What is it about black Republicans that make black Democrats cuss them, ignore them or call them names?
When I was a Democrat, I never paid much attention to the negativity hurled at black Republicans probably because I never bought into the habit of gossiping about people or calling them names. My main focus had always been about people’s deeds – whether positive or negative. I judged people by what they did, not by who they were.
So it came as a culture shock when I switched to the Republican Party – mainly because of how other people began to treat me. Here I was the same person, but with a different political perspective brought on by what I saw as hypocrisy in the way in which the black community was treated by the Democratic Party.
No longer was I “one of us.” I was now “one of them.” And then I saw the reality of viciousness. I even wrote a poem, entitled “Why Do You Call Me Names?” published in 2000.
Fourteen years later it still amazes me how deep the hatred goes for black Republicans –without any foundation. No one has ever been able to give me a rational determination as to why.
But it is there – a deeply engrained animosity – magnified by the level of horrific names attributed to us. Even more so when we dare articulate our reasons for not voting Democrat.
And, Heaven forbid, we say something negative about Obama. If this was Salem, we would be burned at the stake.
It is within this framework that makes the roadblocks set up by black Democrats for black Republican political candidates much more difficult to knock down. So decent intelligent Republican candidates have a harder row to hoe.
Former Maryland Lt. Governor Michael Steele had his face painted like “Little Black Sambo” in a newspaper article when he ran for Congress. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was depicted as a welfare-cheating “Aunt Jemima” in a cartoon.
And we all know what has been said about Colin Powell, J.C. Watts and Alan Keyes – Uncle Toms, House N*****s. And those are just the names we can print.
NFL great, Lynn Swann, got elected to the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame, taking the Pittsburgh Steelers to the Super Bowl three times with black folk screaming his name, but couldn’t get them to vote for him for Governor of Pennsylvania in 2006 because he was a Republican.
He would have been the first African-American governor of Pennsylvania. By the way, there were three black gubernatorial candidates that year, including Ohio Republican Kenneth Blackwell, who also lost. Only the Democratic candidate, Deval Patrick, won in Massachusetts.
When Allen West ran (and won) for Congress the first time, his social security number along with other very personal information was published in a newsletter sent to over 60,000 Democrats. Information about his wife and children were also published, causing one of his daughters to lose a scholarship to college and his wife to lose one of her most lucrative contracts.
And that’s the way it has been for almost every black Republican candidate, particularly those for Congress. One of my Democratic friends said that it would be 250 years before a black Republican would be elected to Congress.
Why? Well, he couldn’t really give me an intelligent answer. Just that they would have to be Democrat to get elected. Translation: black folk will only vote for a Democrat.
Funny, black folk swear that Republicans are racists. But when white Republicans will vote for a black Republican (man or woman) to represent them and black folk won’t, then who’s the real racist?
Thankfully, more and more, black Republicans are winning their races every year, thanks primarily to white Republicans, ask Congresswoman Mia Love and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), the first African-American from the South to win a Senate seat since the 1870s.
In January, 2014, the president of the South Carolina NAACP, the Rev. William Barber II (a minister no less) called Senator Tim Scott a “Ventriloquist Dummy.” It was one of the nastiest names hurled at an elected official that I have heard. And it came from a black preacher who ran the agency created to protect blacks from racism.
The same goes for Congresswoman Mia Love, the first Haitian-American, the first black female Republican in Congress and the first black person to be elected from the State of Utah, according to Wikipedia. Mia had ugly things written about her by black liberals.
Only Black Republicans, including me, had positive things to say or write about her. She took it all in stride. I don’t know what infuriated liberals more – that she was Republican, Haitian, Mormon or married to a white Mormon.
Such bias is blatant hypocrisy from a community who is supposedly Christian and followers of Jesus Christ.
Barbara Howard is a political consultant, radio host and commentator and motivational speaker. She is Florida State chairwoman for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and Trade & Travel goodwill ambassador to Kenya. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.