traceyricksfoster_web.jpgEDITOR'S NOTE: The following opinion piece is a response to Barbara Howard’s Sept. 19 column titled, “Are Black Media Fair to Black Republicans?’’ Howard’s column accused black media of being unfair to black Republicans.

I am a part of the “Black Media’’ and I am in agreement with portions of your assessment.  I, too, was more than a little concerned about the partiality displayed by the “Black Media” in regards to the lack of coverage of the Republican National Convention.

However, I do not believe that black Republicans should be too broken up about it. Why? Frankly, because the majority of the African-American community finds the policies of the GOP to be lopsided, favoring the once-existing upper middle class, big corporations and the rich.

The Republican Party has shown Americans time and time again just exactly where its allegiances reside. It is definitely not residing in middle America, nor in the working-class poor.

The Republican Party has consistently proven over and over again that it doesn’t care about the “people” who work minimum wage jobs, struggling to provide for their families, hoping for some type of relief.

Republicans have a long record of stepping on the necks of African Americans; that record begins with President Richard Nixon and his lies about ending the Vietnam War upon being elected. Thousands upon thousands of young African American men lost their lives. Upon returning home, these Vietnam vets returned to zero jobs and drug addiction.

Next, President Gerald Ford continued the policies of Nixon, which led hundreds of thousands of African-American men to lose their jobs because of the economy and the closing of automotive plants, which killed African-American cities and sent millions into poverty and urban rot/decay.

President Jimmy Carter came in and realized that to fix the economy, a lot of changes would have to be made. This would take time. He was promptly ushered out.

Enter the Reagan Years. President Reagan destroyed whatever was left of the

African-American community. He imposed higher taxes. Unemployment was at an all-time high, and welfare and government cheese were the staples of urban America. AIDS ran rampant, and Reagan did absolutely nothing. Crack stomped out what seed may have remained.

After Reagan, the first George Bush sent us to a war that no one fully understood, and gave us more of the same.

President Bill Clinton took over in ‘92, and over the next eight years, this man turned around the economy, foreign affairs and other important issues for African Americans and the
country. For the first time since JFK, African Americans embraced a president who was truly for the people.

George W. Bush has come in and dismantled everything that Clinton did. Bush II has destroyed the economy. He has thrown America into an unjustified war based on a lie.
Unemployment is the highest it’s been in 17 years! Osama Bin Laden is still on the loose. The Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the greatest singular crime of terrorism that America has experienced since Pearl Harbor, has gone unpunished; the main culprit has not been apprehended.

I could go on. The Republican Party, in general, gets no love from the African-American community, and it is more than puzzled over the fact that there are “Black Republicans.”

The Republican Party has never done anything concrete for African Americans since Abraham Lincoln,  when he begrudgingly emancipated slaves. Now, from a traditional journalistic philosophy, we should be impartial and neutral. But the “Black Media” has chosen to take a stand and support Obama and the Democrats.

So, “Black Republicans” should continue what they are doing, and when their party finally ends its systematic extermination of the African-American community, perhaps the “Black Media” will give them a platform.

Tracey Ricks Foster has written political and community articles for The Michigan Citizen, The Front Page, The Michigan Chronicle and Muhammad Speaks, and was the contributing editor of F. Alan Monthly, all of which are black newspapers, periodicals or journals. She also started her own magazine called Imani, a quarterly digest about career-oriented African-American women in Detroit.