Jeff Booker, who is currently on the Gloucester Township GOP committee and previously served as the Executive Director of Camden County GOP (2002-04) stated, “I believe that the GOP is the party that exemplifies responsibility, small government, liberty, and self-determination. Younger blacks are becoming Republican because they see the negative affect of a large out of control government can be. As you get older, people start to change their views. We are starting to see suspicion in the local Democratic Party. However, our party has not done a good job of recruiting people of color and I am apart [sic] of the effort to do better.”
First let me say Jeff is a good friend and I respect him and his choice to be a Republican. Even more I applaud his efforts to recruit better. I have long been suspicious of the party because of it’s deplorable track record regarding race and it’s loud and showy “Christianity” that is short on the values that Jesus taught. Having said that, GOP ideology when reduced to core principles that can flexibly be expressed in policy are compatible with mine which are generally center left. If a GOP candidate focused on the following, which generally deals with how the GOP could handle race and religion, I wouldn’t rule out voting for them. (Hey, after the 2008 campaign where Palinites were shouting, “KILL HIM!” that’s the best I can do.)
- You Can Be Tough on Crime…Equally – By the DOJ’s own statistics, blacks in the system face a stacked deck from drug war laws that give poor, lower level criminals longer sentences than the kingpins who supply them to the unequal sentencing of the death penalty to police brutality and murder and racial profiling.
- You Have to Have a Job to Have Your Taxes to Cut – It has been scientifically proven that a black man with a clean job history has less of a chance of getting hired than a white ex-con…in New York City. And that’s in a blue, blue, blue state. Imagine the red states where the GOP dominates. You don’t have to be for Affirmative Action. Craft a policy such as class based affirmative action, that you can prove benefits poor black folks and that your ideology can support. Bougie Negroes like Jeff and I might not benefit, but so what? AA wasn’t supposed to be for us anyway!
- Come Clean about a Racist Past and THEN Move On (no pun intended) – Ever since Nixon first employed the infamous Southern Strategy, the GOP has used the racial fears and racism in white voters to win elections from Willie Horton to Barack “HUSSEIN” Obama. And despite Ken Mehlman’s apology to the NAACP, I have not seen any serious attempt to change this. Painting Obama as an Arab/Muslim was a clear example of this. Stop providing joy and comfort to racists. And be public about it. We don’t trust you otherwise. It’s that simple.
- Know What Christian Values Are and Live Them– Jesus was very specific on being anti-death penalty (John 8:2-11), lending without expectation of repayment (Luke 6:35), giving generously to the poor and uplifting them (Luke 6:20, 18:22), turning the other cheek (Luke 6:29), blessing our enemies (Luke 6:28), providing care to the sick (Matthew 25:34-40), praying in private (Matthew 6:5-6), and visiting prisoners (Matthew 25:34-40). The party really needs to reconsider it’s pro-war, pro-death penalty, pro-prison, public prayer, anti-poor, anti-healthcare policies before you can claim a lock on Christian values (Matthew 25:41-46). I mean, really! (Luke 6:46-49)
So if the party can produce a candidate that seriously deals with the four points above, I don’t see why plenty of black people wouldn’t consider the party myself included.