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Austin: Establishment Republicans Have Failed Black Communities

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For decades, Democrats have maintained an ideological hold over the bulk of America’s minority communities.

This is, in part, due to the left’s clever sloganeering and political bribery.

But it isn’t only the left at fault — establishment conservatives have failed minority communities as well.

I don’t mean this in terms of policy — policies that promote free markets, law and order, the sanctity of life and so on will inevitably lead to the empowerment of all underserved communities, regardless of color.

In terms of messaging and outreach, however, we have, time and again, failed to engage with these communities.

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This problem first came to my attention upon watching Larry Elder’s fantastic 2020 documentary “Uncle Tom: An Oral History of the American Black Conservative.”

Several black conservatives featured in the film spoke about how Republicans have abdicated their responsibility by failing to reach out to these communities.

“The black community is low-hanging fruit for the Republican Party, and the fact that they’re not making a more concerted effort to message to our community aggressively is a huge mistake,” Eugene J. Ralph Sr. said in the film.

Also in the movie, prominent political scientist Carol Swain recounts her run for mayor of Nashville, noting that “Republican strategists” criticized her for “spending my time in minority communities.”

Should Republicans make more inroads with minority communities?

“I placed my campaign office in a historically black community. I did that by choice,” Swain said.

“I have not found the kind of support that I expected from Republicans. I think that if you look at the Republican Party, I believe that if I were white that I would notice that there was so few people of color — racial and ethnic minorities in my party — and I would support the ones that were sincere.”

Last week, I spoke with Kevin McGary, co-founder of the new Christian conservative competitor to Black Lives Matter — Every Black Life Matters.

Swain’s words from “Uncle Tom” were weighing on my mind, so I asked McGary if he thought people in conservative circles had been “neglecting these underserved communities.”

His response was “absolutely.”

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From there, McGary echoed the sentiments shared by Swain and Ralph, noting he’s had experience dealing with this sort of dismissiveness through his work with civic engagement organizations.

When reaching out to various “resourceful conservative and Republicans” to work alongside him in helping reach out to these communities, McGary repeatedly has been met with one troubling statement — “Well, you know, that’s really not our sweet spot.”

“And we tell them, look, we understand it’s not your sweet spot — that’s why we’re here. We’re here to do the hard work,” McGary told The Western Journal.

“And still there’s this reluctance. There’s this resistance there. They would much rather continue to give to the pockets of the political advisers that they’ve had since Reagan and continue to throw money down the drain.”

While the left’s notion of “systemic racism” is nothing more than a conspiracy theory, it is true that black communities face unique problems in American society.

For decades, the welfare state — and various other Democratic policies — have created incentives for joblessness, complacency and fatherless households, things that have led to rising crime rates and broken homes, hurting numerous black communities across the country.

As conservatives, we can offer a solution to this problem, through preaching the value of, among other things, the nuclear family, free markets and hard work.

President Donald Trump started us on that path by making inroads with various minority groups, but Republicans need to fully commit to community outreach, even if such initiatives don’t immediately produce dividends.

Otherwise, underserved minorities will continue to suffer under Democratic rule and, eventually, we will lose the country.

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Michael Austin joined The Western Journal as a staff reporter in 2020. Since then, he has authored hundreds of stories, including several original reports. He also co-hosts the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."
Michael Austin joined The Western Journal as a staff reporter in 2020. Since then, he has authored hundreds of stories, including several original reports. He also co-hosts the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."
Birthplace
Ames, Iowa




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