obama’s support has eroded more than I honestly ever thought it would.
New cracks have begun to show in President Obama’s support amongst African Americans, who have been his strongest supporters. Five months ago, 83 percent of African Americans held “strongly favorable” views of Obama, but in a new Washington Post-ABC news poll that number has dropped to 58 percent. That drop is similar to slipping support for Obama among all groups.
“There is a certain amount of racial loyalty and party loyalty, but eventually that was going to have to weaken,” said Andra Gillespie, a political scientist at Emory University, who studies African Americans. “It’s understandable given the economy.”
Understandable, maybe, but a 25 point drop?
The truth is that Obama has been losing support among all groups for a while now. The fact that the president is losing “his” group as well isn’t unusual. People want things like jobs. For better or worse, they blame the president in power. The reality is that, while I am nothing close to an Obama supporter, I’ll be the first to tell you that the only jobs President Obama can really create are government jobs (and even those Congress has to technically create).
The Congressional Black Caucus admits that they’re doing things differently because Obama is in the White House than if someone else, like even Bill Clinton, were sitting there. I picked it up in a piece over at The Hill.
Unhappy members of the Congressional Black Caucus “probably would be marching on the White House” if Obama were not president, according to CBC Chairman Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.).
“If [former President] Bill Clinton had been in the White House and had failed to address this problem, we probably would be marching on the White House,” Cleaver told “The Miami Herald” in comments published Sunday. “There is a less-volatile reaction in the CBC because nobody wants to do anything that would empower the people who hate the president.”
In this instance, the problem is the unemployment rate for African-Americans that is still moving upwards. Members of the caucus want action, but don’t want to undermine the president.
“We’re supportive of the president, but we getting tired, y’all,” Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) said in August. “We want to give [Obama] every opportunity, but our people are hurting. The unemployment is unconscionable. We don’t know what the strategy is.”
The thing that bugs me is that, if by their own admission they’re treating Obama different, aren’t they simply doing the exact same thing they would criticize others for? After all, they’re giving preferential treatment to Obama because of his skin color. How is this not racism?
Here’s a lesson for my friends on the left. Grab a pencil and take notes please, because this is important. Contrary to what someone like Rep. Andre Carson and his staff claim, opposition to a policy that benefits a minority does not mean that someone opposes those minority groups. I’ll say it again, opposition to a policy that benefits a minority does not mean that someone opposes those minority groups.
Rep. Carson recently compared Tea Party activists to violent racists when he said, in a video that Glenn Beck got hold of:
“Some of these folks in Congress would love to see us as second-class citizens. Some of them in Congress right now of this tea party movement would love to see you and me … hanging on a tree,” Carson said, according to the audio.On Wednesday, Carson told CNN he stood by those remarks.
“Well, I wasn’t talking about the entire tea party. I think the tea party is absolutely right when they call for increased transparency in government, when they call for a cutback on excessive government spending. I am deeply concerned about some elements of the tea party who are extremist and who have reflected a mentality going back to the John Birch society, going back to George Wallace’s Dixiecrats,” Carson said.
Then there’s this from a Carson aide, trying to clarify where the Representative was coming from: