It’s called Operation Black Storm and its goal is to systematically cut the support from under any of the “left” arguments that the tea party is racist and people of color naturally should drift to the Democrat Party.
Oh, and by the way, it’s planning on putting 15 candidates with a wide range of life experiences but a common intent of building America back up into office.
The candidates all are challenging incumbent Democrats in House races from New York to California. The movement is intended to raise money, get out the vote and reverse the mistaken but commonly adopted perception that the tea party and conservative coalitions are not for blacks.
Assembled by the Patriot PAC, it describes its own goals.
“Although Patriot PAC supports candidates of all races and ethnicities, due to the need to provide a counterbalance to the Progressive/Liberal Congressional Black Caucus, our focus this election cycle is on providing support for black conservative candidates in 2010. Candidates below can be trusted to adhere to and abide by both the letter and the spirit of the Constitution.”
Candidates supported by Operation Black Storm
The project is the brainchild of Operation Black Storm Executive Director Lynne Roberts and ConservativeMessenger.org president Keith Smith.
Smith says that many black Americans are socially and politically conservative. To reach out to them, he says he’s taking them back to their roots by reminding them of a politically conservative, 19th–century black Republican, Frederick Douglass.
Listen to an interview with Smith:
“When you study Douglass’ life, Douglass believed in four, life-empowering values. He had respect for the Constitution, respect for life, belief in limited government and belief in the responsibility of the individual. Douglass believed in that, so Douglass was the quintessential conservative,” Smith explained.
Roberts agrees that Frederick Douglass Republicans, the tea party and these candidates take black Americans back to their roots.
Roberts says the tea party should resonate with black Americans.
“A lot of black Americans have been voting for Democrats when in fact it’s against their values. Most of them are very conservative. These Democrats they’ve been electing are totally opposite their values,” Roberts observed.
Smith adds that even though this is historically accurate, the media has made it difficult to say that publicly.
“What I’ve done and what God has given me is that I do not describe myself as a conservative, not because I’m not one, but because in the black community, the word conservative has been strained by the liberal media and liberal politicians to be synonymous with racist. So I describe myself as a Frederick Douglass Republican,” Smith continued.
“It’s a turn of phrase and it’s a phrase that God has given me to inspire people to defend liberty,” Smith added.
Smith says the phrase “Frederick Douglass Republican” takes some of the name-calling out of play.
“This phrase resonates with people. The ‘I’m a Frederick Douglass Republican’ trumps the race card. What it does for me is that it gives me an opportunity to engage at the local level. It gives them an opportunity to engage in political dialogue,” Smith observed. “It takes the race card off the table and then we get to discuss ideas. That’s where we want to get to because as conservatives we have the best ideas,” Smith stated.
Smith also says that the mainstream Republican Party hasn’t made much effort to help the candidates because most of them are running in predominantly black districts. Smith says that the GOP has almost “written off” the black vote.
“That’s appropriate under the old approach, but we now have a new approach, and that’s what resonates. We say we’re Frederick Douglass Republicans. That’s what resonates,” Smith said.
Most of the support for these candidates is coming from the tea party, something that Smith says is ironic considering that the tea party has been fighting the charge of racism since the Tea Party Express tour began last spring.
“I speak at tea-party events and I will continue to do so because I’ve done my homework. I attended the organizational meetings. The tea-party movement supports those life-affirming values. Once you put aside the race-baiting that goes on and pull back the veneer, they’re conservatives and they support the values that Frederick Douglass advocated,” Smith explained.
Roberts says the list of candidates is extraordinary.
Listen to an interview with Roberts:
“In order to forever still the race card, we need to elect black candidates. We have a group that is just incredible. You can go to our web site, OperationBlackStorm.com, and it has all of their pictures. The pictures link directly to their campaign websites,” Roberts explained.
Here is the list of candidates supported by Operation Black Storm:
- Michel Faulkner, New York’s Fifth District.
- Robert Broadus, Maryland’s Fourth District.
- Charles Loller, Maryland’s Fifth District.
- Tim Scott, South Carolina’s First District.
- Chuck Smith, Virginia’s Third District.
- Bill Randall, North Carolina’s Thirteenth District.
- Allen West, Florida’s Twenty-Second District.
- Don Chamberlain, Alabama’s Seventh District.
- Charlotte Bergmann, Tennessee’s Ninth District.
- Pastor Stephen Broden, Texas’ Thirtieth District.
- Dr. Marvin Scott, Indiana’s Seventh District.
- Isaac Hayes, Illinois’ Second District.
- Ryan Frazier, Colorado’s Seventh District.
- Star Parker, California’s Thirty-Seventh District.
- Vincent Danet, the Delegate from the Virgin Islands.
- Bill Marcy, Mississippi’s Second District.
Charlotte Bergmann is one of the 15 candidates and she’s running for Congress in Tennessee’s ninth district against incumbent Democrat Steve Cohen. Bergmann’s campaign visited one of RNC Chairman Michael Steele’s rallies and has used the occasion to publicize her campaign.
The Ninth District includes Memphis and Bergmann’s Campaign Manager Howie Morgan says the differences between Bergmann and Cohen are clearest with cap-and-trade and Obamacare.
“Memphis is the transportation hub. You can get to almost 70 percent of the rest of America by truck in one day from Memphis. There is a ton of transportation companies in town, I mean trucking companies out the ‘wazoo’, distribution centers for many companies,” Morgan explained.
“FedEx, based in Memphis. Railroad yards, it’s a major crossroads for Canadian National and BMSF. I mean it’s just a huge transportation hub. And here we have a congressman who’s voting cap-and-trade, which will do nothing more than raise transportation costs for everybody in the nation,” Morgan added.
“Another thing is Medicare. Politico has called me about the ‘Turn your head and cough ad.’ It’s on YouTube. The health-care bill was a half-hearted attempt, half free-market way and half government control,” Morgan continued.
“These things affect economy and jobs and that’s why we’re against cap-and-trade and Obamacare. These things will do nothing more than strangle their livelihood,” Morgan said.
Morgan adds that with energy policy, free markets are the best way to determine America’s future.
Roberts adds that the new approach builds bridges.
“The message of Operation Black Storm trumps the race card and completely takes it off the table,” Roberts said.