On any level you examine, President Donald Trump’s outreach to blacks is an unenlightened mess.
Trump’s appointment of Omarosa Manigault, the former “Apprentice” contestant, as White House director of communications for the Office of Public Liaison shows his lack of insight and interest in blacks, or their issues. Manigault is the top-ranking African-American official inside the White House is neither a Republican nor black advocate. Trump pays Manigault a top salary of $179,700, but shows little concern about her problematic relationship and outreach to blacks. While Trump views Omarosa as evidence of his commitment to diversity, blacks see her as a spook who sat by the door.
In another “diversity move,” Trump has nominated African-American Jerome M. Adams as U.S. surgeon general. A number of black Republicans hold prominent public- and private-sector positions. A common thread among high-profile black Republicans is a “commitment to colorblind politics.” You see this modus operandi with politicians like Rep. Mia Love of Utah and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina. They acknowledge that being black is part of their life experience but reject that racial identity should orient their political decision-making, often decrying efforts such as affirmative action to address racial inequality.
Race-conscious Republicans see themselves as closely linked to the broader black community and view conservative politics as a tool of uplift for blacks. Contemporary blacks’ support of Republican policy positions based on motivations based on their black Republican leanings and philosophies.
Black Republican publishers have always the way for the race. Abolitionist and ex-slave Frederick Douglass published the North Star as an anti-slavery newspaper in 1846. Later in blacks’ trials in America, Robert L. Vann published the Pittsburgh Courier, which developed into one of the leading black newspapers under his leadership. By the 1930s it was the highest circulated black newspaper in the country.
The Call & Post was started in 1916 by Cleveland inventor Garrett Morgan. Under influence of publisher W.O. Walker, the Call & Post established itself as the voice for African-Americans. C.A. Scott was a prominent conservative Republican that published The Atlanta Daily World, which in 1944 became the first black newspaper to have an African-American cover the White House. Scott was powerful political force who opposed sit-ins and other direct actions of the 1960s, arguing that growth of black businesses and wealth would be more effective strategies for ending racial oppression.
Blacks’ devotion to Democrats has evolved into a dependency on government. Since the mid-1930s, blacks have increasingly voted for Democrats and their progressive economic and civil rights policies. FDR’s New Deal programs and desegregation of the military in the 1940s began the bond Democrats hold with African-Americans. For blacks to be a force in America, we need to understand and nurture capitalism. For the past half-century, blacks have primarily supported the Democratic Party. The results of this political allegiance has created little for blacks, who would function and operate better in America with free-market and Republican ideology.
Black Republicans believe in political philosophies that uphold liberty as a core principle. Their objectives are to maximize political freedom and autonomy, emphasize freedom of choice, voluntary association, individual and self-ownership. Black Republicans have faith in the private sector to afford opportunity, reduce poverty and create jobs. In addition to market economies, black Republicans believe in limited government and desire less regulation. We believe in governments having to operate with balanced budgets and have conviction our country’s debt crisis is real and must be addressed. We believe in the family structure of father, mother and children for blacks. That the black family structure is predominately female-headed is a matter of interest to us and seek to mitigate links between black family structure and poverty. Like-minded, we know with certainty that civil institutions including families, voluntary associations, churches and synagogues is the lifeblood of society, and is to be protected from government meddling. While whites are united defending Israel, black Republicans’ support for Israel is tempered by sympathies for the Palestinians’ plight. The majority of Republican-leaning blacks oppose minimum wage and abortion on demand legislation.
William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via Busxchng@his.com.