Black Republicans: More a Ripple Than a Wave
Despite their failures in the 2010 primaries, black Republicans are erasing the shameful legacy of the Southern strategy and modern black politics.
All can be overcome, but not overnight. Therefore, the black Republican wave of 2010 cannot be viewed as a lightning-in-a-bottle phenomenon. Instead, it is a sledgehammer, hitting a political wall built on racism and division. The wall will fall, but it will take more than one blow.
It will take more than just black Republican efforts within the conservative movement to erase the legacy of the Southern Strategy. It will take a change of approach in black America as well. As long as many African Americans continue to view black Republicans with disdain without engaging them in proper political discourse or debate, black Republicans will have to maintain their journey toward political balance in America while battling stereotypes on all fronts. Regardless of church affiliations, school associations and family ties, black Republicans continue to be forced to ''prove themselves'' both as valid conservatives to the GOP and as proud African Americans to the black community. Until both conservatives and black Americans understand that this never-ending litmus test hurts them more than it does black Republicans, both groups will fail to optimize their political strength.
The litmus test forces some black conservatives to avoid speaking out for fear of being ''called out.'' For black America, the litmus test only promotes the anger and hatred we profess to oppose from white racists. A quick perusal of the chat rooms and response boards (including the one to Mr. Jefferson's article earlier this week) highlights in words the walls that the black Republican wave hits regularly. The spitting incident around the health care vote in March and the assault on a conservative protester in North Carolina bring home this reality as well.
Rest assured, the black Republican wave has not petered out. Instead, it follows the ebb and flow that our ancestors endured during their efforts to advance America. Every political or social change in America was won through persistence. The black Republican wave is no different. The ripples of progress are there, even if the primaries of 2010 did not deliver a tidal wave of election-night victories.
Lenny McAllister is a syndicated political commentator and the author of the book, Diary of a Mad Black PYC (Proud Young Conservative). He is featured regularly on outlets including CNN, Fox News and XM Radio. Follow him on Twitter.