Dear GOP: Don’t Ever Send Black Republicans to Recruit Black People

OP-ED

michael-steele-2

Former RNC chief Michael Steele

By Chris L. Robinson, Daily Kos member

Hello Republican National Committee:

I’m Chris L. Robinson and this will be the final installment in my tips for how you can win over the black community. If you’ll recall, the first tip was about your running away – away from plantation terminology – and the second involved focusing your criticism on the actions of the President and his administration, instead of the man, himself. This final tip is probably the most important of all, because it will seem very counterintuitive to you.

Don’t ever send black Republicans to recruit black people.

This is easily the number one way for the GOP to repair its relationship with the black community. Look, I know it makes sense to you: you believe that black people only vote for other black people and it doesn’t matter how terrible a candidate that black person is. Therefore it makes sense that you send black Republicans to convince black people to instead vote for your candidate. But since your presumption is wrong, your plan of action is also wrong.

First, black people REGULARLY vote for white people – we have little choice. In my almost 45 years on this earth,  I have voted for a black person for President exactly twice. Once in 2008 and once in 2012. In prior elections, I didn’t stay home, I voted for the white man. In 2016, I may be voting for a white woman. In local elections, too, I have mostly voted for white people and have often voted for them over black people.

Second, black Republicans – at least the vocal ones, the public ones, the kind that you see on Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, the ones trying to be spokesmen for the Republican party are, for the most part, terrible people. They have to be, or else, they wouldn’t be black republicans.

They can’t be good people because they’ve made the devil’s bargain with you: that they will badmouth and undermine black people for gain. Now, maybe that gain isn’t always monetary.  And I think that several really are true believers – I think Alfonzo Rachel, for example, really believes all of the wrong things he says. But whether it is money or fame or the opportunity to push an agenda, to be a black Republican is to sign on to regularly invoking the “Democrat plantation”, attacking the first black President as being an illegitimate usurper, and defending the classism and racism of the right-wing.

But before we get into that, I have to let you in on a little secret: black people don’t really think the president is the Second Coming of Jesus. You’ve just said it so many times so that you can denigrate the black vote that you’ve convinced yourself that it’s true. That’s why it thrills you so much to hear black people badmouth the president that you will pay them to do it, when in reality, you could hear it for free in thousands of black barbershops every day.

And the people that you pay know it. But they don’t tell you because they want the benefits that come with being the kind of black “friend” that says the kinds of things you want to hear.

What does this mean? It means that black Republicans really could talk to black people about the President and the problems in the black community. They could, that is, IF they didn’t have to spend so much time proving their loyalty by doing the absolutely  most important thing a black Republican can do – defend the classism and racism of Republicans.
It is in this position of human shield that black Republicans really, well, shine. Every time some right-winger says some racist nonsense, rather than Republicans spending their energy condemning it, a black Republican is trotted out to defend it, often adding his own insulting gloss to it – a gloss which is sometimes worse, than the original comment.

Now in THEIR defense, would you really keep them around if they didn’t? What would happen if black Republicans wanted to push the Republican brand without trying to score cheap points on the President or suggesting that black people are lazy and ungrateful? They MUST defend foolishness. Like suspected moderate Mitt Romney declaring himself “severely conservative”, they have to spend so much time proving to YOU that they are critical of black people that they are largely useless to you in RECRUITING black people.

It’s like I always say: would you send lamb chops to recruit sheep? Then don’t send black Republicans to recruit black people.

Edited transcript of video available here: http://youtu.be/…

Reprinted with permission from The Daily Kos.