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Ya' Down Wit G.O.P.? (No, you don't know me.)

| 4 Comments
gop-billboard.jpg

"Is G.O.P. the new Black?" Really?

According to Apostle Claver Kamau-Imani, Chairman and Executive Director of RagingElepants.org, this question is a no-brainer. According to the Apostle, who proclaims to be "Leading America's 2nd Emancipation", him and his followers are:

Dedicated to advance the cause of conservatism-libertarianism by growing the ranks of conservative voters through RACIAL DIVERSITY. We envision a rejuvenation of conservatism by seeing more Americans of color join the movement.

Sounds great! Especially when you are reminded quite boldly through his website and billboards throughout the predominantly Black and poor communities of south Houston that "Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican!" Although more recent examples of Black conservative Republicans like Clarence Thomas, Alan Keyes, Michael Steele, and Herman Cain may leave an immediately bitter taste.

So, while engaging in discussion on this "Raging" topic at the 2011 incarnation of the 'water-cooler' (Facebook), it made me wonder out loud: What is the voting and political image of Black America?

I mean, after all, we have a Black President. He is a Democrat. Therefore Black people are Democrats, right? Maybe. However if African Americans only voted (in historic fashion, by the way) for Barack Obama because he is the 'Black guy', isn't it fair to assume that an equally articulate, genuinely intelligent, self-aware candidate from the right who can make a jump shot on ESPN could make a similar impression? Are we as a Black community defined by our options or are we defining the characteristics of those who run for office? Or are we attracted to the better marketed candidate? A major factor in Obama's rise popularity and elected office and appeal is not only in the way he speaks, his intellectualism, and his cross-over charm. It's most importantly due to his campaign's ability to market and package those qualities in a fresh and exciting way to a younger, more diverse audience. But does that mean Black people would never vote for the same candidate if he were Republican? 

Historically it seems both parties have gone through immense changes that have perception, at least, of doing a 180 degree turn. From its founding in 1854, the Republican Party was the anti-slavery party. Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, wrote the Emancipation Proclamation and freed the slaves. And Dr. King, as well as most leading Blacks of his time were aligned with the Republican Party for primarily these reasons.

The Democrats fought to keep Blacks in slavery and passed the discriminatory Black Codes and Jim Crow laws. The Democrats started the Ku Klux Klan to lynch and terrorize Black people throughout the South. The Democrats also fought to prevent the passage of every civil rights law beginning with the civil rights laws of the 1860s, and continuing with the civil rights laws of the 1950s and 1960s.

How times have changed.

So who are we today? What is our political persona and how are we seen by those running for state and Federal office? Is the Black community too diversely defined to narrow it to clarify the 'Black vote'? It seems with issues connected to major and deadly disparities in education, employment, incarceration, and health as defined by being Black in America, neither party has done a particularly good job. This includes HIV & AIDS funding, prevention, care, and education.

Despite the serious play for votes from the Black community from both sides of the campaign aisle - Michelle Bachman has said that she would be a better President for Black people than our Black President - however not serious enough when it comes to actually policy change. 

Again it comes back to who we are and what role we as a Black community - diverse in Faith, economics, education, and culture - can do to define the characteristics of the candidate that seeks our votes. Do we care? Can that influence exist? Or are we spread too thin because of our diversity and experience?

I am curious to hear your thoughts.

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Comments on Larry Bryant's blog entry "Ya' Down Wit G.O.P.? (No, you don't know me.)"

Times have changed, for in the 80's I was a Republican and Regan fan, however switch when it came down to personal issues. The problem I have in my 40's plus years of life is that I know all of these political parties, which is a weir name in my opinion, Grand Old Party and truly they do put on the best parties with open bars and food flowing into the hall ways, along with their Lobbying Groups or Non-Profit Political Machines ready to sell their wares or issues for all are exploiting some kind of group issue and sooner or later truns the issues into a brand or Holy Right of Dourine for their group. For instance conservative and Liberia do not mix in my politics, for when I think of Right or Conservative then I think… do we want to go back to righteous traditions of stoning women for being out of line or for not abiding men in sex and as property. When I think of Liberal or Liberian in a concept, then I think of the country of India and the liberal business model and social structure, where herds of children beg in the street for money, clothing, housing and medical care, while the well feed drive in the common Mercedes Benz to their estates. Exploiting the Black Community is not new, for all parties are branding a power group to speak for the people in these years of political theater; however the new part is that the Northern Educated Black people are in part running the parties. I like both Cain and Obama and I like their politics and look forward to the debates, if it is to be so. My father was a White Republican and he would vote for Cain and Grin-Rich ticket on the principles of him not having to pay the government more money and less government involvement in his life and I must add I considered my father a Compassionate Conservative for no stoning of women was taught in his house. He had a small business and the 17 percent self- employment tax is a cash flow vacuum in a small business, along with health insurance cost for employees. The social issues and tax structure change within the 999 plan or flat tax or Fair tax where one pays as one spends is a hot button for many, in seems to keep more of their money in the people’s pockets and less to wasteful government spending and not to say, burring the current IRS structure. I would say that all are good concepts in overhauling the IRS out dated systems. The Raging Elephant is the IRS Elephant and needs to be address and I personally look forward to the debates of changing of these structures. Let the games begin for all colors of people are welcome and no big deal to me

Well, maybe this information will help Mr. Wright. The Self Emloyment Tax ( which is the full amount of Social Security and Medicare that we self-employed must pay for ourselves as opposed to what employees of a firm pay.) in 2010 the rate was lowerd to 15.3%, for 2011 it is 13.3%. Then you are allowed to deduct 50% of the Social Security payment from your business's Income Tax. In addition the Small Business Act of 2010 allows the self employed to deduct 50% of the cost of health insurance from the Income Tax side of your taxes. Also, when an employer pays their half of an employee's SSI, those payments are listed on the ledger as a business expense and therefore not part of the net number used for Income Tax purposes. Finally, the SSI side of the Self Employment tax is for the first $106,000 of income - you pay no additional after that threshold has been reached.

Now the real point of my comment - the reduction of the taxes and the passage of The Small Business Act were passed by Obama and the Dems over strenuous GOP objections. So right now, for me, Obama and the Dems are the lesser evil.

I agree with Mr. Wright that this all needs simplification.


Any working class American that votes Republican is voting against his or her own best financial interest.

Most Blacks like myself are Democrats and reasonabily been so since the Kennedy administration. Unlike us thirty years ago our children, the majority are into college and they may leave home as a Democrat but likely to return as a Republican. This is due to the ideaologies of the Teachers and Professors. This
in itself have had a deep separation politically
of the Black Family unit. A small percentage of
Blacks are weak and vulnerable to what the white media reports daily and this is Blacks from all walks of life. I may say that some old white Democrats from from the past like Harry Reid is the one who would have voted against Civil Rights Laws. This is why some Democrats in Obama administration votes against his policies, but he chose them. Why??????

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This page contains a single entry by Larry Bryant published on October 27, 2011 3:25 PM.

Achieving An "HIV-Free Future" Will Need An Ignorant-Free Present was the previous entry in this blog.

Youth Action Insight - Five Days In The Life Of A Young Activist is the next entry in this blog.

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