ICYMI: A “Right” Move for Blacks
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: David Laska
Last week, NYGOP Chair Ed Cox and RNC Chair Reince Priebus joined Rev. A.R. Bernard and other African-American leaders at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn as part of the RNC’s “Growth and Opportunity Project” listening tour.
As this editorial from the New York Post explains, the Republican Party has a lot to offer minority voters, from welfare reform to charter schools to tougher crime-fighting policies. Give it a read:
‘Right’ move for blacks
The New York Post
Sunday, March 17, 2013
Sometimes, it’s harder to find a black Republican – particularly in New York – than, say, a Jewish pope. But blacks have good cause to embrace GOP tenets, and they may be ready to do just that.
Which might be why Republican national boss Reince Preibus and state party leader Ed Cox were in Brooklyn last Monday. The pair sat with a group of African-Americans who align themselves firmly with the GOP. The subject: how to improve the party’s relations with blacks.
The event was held in East New York’s huge Christian Cultural Center, whose black pastor, A.R. Bernard, has flirted with running for mayor – as a Republican.
Celebrity attendees included ex-New York Jets great Curtis Martin and actor Jamie Hector of HBO’s “The Wire.”
Smart move by Priebus and Cox.
Truth is, Republicans have much to offer minorities.
GOP-driven welfare reform, for example, has nudged countless young minority women toward more independent lifestyles, with many having found jobs, gotten married – or both.
Charter schools have freed thousands of minority kids from their failed government-run counterparts.
Resisting government-set wages (like the one Albany is about to hike) and letting employers pay what they can afford would make it easier for them to hire young black workers starting up the career ladder.
And tough GOP-style crime-fighting tools, like stop-and-frisk, primarily aid minorities, who are disproportionate victims. (Last year, the NYPD kept murders to just 419, down from 2,245 in 1990. Since some 90% are typically black or Hispanic, that spells 1,640 minority lives saved last year.)
To their credit, Priebus and Cox tried to stress such points – and if that message gets through, blacks may well respond.
No, not overnight. As Bernard put it, “Change is not an event, it’s a process.” No one should expect blacks suddenly to flock back in droves to their one-time home, the GOP. But winning them over would benefit both the party and the black community – which has precious little to point to for its decades of Democratic allegiance.
Sure, Priebus, Cox & Co. will have to work hard to close the sale. They’ll need to pitch their argument often, not just around election time.
They might follow NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly’s example. After all, there’s a reason why, despite controversial policies like stop-and-frisk, ties between cops and blacks have improved, with but a few isolated exceptions: From Day One, Kelly has made it a point to visit black churches personally, and he kept at it every week.
Republicans can play that game, too.
If they do, that Priebus-Cox event might be the start of a beautiful friendship.