It’s time to Ctrl+ALT+Delete the Black Republican
The Republican Party as we know it may officially be on its last legs. Following an impromptu, unhinged press conference by President Donald Trump, where he compared neo-Nazis to antiracist counter-protesters, several top Republicans have finally hopped off the Trump train–which seems headed for disaster.
In there lies the Black Republican, who have seemingly traded in their Blackness for the right to say they belong to “the party of Abraham Lincoln.” Although many have abandoned their President, some are still riding in the front seat of his train, calling many to question if it’s time to let them off at their stop.
First up to bat: Omarosa Manigault-Newman. The White House aide and Trump loyalist was extended an unprecedented invitation to the National Association of Black Journalists convention which took place in New Orleans last week. According to her, she was to be on a panel to discuss gun violence as she has experienced that in her family. However, the panel was actually about police brutality, something her boss, 45, once summed up as: “When you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon. You see them thrown in rough. I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice.”
As the panel ensued, several journalists stood with their back turned to the stage, while on the stage moderator Ed Gordon and Omarosa got into a heated exchange around the reasoning as to her being there. This lasted all about 30 minutes before she finally excited. Omarosa, in all her “honorable” wisdom felt as if she had no responsibility as a Black representative of the White House to address the room’s justifiable concern with 45. This tactic is often practiced by the Black Republican, who in an effort to uphold the ideals of the respectable negro are willing to ride or die for their party, at the expense of their own race. Omarosa was quick to say she didn’t agree with Trump on police brutality, yet unwilling to make a public statement and continue to work with a man who’s words endanger her own people.
As the week went on, disdain for the Black Republican was increasingly growing and being challenged harder than ever before on several networks. Resident 45 spinner Paris Dennard finally had his Blackness questioned by colleague Keith Boykin during a heated exchange on CNN. As Paris yelled every fact he could think of to defend his Blackness, he ultimately forgot that actions speak much louder than words, and the support of an anti-Black regime invalidates any ties you may have to it.
These events were only backdrops for the racist (and deadly), white supremacy rally that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, which is easily the ugliest thing modern America has seen.
Neo-Nazis chanted “blood and soil” in effort to protect their monuments, and take back their land; and injured more than two dozen people and killing Heather Heyer in the process. Surely, the president of the United States’ response would be a no brainer–or so we thought. Not only did Trump defend white supremacist protesters, but he later doubled down on his bigotry making comparisons between neo-Nazis and anti-fascist protests stating, “there were good guys on both sides.” The White House even issued a statement defending his outlandish remarks.
Black Republicans like Dennard attempted the spin, and were shut down immediately from network to network; being questioned by other white and Black Republicans on what it would take for them to finally see wrong in 45. As many of them held their stance that the President could do no wrong, several of them cracked under the weight of the reflection they for so long had to mask.
Tears were shed by Gianno Caldwell, as someone who defended 45 for more than year realized that his assimilation into white supremacy stopped at the melanin in his skin. The problem with the notion of the “respectable negro” is that you will inevitably fail the standard of white supremacy that requires you to be something other than Black or brown.
To be clear, this doesn’t mean that the Democrats are any less culpable. Party divisions have historically been driven by the racial makeup of the city, states, and country as a whole. Democrats have always played the “for the people” card, drawing in minority voters at much higher numbers than Republicans. Although Democrats have overwhelmingly stood on the side against “white supremacists,” they have also owned the creation of systems that uphold “white supremacy.”
Although both parties are culpable, the Black Republican’s stance to defend the anti-Black agenda of 45 has dire consequences, leaving Black and brown bodies vulnerable to the very real threat of white supremacy. As Black folks, we must make a decision when it’s time to use the logic of “all skinfolk ain’t kinfolk” and leave the Black Republican to their own demise.
For the first time in a long time, Black Republicans woke up Monday morning and saw their own reflection in the mirror. They for the first time in a long time had to make the decision of who they saw in the mirror. A Black person who was a Republican, or a Republican who was a Black person. Never realizing that either way, you still you are still a negro appeasing to the white majority hoping to get a seat on the lifeboat. When realistically all you are doing is reserving your spot to be one of the last people they drown.
George M. Johnson is the Managing Editor of BroadwayBlack.com. He has written for Ebony, TheGrio, TeenVogue, NBC News and several other major publications. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.