The GOP Continues to Perpetuate Racism by Supporting Absurd Black Candidates

ew-jacksonIt always baffles me how Republicans can act so clueless as to why they can’t appeal to black voters. It really doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand the reasoning. Ever since Nixon’s “Southern Strategy,” Republicans have purposefully tried to secure the white vote by using manipulative tactics to perpetuate stereotypes against minorities. They’ve mastered dog-whistle politics, coined pejorative terms like “welfare queen” and consistently fought against pretty much any legislation which would do anything to help the poor.

More recently, especially since 2010, we’ve seen a new Republican strategy implemented in their quest to supposedly “appeal” to minority voters. Republicans have been supporting absolutely absurd and outlandish black candidates for office, ranging everywhere from state elections to the presidency of the United States. Apparently, hyping up black candidates who themselves fight against and demean minorities is a “winning” strategy for securing the black vote. See, this candidate is black, we’re appealing to you — vote for us!

Remember Allen West? Who could forget him? He compared progressives to Nazis and called Social Security a “form of slavery.” He even called himself a “modern-day Harriet Tubman” trying to lead blacks away from the “Democratic plantation.” Nothing like trying to call black people “slaves” for supporting Democratic policies. That will certainly win over the black vote.  

Of course, West was defeated and sent home after only one term in Congress last year. Just last month, he was given a perfect position to continue to voice his ridiculous views — as a contributor on Fox News.

Then we had the rise and fall of conservative superstar Herman Cain, and his often surreal run for the presidency. Cain’s behavior was so ridiculous it led Rachel Maddow to speculate that his whole campaign was satire and nothing more than “an art project.” From his goofy 9-9-9 plan to his “Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan” and other foreign policy gaffes, everything he said and did was downright bizarre. Even his campaign commercials seemed like something ripped from Saturday Night Live. In his final speech before ending his candidacy, Cain quoted from the Pokemon movie. How fitting. While Cain might have been an entertaining presidential candidate who provided some memorable moments, he certainly brought nothing to the table as far as real leadership ideas — so what was the point?

Or what about the curious case of Alvin Greene, the unlikely Democratic Senate candidate in South Carolina back in 2010? The circumstances surrounding Greene’s victory in the primary were extremely suspicious, with many signs pointing toward some sort of Republican scheme being behind his success. Greene was out of his league from the start, unable to handle simple interview questions and facing felony obscenity charges away from politics. Of course, Greene winning the primary firmly secured Jim DeMint’s re-election, and he handily defeated Greene by a 35-point margin. Funny how that worked out. 

Most recently, we now have E.W. Jackson, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor in Virginia. If you haven’t heard of him by now, you’re missing out. You see, Jackson has been busy claiming Planned Parenthood is a “racist” organization that’s “far more lethal to black lives than the KKK.” If that’s not enough, he’s also accused President Obama of seeing the world “from a Muslim perspective.” Oh, and we can’t forget about Jackson’s book, in which he suggests yoga could lead to Satanic possession, and evolution can’t be real because chimpanzees can’t speak. But what else would you expect from a book that doesn’t even have a properly spelled title.

Yes, this is the man that the Virginia Republican Party picked to be their first black candidate for statewide office since 1988 — E.W. ‘the devil makes his home in your yoga pants’ Jackson.

So the question becomes — why? Why are Republicans continuing to support outlandish black candidates who bring nothing but hate or absurdity to the table? Also, if Republicans truly wanted “better ties with minority voters,” wouldn’t they stop throwing support behind candidates — no matter their race — who vow to block any progress on issues that disproportionately affect minorities?

Or is the real issue here that there are too few reasonable and educated black politicians who choose to align with the Republican party? Maybe the issue is that those types of black politicians don’t have the type of appeal Republicans are looking for. Educated, reasonable politicians usually don’t resort to dog-whistle politics and make preposterous claims to try to appeal to voters.

This may come as a shock to many Republicans, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret — black people don’t vote for other black people just because they’re black. Most black voters do actually care what a candidate stands for. Amazing concept, isn’t it?

And yes, for the record, President Obama did receive 93% of the black vote last November. You want to know why? Because your candidate sucked. Get over it.

Thomas Barr

Thomas Barr

Thomas Barr is a writer, editor and activist who's passionate about progressive ideals, with extra attention given to the fight for universal health care, medical marijuana, and saving our nation from decades of devastating trickle-down policies. Thomas is also a dedicated advocate for Type 1 diabetes research and education.
Be sure to check out his archives on Forward Progressives for more of his viewpoints.
Thomas Barr


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