How the RNC Can Earn Black Folks’ Trust

First, admit that they don’t deserve it.

First, admit that they don’t deserve it.

Generally speaking, black folks should be on board with any political platform promoting fiscal independence, minimal reliance upon and intervention from government, and the right to defend our own freedom from enemies more domestic than foreign.

But we can’t get there, because race tinges conservatism to be underscored by social policy designed to intimidate, marginalize and commodify black people according to our varying willingness to assimilate into, and appreciate, white pity.

And by the time we get to actual policy making, the smartest white and black conservatives in any given room with the best laid plans for all Americans, are drowned out by noise generated in a totally separate arena of racial hysteria and fear mongering.

The smart men and women get outplayed by dumb racists and separatists, every time.

Then they go back to square one; the idea that their party won’t get anywhere without the backing of black and Latino folks.

So here we are again; its the Republic National Committee mobilizing to get black folks on board with a national push around the conservative ideas that they believe can create jobs and opportunity. From Mother Jones:

The RNC’s new Hispanic outreach efforts were launched one week after the Washington Post and the Associated Press reported that the committee had expanded its strategic-initiatives team to bolster its black outreach operations. Ashley Bell, the founder of a bipartisan group of black leaders and community activists called 20/20 Leaders of America and one of 18 black delegates at July’s Republican National Convention, will serve as the national director of African American political engagement for the RNC. Shannon Reeves, a professor of political science at Alabama A&M University, will serve as a senior adviser to the RNC’s political department, analyzing data to help the RNC identify black voters. Elroy Sailor, a former senior adviser to Rand Paul’s presidential campaign, will join the RNC as a senior adviser to the committee’s chair, Reince Priebus. In June, the RNC also appointed a Georgia State University senior to lead an effort to engage students at historically black colleges and universities.

It must sound good to be able to have a cadre of black folks accessible to cure what ails the surface issue of the party’s national outreach deficits to minorities. But it isn’t what the party is doing wrong; it’s what its standard bearers are doing wrong which repels black voters, and runs them into the ground every presidential election.

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Roland Martin talked about North Carolina’s latest voter suppression effort on yesterday’s edition of NewsOne Now.

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North Carolina has spent $5 million and counting defending the country's worst voting restrictions, which the US Court…www.thenation.com

This is the same state where Republic legislators worked to reduce in-state tuition at historically black Elizabeth City State University to $500 per semester beginning next fall, a move that some have called a deliberate effort to lower the university’s brand as an institution of choice against other options in the state.

A state so politically charged against poverty and minority progress, the New York Times called it out three years ago as the clearest representation of racial recidivism in the country.

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Every Monday since April, thousands of North Carolina residents have gathered at the State Capitol to protest the…www.nytimes.com

But more importantly, North Carolina is one of the nation’s party strongholds which allowed Donald Trump to waltz into candidacy for the most powerful leadership position in the world, a notion not lost on Republican strategists like Morehouse College alumnus Shermichael Singleton.

Aside from having no plans and no expertise, Trump is willfully driving a conspiracy theory about his purposeful effort to mock politics and practically push Hillary Clinton into the White House.

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And this is the guy that the conservative braintrust refused to denounce, refused to overthrow, but now, expects black and Latino voters to look around him to see the true nature of their politics?

Essentially, they are hoping black folks can be convinced to make dumb decisions because the better part of its middle-aged, white male base continue to make dumb decisions.

When people are broke, they tend to blame people who are poorer than they are for the nation’s drained economic fortunes. From the Huffington Post:

Decades of social science research has shown that economic hardship makes people more susceptible to demagogues who scapegoat minority groups. In 1959, psychologist Seymour Martin Lipset found that the prevalence of labor unions in the United States curbed authoritarian impulses in the electorate. The decline of union power has probably created an opening for racist appeals. A 2014 study by New York University psychologists found that racial attitudes harden under conditions of economic scarcity, while a recent study by three German economists concluded that “far-right” political parties enjoy major gains after financial crises.

This may be true for the racial majority, but what about the racial minority? How do we explain cities like Baltimore, where black people have held elected offices for years, but still boil in poverty, uneven policing, and broken education systems?

Black power in Baltimore: When African American leaders confront racial unrest
The mayor is black. The council is almost two-thirds black. The school superintendent is black. The police chief is…www.latimes.com

Black folks may be dangerously predictable in our political leanings, but we aren’t idiots who ignore evidence to favor rhetoric. You cannot offer Trump, and watered-down versions of Trump in state and municipal leadership and expect black folks to believe the results can be different with our change of heart, but no change of partisan approaches to equality.

Consciously or otherwise, we know when we’re getting screwed because we’re poor and disengaged, rather than race being the primary qualifier for marginalization. And because we’re woke enough to make the distinction, Republicans will stay losing, because they will always be the lesser of two apparent evils.

So what are the solutions? Do the things which the party has historically avoided doing, and the things which democrats have never been forced to do for black folks.

First, acknowledge that there is such a thing as racial bias in systems which build wealth — lending and capital financing for business creation, housing and education. Second, devote resources in these areas to not only create equity by today’s standards, but to make up for the generations in which black folks were left behind by racist policies. Start with historically black colleges.

And finally, recruit and groom black and Latino candidates who don’t just parrot policies which benefit wealthy white stakeholders, but who visualize a path to eradicating poverty, improving race relations and building communities with fiscal austerity, smaller government, and faith-based initiatives.

For too long, the GOP has operated behind the money and political muscle of white guys who got steamrolled by the concept and infusion of diversity in American popular culture in the last 30 years. And they still have the money, but their strength in numbers is being diminished with every campus protest, every nationally-aired police shooting of an unarmed black citizen, and with every Steph Curry jersey sold.

It’s time to make American politics great again, but it has to start with a great reformation of the Republican party.