In a previous post, I wrote about the scene in Get on the Bus where Wendell gets thrown out for his ideologies. The revelation that Republicans were riding the bus caused a general feeling of astonishment between the bus riders. Evan Thomas Sr. encapsulated this by stating, “I don’t see how any Black man can be a Republican” (1:06:09). This movie was released in 1996, however there does not seem to be a significant change in how Black people view the Republican Party 20 years later. This begs the question, why don’t Black people support the Republican Party?
If I think personally on why I have not supported the Republican Party, it should hopefully frame the personal reasons for Black people’s general lack of support, or even disdain, of the Republican Party. Whether they are valid or not, the general understandings I gathered growing up was that the Republican Party does not like Black people, and the KKK supports the Republican Party. Of course there is more nuance to this, but this was how the Republican Party was characterized for me as a kid. In my unscientific opinion, I am guessing that other Black people have relatable understandings from their childhood.
Now, I do not actively believe that all Republicans are racist – and hope most are not – , but there has been nothing done to reverse the general understanding that the Republican Party is not made for Black people. A quick search led me to Why Aren’t There More Black Republicans by Musa Al-Gharbi. Republican’s emphasis on individual responsibility while not acknowledging overt and institutional racism, the curtailing of Black-voter potential through zoning and ID laws, and policies against poor people represent some of Al-Gharbi’s main arguments. Any Republican attempting to court Black voters cannot be effective in the presence of these persistent, party-characteristics.
20 years after Get on the Bus, and Wendell’s anti-Black rhetoric still seems to fit within the Republican Party (Trump’s VP?). Even though I criticize the Republican Party, this piece is meant to show the realism in the bus riders’ astonishment, rather than be an assault on the Republican Party or any of its supporters. After all, the Democratic Party has a racist past (and present). Also, do not allow this piece to be further evidence of the monolithic Black voter. If anything, this shows that Black individuals do not mainly vote for Democrats because “that’s what Black people do”. Instead, each individual engages in a political weighing of options. For most Black people, this leads to a Democratic candidate because the Republican Party has not demonstrated a willingness to promote their interests.
Source Link: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/why-arent-there-more-black-republicans/