ritten by Raven Clabough
Friday, 29 October 2010 16:39
Despite allegations of racism in Tea Party organizations, the Republican Party, and conservative groups, 2010 has witnessed more black Republican activism than ever before. Thirty-seven African Americans in 16 states have been in contention for seats in the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives this year.
Fox News reports, “The Republican Party is hoping to put a record number of African Americans in Congress after Tuesday’s election; despite the fact the first black president is highly unpopular within the party.”
Of course, the effort has not been without some difficulty.
According to Onnidan Online, “Black conservatives are used to having to defend their values, but they now are really taking heat for their involvement in the mostly white ‘Tea Party’ movement — and for having the audacity to oppose the policies of America’s first black president.”
One such black conservative is Timothy F. Johnson of the Frederick Douglass Foundation, a group of black conservatives who support the free market and limited government. “I’ve been told I hate myself. Black Republicans find themselves always having to prove who they are. Because the assumption is the Republican Party is for whites and the Democratic Party is for blacks.”
Fox News indicates that one of the most likely black conservative victors is Tim Scott, a South Carolina state representative and former Charleston County Council Chairman. With only minor opposition from Scott’s heavily Republican district, Scott is likely to become the state’s first black GOP congressman since Reconstruction.
Scott reflects, “I think the issues are very simple. Limited government, simplified tax code, lower taxes, and less government spending.” His campaign has rested on promises of reducing funding of ObamaCare, a measure he has dubbed “a jobs killer.”
According to Fox News, “Scott’s views echo those of many fiscal conservatives, who accuse the Republican establishment of giving lip service to the party’s mantra of less public spending and limited government. It is this political climate that may help conservative African Americans make inroads in a still predominately white GOP. Many of these minority candidates are reaching out to Tea Party conservatives.”
Angela McGlown, a black congressional candidate from Mississippi who lost the Republican primary to Alan Nunnelee, contends that her involvement in the Tea Party movement is “not about a black or white issue. It’s not even about Republican or Democrat, from my standpoint. All of us are taxed too much.”
Neal Thigpen, political science professor at Francis Marion University in South Carolina, asserts, “The Tea Party people are not daft on gender and I don’t think they’re daft on race. They tend to be economic conservatives.”
Allegations of Tea Party racism made by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, as well as George Soros’ organizations such as Media Matters, have been contested by black members of the Tea Party movement. Onnindan Online writes, “Black members of the movement say it is not inherently racist.”
Claims that Tea Partiers used racial slurs against congressmen prior to the healthcare vote have also been contested by black conservatives. Onnindan Online adds, “Some question the reported slurs. ‘You would think — something that offensive — you would think someone got video of it.’”
Unfortunately, black members of the Tea Party movement have to contend with cries of treason from their communities. In April, Fox News reported, “They’ve been called Oreos, traitors and Uncle Toms, and are used to having to defend their values.”
David Webb, organizer of New York City’s Tea Party 365, Inc., states, “I’ve gotten the statement, ‘How can you not support the brother?’”
Despite the criticism, Scott is proud of his involvement in the conservative moment, declaring, “I am more of a conservative than I am a Republican.”
Recognizing the importance of the presence of black conservatives in Congress, the Patriot Political Action Committee unveiled Operation Black Storm, a national coalition to unite the nation behind the black conservative congressional candidates in key districts around the country.
K. Carl Smith, president of the Conservative Messenger, explained of the coalition, “We want to reignite America’s passion for liberty and create an atmosphere for political dialogue where conservative candidates can engage in conversation about the issues without being accused or racism or called Uncle Toms.”
He adds, “It’s finally time for our nation to get past racial barriers in politics, and with Operation Black Storm we intend to send a message to Washington that — above all — Americans of all backgrounds, colors, and decent faiths want their God-given right for SELF-RULE.”