My good friend, Timothy Johnson, Ph.D., was recently honored by the Buncombe County Republican party. Timothy Johnson has been elected party chair. It did not go unnoticed that he is the first black elected party chair in Buncombe County – Republican or Democratic. In an interview with the Weaverville newspaper, Tim commented on how many blacks are “ignorant” of the bedrock beliefs of the Republican Party. Dr. Johnson believes that the ideals of the Republican Party line up very well with the ideals of the Black community.
Before I go on any further, I would like to say that no one and no party has cornered the market on ethics or morality. There are bad and evil people that are motivated by greed and power in both parties. But, with that being said, I think we can look over the past 40 years and honestly begin to evaluate which party truly benefitted Blacks and continues to benefit minorities and the underprivileged. Let’s look at a few issues.
Civil rights. This one is easy. There is no contest. In the 60s the Democrats stood with Blacks. Southern Democrats who were opposed to integration did not like the direction of the party and slowly but surely left the Democratic Party and joined the Republican Party. Were there individual Republicans who believed that integration was inevitable? Were there individual Republicans who believed that segregation was an abomination? I think the answer is yes on both counts. Did the Republican party change their platform in 1964 and 1968 to appease Southern Whites? Yes.
The Economy. Republicans like to talk about cutting government spending. I lived in Texas most of my life. Republicans rule in Texas. I saw the state government cut so deeply that some regulatory agencies had to stop regulating. They had to fire some government workers because there was no more money. Republicans stood back and smiled but when you go to the DMV and have to wait 2 or 3 hours just to talk to someone before you can begin the process of getting your license? Please think of those cuts. When you get a brand new tatoo which gives you a skin infection or possibly even hepatitis because there was not enough inspectors to regularly inspect that parlor who’s smiling now? (more…)