Politic365

 
 


District

9:00pm September 7, 2010

Will Black Republicans Join the CBC?

congressional-black-caucus

It hasn’t gone unnoticed that a significant number of African Americans identifying themselves as Republican are running for Congress.  Tim Scott (R) is a sure thing for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District.  Observers consider conservative insurgent Allen West (R) competitive enough to possibly take out incumbent Rep. Ron Klein (D) in Florida’s 22nd District.  And Colorado is buzzing about Aurora City Councilman Ryan Frazier (R), a moderate Republican running in the 7th Congressional District against Rep. Earl Perlmutter (D), who is also watching his back in what local politicos consider a hot race.  With this new wave of Black Republicans poised for Capitol Hill offices, a curious question is raised:  what will that mean for the Congressional Black Caucus?

In typical electoral cycles, the pundits would be dismissing Black Republicans – and for good reason.  Less than 10% of the African American electorate is registered “Republican.”  In 2008, less than that voted for GOP Presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).  Critics, Black Republicans among them, famously rip the Republican National Committee for its notorious failure at Black outreach.  And the Republican brand is synonymous with White racism as far as the majority of African Americans are concerned.

Yet, 2010 found a record number of Black Republicans staging Congressional bids – from those barely registering on the political radar to several managing successful, well-funded grassroots campaigns like the ones mentioned above.  As Election Day edges closer, and the chances of a GOP takeover appear imminent with each passing poll, longtime observers of Black political trends are sensing the potential for a sudden spurt in Black Republican Congressional Members.  And, it’s an important question should Republicans regain majorities in Congress, presenting a challenge for the CBC if its members need to leverage GOP leadership to gain traction on issues critical to their core constituencies.

Is there a paradigm shift on the horizon?

“It marks a beginning of a potential shift, but it does not necessarily mean a new shift for Black people and politics, particularly a shift back to the Republican Party,” says conservative commentator and author Lenny McAllister in comments to Politic365.com. “Black people must see people that reflect their current conditions, not just how they look physically, in order to walk the road back to the GOP and, perhaps, political balance within Black America.”

“Half the message is showing up,” says Frazier, a 31-year old Aurora, CO city councilman who is generating some excitement among African Americans in the Denver metro area.  “I look at it as an issue of engagement.  The Republican Party has no choice but to expand the demographics if it is to survive.  My job is to engage all communities.”

A key question is whether candidates like Frazier will embrace the 42-member, all-Democratic CBC should they win.  “I would absolutely entertain it,” says Frazier.  “There needs to be a diversity of ideas on how to move our country forward, particularly as it relates to Blacks and Hispanics.”

Sources close to West are fairly certain he’ll decline or boycott an invitation to the CBC in the event he wins, some raising the specter of a very ugly spat between the very outspoken retired military officer and a Caucus used to showing public solidarity.  West is often criticized for his stands on race, at one time claiming that “institutional racism is dead.”

“I don’t think that it’s a good idea to boycott,” says McAllister. “There is no possibility for true advancement, development, or higher efficacy for the CBC in advocating for Black folks in America if there is not the much-needed competition of philosophies within it.”

Still, the procedures for joining the Caucus are not that clear.  Are new Members invited or do they express a desire to join?  Is membership simply based on mutual background and heritage or is it dictated by party?  And, how does the Caucus … caucus if it’s faced with the challenge of a minority-party Member? The Caucus has been down this road before, accommodating Members like one-term U.S. Virgin Islands Del. Melvin Herbert Evans (R) back in 1979.  And, there was the very public feud in 1994 between lone Black Republican Gary Franks (R-CT) and CBC Members angered by his conservative views.  Then Caucus Chair Rep. Kweisi Mfume (D-MD) settled the issue, at least temporarily, by asking: “Can the Congressional Black Caucus accommodate diversity and plurality?  It must.  And as long as I am chair, it will.”

The prospect of a fresh round of fights with Black Republicans doesn’t sit too well with Black Democratic Members.  When Rep. J.C. Watts (R-OK) arrived in 1995, the last Black Republican to serve in Congress, the former college football quarterback declined the invitation to join the CBC, spurring controversy during his three terms.  Many Black Republicans claim he was pushed out.

