The question per what is going on in the Republican Party can be summed up succinctly: the conservative base – in particular the evangelical Christian contingent of same – has no viable candidate left in the presidential nominee selection contest – but they do have a choice to which they strenuously object.
Accordingly, for Republicans the Super Tuesday primary had an understandably low turnout across the board. Couple that with declining dollars being donated to Republican campaigns as a whole, and if the Republican National Committee hasn't yet taken notice, this would be a good time to start.
The question of how blacks should view the Republican Party is one with a similarly reasonable explanation. Blacks should view said Party intelligently. But therein lies the rub, i.e., how does one define intelligently?
When I say we should look the Republican Party intelligently, I mean we must put aside the mindset of specifically exclusive "black agendas." We must view ourselves as part of the whole of America – not marginalize ourselves as a sub group with limited self-interests. We must look at the complete picture, not just a microsm of same.
The pitfall far too many find themselves in is one of resentment, not because we have it worse than non-blacks, but because viewing others as having it better because of the color of their skin is the primal screed used to secure our vote. The realities of life are the realities of life. They are seldom based on color of skin, but rather on conditions that affect all equally, regardless of ethnicity.
We must be open to that which concerns us as citizens of the whole. Quality of education, struggles to make ends meet, affordable healthcare, employment, retirement, national security, taxes, crime, affordable energy, ad nauseum, are not color sensitive.
To concentrate exclusively on Afro-centric concerns that ultimately serve only to empower those who would disaffect us, regardless of party affiliation, is myopic and self-defeating.
Growing up in a home with no indoor plumbing, no electricity, and a mother who scrubbed floors – I was infused with but one constant – hard work, "stick-to-itiveness," and a good education was the way to a better future than my 8th grade educated mother had in her present. I was taught that it would not be the color of my skin that held me back, nor would it be what politicians promised me that brought advancement. I was taught that it would be the opportunities I took advantage of.
This is the same message I share with my son and all who will hear. We must not look to politicians for what they promise to do for us based on our color – but based on what they will do for America and the needs of all citizens.
To assume less than that opens us to bitter disappointment and reliance on those who never honor their campaign promises. It puts us at the mercy of those who see us as being useful for nothing more than a vote. It puts us at the mercy of those who must convince us of how bad it is for us – in order for us to buy into their promises that they are our saviors.
The next president, as with those preceding him or her, will be the president of all the people. To buy into fabrications of exclusively ethno-specific concerns is to be deceived in the cruelest of ways. We must view the Republican Party – indeed both parties – critically, through the prism of what is in the best interest of all Americans as a whole.
Mychal Massie is the chairman of the Project 21 black leadership network.