Mission Impossible?

Ken Mhelman stepped down as RNC chairman recently, and the buzz around Washington is that the Republicans will offer the job to Michael Steel. That is, of course, if he doesn't take a job in the Bush cabinet as housing Secretary. Anyway, this is a move, I am sure, on the part of republicans to once again court the black vote. I mean they must look at election results time and time again, see that once again, they only got about 9% of the black vote, and pull whatever hair they have left, out. I can hear them in the back rooms now: "I know that guy Steele ran a pretty good race, and he is funny, upbeat, and telegenic. He is just the type of guy we need to reach out to the blacks" Now, they might or might not be right, and if he does takes the job, Mr. Steele just might be terrific at it.

But I have a few words of advise for Michael before he becomes the new black face of the republican party. -Sorry Condi- Your party has been despised by black folks all these years for a reason. Us black folks have this sixth sense about us, we can sense and see things that other people can't. And it has always proven to be an invaluable tool when it comes to telling us who our friends really are. Our sixth sense always tells us that your Republicans friends aren't our friend, and we aren't really welcome in your tent. Oh, you will tell us we are welcome, but somehow our sixth sense always says otherwise.

This is why no matter how much republicans try to reach out to us, it never works. Oh, we will politely tell them that we will consider voting for the republican candidate , but we never do. We will let you them our homes, and our space to tell us their position, but we ain't voting for them no matter what- At least 90% of us aren't. So Michael, this is what you will have to overcome, that sixth sense of ours that never seems to let us down.

Now, please don't get it twisted, it's not just the sixth sense. There are legitimate noticeable reasons for black folks turning against the republican party: Remember Ronald Reagan in Philadelphia, Mississippi, back in 1980, giving that infamous speech supporting states rights? Remember Nixon's 1968 "Southern Strategy? Remember Barry Goldwater opposing The Civil Rights Act of 1964? Remember Herbert Hoover? Remember republican strategist Lee Atwater's statement? "you start out in 1954 by saying Nigger,nigger, nigger, By 1968 you can't say nigger without it backfiring, so you say stuff like forced busing,states rights, and all that stuff" Mmmmmm, all that stuff huh Lee? Stuff like Willie Horton, "Harold call me", a black hand taking away a job from a white hand for Jessie Helms? But this is what you will be trying to overcome Michael, and the field is just trying to help you out. Hey, when your predecessor, Ken Mhelman, tried to apologize for the republican southern strategy, two of your biggest mouth pieces, Rush Limpboy, and Sean Hannety, denounced him.

So it's all uphill for you if you take this job Michael, and I don't know if you will be able to pull it off. You see how many black folks voted against you for the white democratic candidate in your own race don't you? This, even though you ran as far away from the frat boy as possible. That ought to tell you something: Party affiliation to the democratic party trumps even race with most black folks. So you just might want to think about that before you take the job.

Now don't get me wrong, I would love to see more black folks embracing the republican party. I, for one, do not believe that we should be monolithic in our voting. I would never want one party to take us for granted, as the democrats have done from time to time. Hey, Rosa Parks herself begged J.C. Watts to stay in Congress and represent the republican party. But hey, if it's not there it's not there. There is too much of a history here between us black folks and the party of Lincoln. Too much mistrust, too much ass given to kiss, too much David Dukes, Trent Lotts, and macaca men. And yes the Democratic Senator Robert Byrd was a former Klansman, and he did try to stymie the passing of crucial civil rights legislation in the sixties with a filibuster. But somehow black folks forgive him-it's that sixth sense again- and not Trent Lott. We never seem to forget the sh*& republicans do, but we give the dems a pass. Remember Clinton and Sistah Souljah? Of course you do; democrats can use us and get away with it, but republicans can't. Hey these old wounds were deep, and it will take a long time to heal. "Well there goes the South" I know LBJ, and it ain't been back ever since.

So good luck Mike, I really do hope you can make an impact among black folks. At least that sixth sense doesn't go off when we are around you. We really do feel like you are one of us, and that's a huge start.

Tags: civil rights, David Duke, Filibuster, Klansman, LBJ, Mhelman, Robert Byrd, Steele, trent lott (all tags)




It was a Majority of Republican votes combined with a minority of Democratic votes that got the civil rights act passed.  Many more Dems voted against it than for it.

by Maureen Hannigan 2006-11-11 03:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Mission Impossible?

Powerful, Field. I had the impression Mehlman was sincere and really tried to change the relationship, but there's always something like "macaca" showing up.

Then again, I never trusted Clinton (and never voted for him) after he dissed Sistah Soulja to make his bones with Archie Bunker.

by joyful alternative 2006-11-11 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Mission Impossible?

We never seem to forget the sh*& republicans do, but we give the dems a pass. Remember Clinton and Sistah Souljah? Of course you do; democrats can use us and get away with it

Do you have an opinion of why that is?

A young African-American was moving from North Carolina to San Francisco and asked me how I thought he would like it.  

I was most encouraging.

Later he complained bitterly about the deep racism in the Bay area.


Is the overt racism of the southern white expected and accepted?  When it is missing is that suspicious?  Or is it an unspoken coolness?  What?

I have no answers at all.  The lauding of Clinton by the African-American community is incomprehensible to me.

Best,  Terry

by terryhallinan 2006-11-11 04:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Mission Impossible?

Terry, you make an interesting point, and I feel compelled to try to answer your question. It's like this: we-black folks-have come to expect racism from the South, and when it manifests itself from them, it doesn't really bother us as much. I don't think we expect to see it from the West coast or the North-which is wrong, because racism is everywhere-and when we get even a hint of it-the coolness that you described-it freaks us out.

As for Clinton and the democrats, I think it's a comfort zone with them. I guess since we have been with the dems for so long it developed over the years. We don't have it with the republicans, and we can feel it and so can they-that sixth sense i talked about- thus, the uncomfortable feeling we both have around each other. Whether it's Northern republican or Southern republican, we just ain't comfortable together.

Will that ever change? I am not sure it will in our life time. And all the focus groups and outreach in the world by the republican party will never change that simple fact.    

by field negro 2006-11-12 04:48AM | 0 recs


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