“I know that in the past, Watts wanted an invitation,” says Rev. Stephen Broden (R) in comments to Politic365.com, a candidate running a long-shot bid against incumbent Rep. Eddie Bernice-Johnson (D) in Houston Dallas, TX. “The Black conservative voice has been ignored and disparaged for a long time, and the conservative media has ignored us, too.  There is a disconnect.”



About the Author

Charles Ellison
Charles D. Ellison, Managing Editor for Politic365.com, Washington Correspondent for The Philadelphia Tribune and a weekly political analyst providing insight on WDAS-FM (Philadelphia), WVON-AM (Chicago) and KSRO-AM (Sonoma County, CA). He is author of the critically-acclaimed urban political thriller TANTRUM. More information can be found at http://www.cdellison.com




 
 

 
7029981403_52dc523d79_b

8 Million Sign-ups: Obamacare enrollments exceed expectations

Yesterday President Obama announced that sign-ups for the Affordable Care Act, his signature piece of legislation have hit eight million. While the official enrollment period ended on March 31, the government allowed people to ...
by Adriana Maestas
0

 
 
Georgians Go To The Polls During Early Voting Before General Election

Election 2014: Georgia 1+2+3 = Modern Voting Rights Movement #GA123

Last week I participated in #GA123 — one of the most cutting edge civic engagement events this election cycle. This “cross-platform” social media conference attracted over a hundred political leaders from the southeas...
by Kirk Clay
2

 
 
131223_tom_wheeler_fcc_commissioners_ap_328

Designated Entity Rules and Secondary Market Transactions Should Be a Top-line Priority for the FCC

America’s tech and telecom sectors account for one-sixth of the nation’s GDP, and in an increasingly digital economy, spectrum is a vital resource for economic growth and entrepreneurial opportunity. This is particu...
by Kristal High
0

 

Advertisement
 
black_girls_code_tags

Black History Month Is Time to Get Serious about Black Kids’ Futures

By Jamal Simmons Jamal Simmons is co-chair of the Internet Innovation Alliance. His political commentary has been seen on several television networks. For most of American history Black youth had ready-made jobs on farms or in ...
by Guest Contributor
0

 
 
flags4

Election 2014: Governor Christie, McDonnell, and Scott – What Do They All Have In Common?

Three Things You May Not Know About Voters of Color in New Jersey, Virginia, and Florida. What does Governors Chris Christie, Bob McDonnell, and Rick Scott all have in common? They’re all from states rocked by scandal? No. Th...
by Kirk Clay
3

 




9 Comments


  1. [...] It hasn’t gone unnoticed that a significant number of African Americans identifying themselves as Republican are running for Congress. http://politic365.com/2010/09/07/will-black-republicans-join-the-cbc/ [...]


  2. Mike

    Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson is out of Dallas not Houston.


  3. I have been browsing online more than three hours lately, but I by no means discovered any attention-grabbing article like yours. It is beautiful worth sufficient for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made excellent content as you probably did, the web will probably be a lot more helpful than ever before.


  4. Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m impressed! Very useful info specifically the ultimate part :) I deal with such info much. I used to be looking for this certain information for a very long time. Thanks and best of luck.


  5. hey there and thank you on your info ? I?ve definitely picked up anything new from proper here. I did alternatively experience a few technical points the usage of this website, since I experienced to reload the website many instances previous to I may just get it to load properly. I had been pondering in case your web hosting is OK? Now not that I’m complaining, however sluggish loading circumstances occasions will very frequently impact your placement in google and can harm your high-quality score if advertising and ***********


  6. We have recently installed aluminium windows and doors in my completely new home. It is hands down the most effective way to go, not only do they look good but because I live in a high crime place I feel risk-free. They are the best for security. My family love the new set up.


  7. Nice post. I was checking constantly this weblog and I’m impressed! Extremely useful information specifically the last section :) I handle such info a lot. I was looking for this certain info for a very lengthy time. Thanks and best of luck.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>