Tuesday, March 03, 2009


For years, conservatives have entertained this fantasy that the GOP could woo over ethnic minorities by appealing to "religious" or "cultural" values, particularly on the issue of gay marriage, without having to change any other aspects of the pachyderm appeal. This is an urban legend to retire to the Snopes page.

By Dennis Sanders

Every so often, I have heard conservative Republican operatives talk about how the GOP has an inroad to persons of color because in many of those communities, there is strong opposition to gay marriage.

Since there hasn't been a flood of black people to the GOP based on their stance on gay marriage, I have always found that argument bogus if not bigoted. Being someone who is African American (and gay to boot) I've always believed that most African Americans are concerned with bread and butter issues instead of whether I and my partner decide to go to the justice of the peace and get hitched.

Finally, a conservative has shown this belief to be false.
Zac Morgan, writing in today's New Majority, shares that the evidence doesn't line up with the rhetoric coming from leading conservatives:

Let's look at the black vote first, and put aside whether or not large portions of an ethnic group with a median income that is barely over half of that of white Americans (and shows historical antipathy to the GOP) could be swung on moral issues.

First of all, while it is true that blacks came out very heavily in favor of Proposition 8 (70 percent), they also had no problem voting heavily for President Obama (McCain only winning 5 percent).

On the issue of Proposition 8, Obama made it very clear during the campaign that he opposed it; McCain made it just as clear that he favored it. As of now, there is simply no evidence that this issue has the potential to move significant numbers of black voters into the red column. Even if it did, younger African-Americans are somewhat more likely to embrace gay marriage than their elders. According to a 2007 study by the University of Chicago, 58 percent of black youth were opposed to same-sex marriage.

As for forging an electoral coalition with Latinos over gay marriage, this seems far less likely. Whites and Hispanics had little difference in their support for Proposition 8 (49 percent for whites, 53 percent for Latinos), and the Chicago study indicates that younger voters in both groups are moving away from opposing same-sex marriage at the same pace (35 percent of whites and 36 percent of Hispanics).

So if the vote among younger minority voters is trending away from opposing gay marriage and if these constituencies have voted consistently Democratic, what is leading conservatives to think they can create a "moral coalition?" Well, it has to with appearing to reach out without having to change:

For years, conservatives have entertained this fantasy that the GOP could woo over ethnic minorities by appealing to "religious" or "cultural" values, particularly on the issue of gay marriage, without having to change any other aspects of the pachyderm appeal. This is an urban legend to retire to the Snopes page.

In recent years, Hispanics have very conclusively shown that their political allegiance is tied to other issues, particularly immigration (it would be foolhardy not to note that the last two extremely successful Republican candidates to win Hispanics at a national level, Reagan and George W. Bush, both openly supported some form of amnesty). Successful Republicans who have won the black vote, such as Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, did so by engaging in a constant, heart-felt dialogue with black groups and churches, and addressing the poverty question head-on. As he once noted to an audience at an event I attended, he came at the issue from the angle "Just because you were born in a crummy neighborhood doesn't mean your children have to go to a crummy school." (In this sense, perhaps half of Mr. Johnson's observation, regarding GOP support for urban charter schools, shows more promise.)

Take Latinos for example. Most Latinos tend to view immigration or English-only/official language efforts as important issues. Leading Republicans have made it standard that any immigration reform has to start with sending all 12 million illegal immigrants back to whence they came. When George Bush (who made some inroads into the Hispanic Community) and John McCain showed support for a Guest Worker plan, it was immediately slammed as "amnesty." It is a high sense of disconnect with reality to push for immigration reforms that boarders on xenophobia, and the turn around expect Latinos to work with you on banning gay marriage.

If the GOP wants to bring more black and Latino folk into the party, they are going to have to meet them on their own terms. Many communities are dealing with lack of basic services and economic opportunity. What the Republicans should be doing is listen to what these communities need and fashioning conservative solutions ala Jack Kemp, rather than as Morgan ends his essay, "bring the culture war to minority churches."


Dennis Sanders a pastor living in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has worked on centrist Republican issues for years, including stints as President of the Minnesota chapter of Log Cabin Republicans (a gay/lesbian advocacy group) and Republicans for Environmental Protection. Dennis blogs at NeoMugwump and happily lives with his partner Daniel and serves two cats, Morris and Felix.

