Race and Republicans

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I was honored to speak today on Arise.tv about the role of African-Americans in the Republican party.

There’s only so much you can say in seconds-long sound bites, particularly when many charges are being leveled at you with machine gun rapid fire. But the one false accusation still resonating with me hours later, one that still has me spitting mad, is that Allen West and other GOP minorities are somehow token poster children for “white guilt.”

On-air, I was (and still am) the first to concede that after “taking one on the jaw” as LTC West put it in his CPAC speech, the GOP is doing some much needed soul searching on a wide variety of issues with respect to its brand image. However, the Republican Party doesn’t need an infusion of “Roots,” it merely needs to reconnect with its (well documented) roots.

Those intimately familiar with the history of the Republican Party know that some of its first elected leaders were Black men. Men freed thanks to the Republican Party!

As this chart from Black Americans in Congress (BAIC) shows, there were no Blacks elected in the Democrat Party until 1935, some sixty years after the first elected Black Republicans:

Congress* Name State Party Service

41st (1869-1871) LONG,Jefferson Franklin GA Republican House
41st (1869-1871) RAINEY, Joseph Hayne SC Republican House
41st (1869-1871) REVELS, Hiram Rhodes MS Republican Senate

42nd (1871-1873) DE LARGE, Robert Carlos SC Republican House
42nd (1871-1873) ELLIOTT, Robert Brown SC Republican House
42nd (1871-1873) RAINEY, Joseph Hayne SC Republican House
42nd (1871-1873) TURNER, Benjamin Sterling AL Republican House
42nd (1871-1873) WALLS, Josiah Thomas FL Republican House

43rd (1873-1875) CAIN, Richard Harvey SC Republican House
43rd (1873-1875) ELLIOTT, Robert Brown SC Republican House
43rd (1873-1875) LYNCH, John Roy MS Republican House
43rd (1873-1875) RAINEY, Joseph Hayne SC Republican House
43rd (1873-1875) RANSIER, Alonzo Jacob SC Republican House
43rd (1873-1875) RAPIER, James Thomas AL Republican House
43rd (1873-1875) WALLS, Josiah Thomas FL Republican House

44th (1875-1877) BRUCE, Blanche Kelso MS Republican Senate
44th (1875-1877) HARALSON, Jeremiah AL Republican House
44th (1875-1877) HYMAN, John Adams NC Republican House
44th (1875-1877) LYNCH, John Roy MS Republican House
44th (1875-1877) NASH, Charles Edmund LA Republican House
44th (1875-1877) RAINEY, Joseph Hayne SC Republican House
44th (1875-1877) SMALLS, Robert SC Republican House
44th (1875-1877) WALLS, Josiah Thomas FL Republican House

45th (1877-1879) BRUCE, Blanche Kelso MS Republican Senate
45th (1877-1879) CAIN, Richard Harvey SC Republican House
45th (1877-1879) RAINEY, Joseph Hayne SC Republican House
45th (1877-1879) SMALLS, Robert SC Republican House

46th (1879-1881) BRUCE, Blanche Kelso MS Republican Senate

47th (1881-1883) LYNCH, John Roy MS Republican House
47th (1881-1883) SMALLS, Robert SC Republican House

48th (1883-1885) O’HARA, James Edward NC Republican House
48th (1883-1885) SMALLS, Robert SC Republican House

49th (1885-1887) O’HARA, James Edward NC Republican House
49th (1885-1887) SMALLS, Robert SC Republican House

51st (1889-1891) CHEATHAM, Henry Plummer NC Republican House
51st (1889-1891) LANGSTON, John Mercer VA Republican House
51st (1889-1891) MILLER, Thomas Ezekiel SC Republican House

52nd (1891-1893) CHEATHAM, Henry Plummer NC Republican House

53rd (1893-1895) MURRAY, George Washington SC Republican House

54th (1895-1897) MURRAY, George Washington SC Republican House

55th (1897-1899) WHITE, George Henry NC Republican House

56th (1899-1901) WHITE, George Henry NC Republican House

71st (1929-1931) DE PRIEST, Oscar Stanton IL Republican House

72nd (1931-1933) DE PRIEST, Oscar Stanton IL Republican House

73rd (1933-1935) DE PRIEST, Oscar Stanton IL Republican House

74th (1935-1937) MITCHELL, Arthur Wergs IL Democrat House

History speaks for itself: Republicans freed the slaves and Republicans championed Civil Rights. With the rise of the Tea Party, Conservatives are reconnecting with our historical legacy, and emerging from our ranks are strong men and women of color like Allen West, Mia Long, Star Parker, Tim Scott and Marco Rubio. These are not “tokens;” these are men and women convinced that limited government and free market solutions provide the best opportunities for all Americans, including those of color.

