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Opinion Say it loud: ‘I’m a black Republican, and I’m...

Say it loud: ‘I’m a black Republican, and I’m proud’

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Only five percent of black registered voters in the United States identify as members of the Republican Party, the same party Lincoln led that worked effortlessly to abolish slavery and support equality
among blacks.

According to data from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, the five percent in 2012 is an increase from the the four percent of registered black Republicans
in 2008.

The party championed by 19th century whites and which helped maintain a system that suppressed the rights of African-Americans so long ago is now the party supported by most African-Americans.
Why is it, by numbers, blacks have so easily turned their backs on the group of people who played a vital role in African American freedom today?

This is a big problem in black politics.

President Barack Obama is indeed a registered black Democrat, but there is no unwritten law that states that as a fellow black, your allegiance goes to him or his party.

Yet black Republican Jimmie Walker, best known for his former role as J.J. in the television series, “Good Times,” has been ridiculed by the black community for his open views against President Obama.
In 2012, actress Stacey Dash was also ridiculed by the black community for her political views. She openly supported Mitt Romney during his campaign for presidency and black social media got angry.
While having the first African-American president of the United States is a historical accomplishment, having more black Republicans or having the first black Republican president would be an even
greater accomplishment.

In order for blacks to be more represented in a white, male-dominated government, there must be a good amount of both black Democrats and Republicans.

In 2012, 76 percent of registered black voters identified as Democrats, far more than those that identified as Republicans. Where is the equality in that?
Unfortunately, there is a stigma in the black community that if you’re poor and black, you must be a Democrat and if you’re rich and black, there’s a reason of financial or political gain if you’re a Republican.
If you break the understood rules, you’re often considered a traitor or sellout.

The truth is: Democrat doesn’t equal good and Republican doesn’t equal bad, and vice versa.

There should be no need to have blacks afraid to come out of the political closet as a Republican. It should be socially acceptable for a black person to walk into a room of their black peers and say, “You know what? I’m a black Republican and I’m proud!”

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Crystal Garnerhttp://shesagarner.com
Crystal Garner is a junior broadcast journalism and computer science student at Southern Miss who simply enjoys telling stories. Follow her work at shesagarner.com.

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