1 comment:

Constructive Feedback said...

Brother Sanders:

You are right and wrong, both at the same time.

I agree with you that the social/moral issues are not the key points by which to attract Black people. Let's be honest - though some of use realize that some of these points are problematic, there is an increasing number of Black folks who live the 'keeping it real' life. They would see a reversion toward moralistic constructs as a number of different but negative adjectives: "the man's ways", Eurocentric behavior, you know the score.

Here is where you are wrong brother - I (and I am a Conservative Independent) don't like having our "Black consciousness and culture" built upon the scaffolding of the American Political Process. It is in fact something that is separate and distinct that is presently HIJACKED to appear as such by the Black Establishment. It just so happens that this establishment are Democrats.

The reason why the prevailing sentiment among our people is that of a liberal/progressive Democrat is because of our historical phase of the Freedom struggle and development. Thus, think about it - when you are a group of people who are living in an otherwise unyielding society that is working against your interests - indeed you should get LIBERAL leadership which seeks to loosen up the greater society's grip upon you (and your neck).

What people don't realize is that the Black community and America is now in a new phase.

Today as Black people and/or people who have policies favorable to the masses ARE THE SYSTEM per their seat in elective government, in the pulpits and people with influence in general - THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR

* Fielding an order that WORKS for the Best Interests Of Black People

* Propagating this order upon the domain of their control (ie: their city, state - and sadly now - THE NATION)

* PERPETUATING this order so that others coming behind them have such order rather than chaos.

Thus with this as the framework - what we see is that the present Black Quasi-Socialist Progressive-Fundamentalist Racism Chaser who INDEED sits atop our city governments but has failed to put forth a regime that can Educate us, Employ Us, Keep us safe in our homes, and keep us Healthy - all to a high order must be made to inspect this set of policies and assumptions that is in use.

Here is the key point of consciousness that has NOT yet been achieved by Black and Working class America that the Democratic Party has exploited:

In the list above the rank and file of the community will look toward its LEADERSHIP to provision as such. In as much as the present Democratic machine WHO IS IN FACT IN THE SEAT OF POWER and should be held accountable for these failings but is able to project their own failings on:

* Lingering White Supremacy
* The Legacy of Structural Racism
* The Unfair Distribution Of Capital Resources Due To Capitalism

then what they effectively do is to get the Blacks and the Working Class to LOOK PAST THE LOCAL FAILINGS OF THE REGIME THAT IS IN POWER and instead look toward NATIONAL CHANGE AND RESTRUCTURING so that one day THEIR lot in life will be better.

Some people don't realize that what Barack Obama is doing right now is well documented in ALL LEFT WING MOVEMENTS. They fundamentally need a nationalistic movement where they control all of the variables and thus can redistribute resources as society sees fit. Stern private property rights be damned.

The challenge for the Black conservative is to get our people to seek EARNEST MONEY along this road. Presently - we look past the "Local Democrats" and their failings. Despite their failures - THEIR POLICIES ARE STILL IN LINE WITH THE PREVAILING SENTIMENT OF BLACK AMERICA.

So think about it. If you are "right" in that your policies are rationalized as just and logical and correct. Yet when they are executed locally you STILL don't achieve that which you are envious of in your more "Conservative" and more "White" areas outside of your scope - WHAT DO YOU THINK THE AVERAGE BLACK PERSON IS INCLINED TO DO?

We will either say:

* You know what that White, more Conservative community right across the county line has low crime, better schools and more stable home values - THEY MUST BE BENEFITING FROM THE LEGACY OF WHITE SUPREMACY that has them with all of these resources


* You know - their results are more to my liking - Let's study what they do and adopt the key policies that they use to achieve these ends. Most of all we need a regime of law and order before we can obtain this.

I live in Metro Atlanta. In my observations of the growth of Black, Democratic majority counties and the political and racial dynamics there in I have coined the term "Black Flight Progressives".

The Black Flight Progressive are Black Democrats who VOTED TO CHANGE their home county into the Democratic dominated fortress that it finally became once THEY won the "racial and ideological" fight. The White folks MOVED to a place where their values were promoted.

