Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Cosby Republicans

Booker Rising has a great post about how the GOP can reach out to African Americans. Webmaster Shay Riley calls these people "Cosby Republicans" after the famed comedian's rant last year concerning values in the Black Community. Riley thinks there are many "old-school" blacks who are fiscally moderate and socially conservative. They may not be crazy or downright hostile to gay marriage, but they want to see a social saftey net for the poor. Here is a quick defintion of a Cosby Republican:

Black folks know old-school blacks: they are no nonsense folks; live in neatly trimmed city bungalows or growing suburbs; pay their taxes on time, go to church - and I do mean church, as this is a fervently Christian crowd - every week if not several times a week, and believe in strong family values and that education is the black person's ticket to success. They may have grown up poor, but are now working-class and often middle-class. Old-school blacks believe in helping out the less fortunate - it is this subgroup which makes black Americans among the most generous Americans, per capita, when it comes to charitable contributions and volunteerism - but they want folks to at least meet them halfway in improving their lives. They often help out their less fortunate relatives, so they have firsthand experience in this area. Along with concerns about moral issues, it is this point of the Republican Party's plank that has some appeal to them.

While there are some parts of it I wouldn't agree with (I am gay, so I support gay marriage or civil unions) I think this has some promise. Of course, for the GOP to become an option for African Americans, they have to accept some social programs.

All in all, it a good idea. One of the reasons I became disenchanted with the Democrats is because they view blacks as victims. That was not what I was taught growing up. I was taught to be proud of who I am. I think many black folk are tired of being told by black radicals that we should feel helpless and mad about the legacy of racism. We are proud of who we are, because as bad as this nation has treated us, we still rise. If the GOP can tap into this part of the electorate, they might actually give the Dems a run for their money concerning the black vote.


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