History has shown the GOP to be very different from the “bigots” the Left routinely paints them to be. Nor are they “anti-women,” as guest host Karen Hunter charged this morning, but rather champions of the rights of women from the womb, particularly Black women, who are more likely to be aborted than born, as a recent statistic out of New York shows.

Ms. Hunter went on to say that former RNC Chairman, Michael Steele was merely a counter-measure to the election of Barack Obama. Now, faithful readers know I have had my fair share of gripes about Mr. Steele, but being a “token” isn’t one of them. During Mr. Steele’s candidacy, did anyone from his party talk about his “Negro dialect” (that he could turn off “at will”) or call him “clean and articulate” (as opposed to what, I’d like to know — “dirty and inarticulate?”). Not only was then-Senator Obama called that, he went on to choose the author of that latter remark as his running mate! Only in the DNC could something like that happen, and yet the GOP is painted with the “raaaacist” brush!

Ah, facts (and the indelible memory of the Internet) – enemies of the Left. The next time you hear that “racist rhetoric” from your friendly neighborhood Lefty, please set them straight, or send them here!

* List does not include Joseph Willis Menard who was elected to the House of Representatives in 1868, but, in a contested race, was not allowed to be seated.

Photo Credit: New York Public Library

Black Conservatives: The New Revolution

In the days of slavery, there were small groups of black people who stood up and said, “This isn’t right.” They refused to be treated as property; as lesser people who were brought around in carts, and lined up to have their teeth inspected by potential owners. Something deep inside of them refused to be chained and beaten and worked like dogs for the simple privilege of living another day. So they began a revolution. Few and alone, they began to speak and to organize those who were brave enough. They were met with opposition, even by the majority of their own people, who thought that they were crazy to dare to dream of freedom. But the more they talked and the more they shared their dream, the more determined they were to escape to a better way of life. So this small group of people began to link their arms together. And these people, taken from their homeland and devoid of a traditional education, became strong enough to overcome their bonds. And though they had been mocked by their own people, those very brethren gained more than they could ever dream by the sacrifices of this small group; a small group that made a big difference.

In the 1960’s there were small groups of black people who stood up and said, “This isn’t right.” They refused to be treated as lesser people who were not given the basic rights most other Americans enjoyed. Something deep inside of them refused to ride in the back of the bus, drink out of separate fountains, or be denied service in restaurants. So they began a revolution. Few and alone, they began to speak and to organize those who were brave enough. They were met with opposition, even by the majority of their own people, who thought that they were crazy to dare to dream of equal rights. But the more they talked and the more they shared their dream, the more determined they were to be treated as equals. So this small group of people began to link their arms together. And these people, deprived of basic human rights, began to claim their place as American citizens, deserving of equal value. And though they had been mocked by their own people, those very brethren gained more than they could ever dream by the sacrifices of this small group; a small group that made a big difference.

In 2010 there is a small group of black people who are standing up and saying, “This isn’t right.” We refuse to be treated as lesser people who must be spoon-fed by the liberal government for everything that we get. Something deep inside of us refuses to be told that we will forever live off of welfare and be given a free ride through college only because we are needed to fill a quota or because we can play a sport well. So we are beginning a revolution. Few and alone, we are beginning to speak and to organize those of us who are brave enough. We are being met with opposition, even by the majority of our own people, who think that we are crazy to dare to believe that we can live our lives through faith in God and our intelligence, ingenuity and creativity. But the more we are talking and the more we share our dream, the more determined we become that we will not compromise our faith and values to serve a system that does not believe in us. So, this small group of people are linking our arms together. And we, standing strong on our faith in God, and our belief in our own people, are beginning to claim our place as African-American conservatives. And though we are being mocked by our own people, our brethren will gain more than they could ever dream by the sacrifices of this small group; a small group that will make a big difference.