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Why black Republicans support Obama

Posted By Jesse Lee Peterson On 07/05/2008 @ 12:00 am In Commentary | Comments Disabled

I don’t necessarily like his policies; but … history thrusts me to really seriously think about it [voting for Obama]. … Black conservatives tell me privately it would be very hard to vote against him in November.

– Armstrong Williams, talk show host

Recent comments by well-known black Republicans J.C. Watts and Armstrong Williams that they’re conflicted about the upcoming presidential elections and are contemplating voting for Barack Obama have sent shock waves through the Republican Party.

I’m hearing many black Republicans echoing similar sentiments. They say that because of the historical significance of casting a vote for the first legitimate black presidential candidate, they may cross party lines.

These statements don’t surprise me.

So, how did black Republicans get to a point where they’re willing to abandon their own “values” to vote for a socialist?

To get an understanding of this phenomenon, I recently interviewed several black Republican leaders on my radio program.

Calvin Stephens, chairman of the African-American Republican Leadership Council in Texas, said that he’s voting for Obama because this is a “black pride moment!”

Can you imagine if a white person in a similar position even hinted at voting for a candidate because it was a “white pride moment”? That person would be castigated, labeled a “racist” and fired.

Other black Republicans came on my program and repeated the Obama mantra of “change” without defining what that change meant.

I understand now that there’s a major difference between a black conservative and a black Republican. A black conservative votes Republican because the party agrees with his values: pro-life, lower taxes, strong defense and strong families, etc.

A real black conservative could never vote for Obama. On the other hand, a black Republican could vote for Obama because he identifies more with color than character.

Because black Americans have long been catered to by liberal Democrats, most still feel like they’re owed something. Even the staunchest black Republican believes that his party owes him.

A new breed of black Republican has infiltrated the GOP with the intent to wield black influence over both the parties. They may agree with the Republican Party on taxes and other economic issues, but that’s it! At their core they’re dyed-in-the-wool liberal Democrats.

Until some 20 years ago, I used to be a liberal Democrat too. I followed Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan and the NAACP. In my anger I believed what these so-called “black leaders” told me: that white racism was keeping me down.

I became a conservative after a deeply profound spiritual awakening at which point I repented of my anger, and God allowed me to see reality. I was then able to recognize that these liberal black leaders were no friends of decent black Americans. I could no longer identify with the liberal Democrat platform or their Godless “values.”

I identified with conservative values and I joined the Republican Party to promote those values. I didn’t join seeking to find what the party could do for me.

Understandably, white conservatives are bewildered and upset about the prospect of black Republicans voting for candidates based on race rather than values.

The Hispanic community already outnumbers blacks, and they’re competing for representation within the GOP. Black Republicans’ support of Obama will no doubt create a bigger rift between Republican leadership and blacks, and serve to close the window of opportunity blacks have had open to them to gain leadership in the party.

But what about “history”?

Let’s examine the “history” argument. Is it right to vote for Barack Obama to make “history” while ignoring his record? Consider that Sen. Obama:

  • believes in abortion on demand, and has told Planned Parenthood that sex-ed for kindergartners is “the right thing to do” (as long as it’s “age appropriate”);
  • has announced his intention to gut our defenses including our nuclear arsenal and strategic missile defense programs;
  • has said he would be willing to meet with the leaders of Iran and others without preconditions;
  • wants to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq, which would lead to chaos in the region and endanger Israel;
  • seeks to raise taxes across the board including on oil company profits, yet opposes drilling domestically.

It would be nice to have a black president. But shouldn’t it be someone who believes in the values that made this country great and is ready to protect and serve the American people?

I hear many blacks say that an Obama presidency will be the dawn of a new day for black America. Really?

Americans have elected black members of Congress as far back as the late 1800s.

We’ve had two black Supreme Court justices. We have blacks represented in the highest stratosphere of private and government sectors. Trust me, if all these accomplishments haven’t persuaded and uplifted the masses, electing the first black president won’t do it either.

Barack Obama is not black America’s messiah. But the only way for black Americans (including those who identify themselves as Republicans) to see that reality is to drop their un-American identification with race and be willing to hear the truth about the issues from any American, regardless of color.



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