Black Republicans, are y’all alright?
This week's episode of the 'Dear Culture' podcasts asks, 'Dear Culture, now that the election is over and decided, how do I reconcile with my Black Republican friends?'
Racism and racist incidents have continued throughout 2020, with quite a few scary moments occurring post-election. Recently, a video of a white woman in California approaching her Black neighbors with a taser in hand, accusing the Black family’s pit bull of attacking her dog. Shortly thereafter, another story surfaced of a Republican white woman berating a teacher for assigning children to color in an electoral map of the 2020 election results. Without a doubt, race is still a major conversation point this year.
Regardless of Kamala Harris’ vice presidential win, Dear Culture podcast points out that there’s a “correlation” between “racist white people acting out in public crazy ways and white people angry over the election.” With some Republicans dragging their feet to a change in power, hosts Gerren Keith Gaynor and Shana Pinnock invite former Republican and conservative strategist Shermichael Singleton to help us understand: “Dear Culture, now that the election is over and decided, how do I reconcile with my Black Republican friends…if I kept them?”
“I don’t identify with the Republican Party anymore, I identify as an independent, because I think the partt has gone too far,” says Singleton.
For a long time in our nation’s earlier history, the Republican party did enact policies that benefited Black people to a degree. “The Republican party used to perform well with Black voters” says theGrio’s Social Media Director Pinnock.
However, as times changed so did parties. Black people’s switch to the Democratic party can be dated back to the Roosevelt years. Nonetheless, Republican or Democrat, Trump’s politics are a completely different ball game.
“Paid a lot of his bets on people’s grievances. Trump was able to tap into that and utilize those sentiments, nothing about that is textbook conservative.” points out Singleton to Gaynor.
There’s a difference between a conservative and a Trump Republican. Singleton’s change to the Independent party signifies that conservatism doesn’t simply mean one is Republican and that “Black folks that placate” Trump audiences, such as Candace Owens, are in it for something else. Instead of paying attention to them, Singleton urges the Republican party “to go back to the 30s and 40s” when the Black vote “was almost evenly split” between parties and adopt policies that look out for us.
“I’m a far leaning liberal, but I can still have meaningful conversations with folks like Shermichael,” says Pinnock.
Though Gaynor and Pinnock vote blue, Pinnock has a point when she says she doesn’t even like to identify as Democrat and rather chooses the words “far leaning liberal.” Regardless of which political party folks affiliate with, Gaynor is correct when he says it’s the “Black part that is important.” Political parties must acknowledge racism for their party to grow.
“So until Black Republican challenge the Republican party to evolve and really address race in a real way, they will never see those numbers change.” concludes Gaynor.
Tune in Dear Culture, the smart, reliable Black news podcast. Now streaming on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and Stitcher.
TheGrio is now on Apple TV, Amazon Fire, and Roku. Download theGrio today!