Mike Kueber's Blog

December 19, 2012

Black Republicans

Filed under: Issues,Politics — Mike Kueber @ 6:26 pm
Tags: ,

The New York Times today contains an op-ed piece by an Ivy League professor, Adolph Reed, who accuses the Republican Party of tokenism for placing African-Americans in positions of responsibility without adopting black-mainstream policy positions (e.g., generous welfare, voting favoritism, and affirmative action).  Professor Reed, who is African-American, is described in Wikipedia as an expert on racial and economic inequality, and his insight was prompted by SC governor Nikki Haley nominating a black congressman to a Senate position recently vacated by Jim DeMint.  The piece is so stupid that I wonder how an Ivy League professor could have penned it, but then I recall the old saying about a thought that was so stupid that only an intellectual could have believed it.

Although the column is replete with objectionable statements, the most reprehensible statement was followed in a single paragraph by the column’s only possible insight:

  • Even if the Republicans managed to distance themselves from the thinly veiled racism of the Tea Party adherents who have moved the party rightward, they wouldn’t do much better among black voters than they do now. I suspect that appointments like Mr. Scott’s are directed less at blacks — whom they know they aren’t going to win in any significant numbers — than at whites who are inclined to vote Republican but don’t want to have to think of themselves, or be thought of by others, as racist.”

Reed accusing the TEA Party of “thinly veiled racism” is reprehensible because the foundation for the TEA Party is fiscal, not social.  Of course, people like Reed would argue that being anti-food stamps is being racist.  The second sentence in the paragraph, however, makes some sense.  Because Reed and his ilk have had some success in creating a false impression that Republican policies are racist, the party benefits whenever it can show the image is wrong.  Unfortunately African-Americans are so vested in the Democratic Party (and vica versa) that they are mostly unwilling to be disabused of the notion that Republicans are racist, but there are plenty of moderate Anglos, Hispanics, and Asians who will watch and listen.

I remember a couple of weeks ago the Democrats were circulating on Facebook a photo collage of the Republican House Chairmen, exclusively white.  I responded to some postings that there will be more black Republican House Chairmen when more blacks vote Republican.  The photo collage and Reed’s column reveal a classic “damned if you do, damned if you don’t.”  From the progressive perspective, the Republican Party will be accused of either racism or tokenism until it moves to the left of the Democratic Party.


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