Are Black Republicans Obsolete?

The GOP just elected a black chairman, but most of the reasons for being a Republican have disappeared.


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They are black Republicans...

A rapidly disappearing political subculture that seeks legitimacy by asserting that they are something different, something special—the other dark meat. They define themselves—with a quizzical ethos of inverse snobbery often mistaken for self-loathing—by what they are not: Al Sharpton, in need of affirmative action, or “like those other black people.”

Of course, now one of those “other” black people is president and the Republican Party is in disarray with its small contingent of black members getting smaller all the time. So while a black man has been elected chairman of the Republican National Committee, the question now has to be asked: Are black Republicans obsolete?

Despite Michael Steele’s triumph at the RNC meeting on Friday, the rise of President Barack Obama has fundamentally undermined the five pillars of black Republicanism.

1. Drive-By “Snooting”

Sometimes you just want to stand out from the crowd—maybe you wear red to Diddy’s “white party” or you put 20s on your Prius.

Being a black Republican is a lot like being a Lakers fan from Boston—you get a lot of attention simply because you don’t pull for the home team. Ninety percent of black people support the Democratic Party, so by becoming a black Republican, you place yourself in a more select, if not refined, category. People sort of admire you for being a “maverick.” But they seldom stop to ask: What, exactly, is so admirable about the instinct to put as much distance as possible between yourself and your community?