In the first part of Liberty Nation’s interview with activist and entrepreneur Felecia Killings, she addressed some of the mistakes Republicans make in attracting black voters. The party must alter its approach to earn the trust of the black community. In part two, Killings discusses some of the steps the GOP can take to appeal to American blacks and to overcome the obstacles the party has faced in reaching this critical demographic. It’s important to understand that this will be a long and hard road, as the Republicans have not formed a presence in black communities in decades, but results will come with a long-term approach.
One of the most egregious mistakes that conservatives have made is adopting a condescending, even judgmental tone toward American blacks. While this approach is often unintentional, it is nonetheless fatal to conservatives’ efforts to reach minority voters. Right-leaning pundits – of any race – come off as patronizing, appearing to lecture rather than have a conversation.
When she works with writers and conservative organizations in crafting their messages, Killings gives them advice from which the GOP could certainly benefit:
“Stop belittling people’s experiences. Stop belittling single mothers who have to use government assistance. Stop shaming women for having abortions, and you’ve never gone through the mental anguish of making such a choice. Instead, use your story to show how, even if you experienced hardships, you thrived because you adopted conservative, biblical standards.”
Through storytelling, conservatives can establish a connection with those they wish to reach. In this way, Killings teaches her clients to be “authentic, vulnerable, and truthful.” These characteristics are lacking in many Republicans when they discuss the plight of black America. Conservative pundits and politicians are quick to bring up homicide rates in cities like Chicago and quote statistics about the black family, and rightly so, but they stop short of urging the Republican Party to start the process of unseating the progressive politicians that are creating these conditions.
To black Americans, it appears that Republicans will only acknowledge their communities when the party can use them as a talking point with which to attack Democrats, who have destroyed their cities. Put simply, Republicans are content to talk about black Americans, but it seems that they are unwilling to talk to black Americans. This assumption is not true of everyday conservatives, but unfortunately, there does not seem to be a concerted effort to reach black voters.
Killings has also suggested that black conservatives use their platforms to promote change within the GOP. “I am encouraging independent Black Conservative voices to use their platforms — no matter how big or small — to create more content around what’s needed to reform the Party,” she explained. “The more content we publish, the better. When the people demand change, then the Party has to answer.”
Many black conservatives use their voices to attack the left – and rightly so. The Democrats have caused an immense level of damage to the black community, and their misdeeds should be exposed. Nevertheless, complaining about the Democrats alone will not move the needle. These individuals must also pressure the Republican Party to challenge leftist politicians, who know they don’t have to get results to earn their constituents’ votes.
It’s also important to ensure that black conservatives with diverse opinions are also elevated. Killings believes that a “new breed” of black conservatism will arise: “I see in the coming future the GOP looking once again to Black Conservatives like Sonnie Johnson or Alfonzo Rachel, and pulling from upcoming Conscious Black Conservatives like myself, Kevin Martin, Hotep Jesus, and others.”
The right prides itself on promoting diversity of thought, but when it comes to black conservatives, differing views have not typically been showcased. Perhaps allowing for more opinions will help the GOP obtain useful ideas that can help them address black voters.
Lastly, the Republican Party must begin engaging face to face. Tweeting about black people from afar is not the solution. Conservatives must meet blacks on their turf. It is essential that Republicans take their message to the community. Killings recommends “targeting Black mainstream media,” and going “to where Black audiences are.”
This is a tactic the left has used to its advantage. Many Democratic politicians appear on black talk shows both on the radio and television, while Republicans steer clear of these venues. Charlamagne Tha God, the host of “The Breakfast Club,” radio show, recently humiliated Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) over her Native American appropriation scandal; these individuals aren’t as friendly to the left as one might think. The host has indicated that he would be willing to have Republicans on his show, but none have taken him up on his offer.
Earning the black vote has been a prevalent topic of discussion for decades, with many decrying the fact that the Democrats receive overwhelming support from the black community. Indeed, much of the Democrats’ success depends on this support, and if they lost even a chunk of black voters, the party would be in dire straits. Libertarian pundit Larry Elder has pointed out on many occasions that “Without the 90+% black vote, the democrat party, at the national level, CANNOT WIN.”
Minorities are expected to outnumber whites in the United States by 2045, according to the US Census. If the Republican Party does not adjust its approach, it will become irrelevant, and the Democrats will dominate for decades to come. Not only is bringing conservative solutions to black communities the right thing to do, but it is also essential to the survival of the GOP. Perhaps it is time for the party to return to being the Party of Lincoln before it is too late.
This article was originally published at Liberty Nation.
How do you think the GOP could reach more black voters? Let me know in the comments below.
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