Former NAACP chapter president Rev. C.L. Bryant calls himself a “runaway slave,” which he defines as “persons, historically or presently, courageous enough to say no to the master’s housing, his food, or his direction, courageous enough to find the blessings of liberty for themselves.” Bryant is currently touring the country, promoting his conservative message and his documentary “Runaway Slave.”
Michael McNeely, the chairman of the Georgia Black Republicans, believes that the black Democrat vote is traditional, rather than foundational:
Today’s generation did not live through the struggles of the civil rights movement and does not connect with the idea of being “put back in chains” as Vice President Biden recently stated. Individuals in the black community won’t be so easily influenced into voting Democrat by politicians and other black leaders who use the unholy trinity of race, class and gender to play on the emotions and fears of blacks.
Though he is proud of his country for electing a black man, McNeely prefers substance over hue. In making the case for conservatism to black audiences in Georgia, McNeely poses a question, “For so long blacks have been counted as a ‘sure thing’ come election day for Democrats, but what have we gotten in return?”
K. Carl Smith founded the Frederick Douglass Republicans in 2009. Speaking as an ex-Democrat, Smith is currently traveling town-to-town across the country, explaining why blacks vote as they do and how to change their minds.
The Democratic Party has done a magnificent job of co-opting the history of the Republican Party. For example, many black Americans believe the Democratic Party has always championed the cause of black civil rights. Many blacks do not realize it was the Democratic Party, led by Senator Richard Russell, a Democrat from the state of Georgia, who launched a filibuster to prevent the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Many blacks do not know that of the 18 senators who opposed the Voting Rights Act, 17 were Democrats. And, that 97% percent of Republicans senators for the act. Far too many blacks believe the people who bombed 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham were Republicans and not Democrats. They don’t know that the Democratic Party formed the Ku Klux Klan in 1866 to curtail the political influence of the Republican Party in the black community through terror and physical violence. The party that viciously exploited and enslaved my ancestors had masterfully deceived me to gain my vote and unquestionable loyalty.
“Unquestionable” is the key word. That’s how most black conservatives describe their former loyalty to the Democratic Party. Oddly enough, the first black president has allowed disappointed black voters to, at long last, question their loyalty.
I can already hear my liberal friends laugh and say, “Okay, you’ve got three black Republicans.”
Let them think that.
Yates Walker is a conservative activist and writer. Before becoming involved in politics, he served honorably as a paratrooper and a medic in the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.