Upon achieving control of this county and "the struggle" one - the Black Flight Progressives begin to look around, get lonely that there are no more "enemies" around to blame the conditions upon but also notice that the PROBLEMS did not get better they only changed in their dynamics. After a few years with their favored regime in power something motivates the conversation that opens with "Honey its time to MOVE".

As they do a real estate search they key in upon:

* Quality Schools
* Low Crime Rates
* Appreciating Home Values (well - we USED to do this. What about slower erosion of home values - these days)
* High quality retail shopping environment
* Political stability

After typing in these characteristics into their computer...........THEY FIND THAT WHERE THEIR CONSERVATIVE ENEMIES HAVE MOVED TO IS MOST ATTRACTIVE TO THEM!!

They end up moving right next door to their ideological adversary!!

But get this - and I say this based on the authority of seeing this last election: Despite the fact that they had to distance themselves from the place where the ideology and party that they favor HAD DOMINATE CONTROL.......their IDEOLOGICAL BIGOTRY has them STILL VOTING FOR THEM.

They are so unconscious as to what transpired in their life that they, ironically, slowly but surely customize their new home to look like the one they departed.

Here is my view as to why: They see their vote for the Progressives as one where they MAINTAIN THEIR LINK WITH THEIR PEOPLE. They theorize that while the conservative party has indeed been able to bring forth the conditions that they favor for their own interests, THE PROGRESSIVE PARTY HAS THE INTENTION OF BRING THESE BENEFITS TO EVERYONE. Thus they vote for INTENTIONS over IMPLEMENTATION. In doing so they are voting to connect with their PEOPLE'S DREAMS AND HOPES.

In truth this person is a liar to himself. He removed himself and his family from the personal harm that they were facing while living with their own people who were suffering from the consequences of their own aggregate choices. Once removed fro this threat he seeks to retain his sympathetic connection with his vote.

In truth what he should be doing is sampling what works and what does not work in his new community and then going back to his old community and advocating that they implement that which has proven to work and.........that which is ATTRACTIVE TO HIM.

I am at a disadvantage from you in that I am NOT ATTEMPTING TO GET BLACK PEOPLE IN TO THE REPUBLICAN PARTY. The qualities and policies that proved to be attractive to the Black Flight Progressive is not owned by the Republican Party.

Instead my agenda is to PUSH THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY OUT OF THE RACIAL NUCLEUS OF BLACK CONSCIOUSNESS. They need to be kept at the periphery and made to compete for our interests and HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR RESULTS - just as any other competing interest.

Instead we have "Democrats who are Black" that are allowed free access to the "Secured Area" of our racial consciousness who are on a permanent reconnaissance mission for the benefit of their party. They need to have their employee pass revoked and given a visitors pass that requires a permanent escort who is watching their every move and who it benefits.

In summary, Mr Sanders - it is NOT THE REPUBLICAN PARTY that needs to morph into the demands of Black America. This is the consciousness of MARKETING to a CONSUMER.

Instead the BLACK COMMUNITY needs to be clear on our PERMANENT INTERESTS and revert back to the honest pursuit of them. Today there is what I call "Democratic Immunity". They are allowed to fail us and yet get our people focused on the battle against those who they HATE. (See the NY Post Monkey Cartoon diversion).

Instead we need a Black community that is SCIENTIFICALLY EVALUATING SOLUTIONS. This requires an outward exploratory mission to find what WORKS, NOT WHAT IS POPULAR.

My goal is to implement IDEOLOGICAL CHANGE among my people in the context of where we stand in our development time line. There is no racial dust up today that can trump the massive among of killing, dysfunctional education or systematic CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATIONS that are presently going on WITHIN THE BLACK COMMUNITY in 2009. These issues are not being addressed because the purveyor of these assaults is not of the usual form that easily lends itself to protest or feigned outrage.

The best candidate for YOUR mission to attract Blacks into the Republican Party are those Blacks who have expressed a VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE in the Democratic party PER THEIR MOVING TRUCK which took them to live in various conservative locales.

Your mission is to get them to be honest with themselves.