Anyone who doubts that the Republican Party can attract black voters needs only look south to Louisiana.
At a conference held in Baton Rouge at the end of May, called @Large and aimed to attract black conservatives, black Democrat Elbert Guillary, a member of the state legislature, announced that he was switching party and becoming a Republican.
Less than two weeks later, just up the road in Central City, Louisiana, black Democrat city councilman Ralph Washington – who attended this same @Large conference, made the same announcement – he’s becoming a Republican.
It’s really not such a mystery. The mystery is why this is not happening more often.
I’m asked all the time why, when it is so clear that blacks are damaged by the left wing political agenda, black voters so uniformly and consistently support candidates – Democrats – who advance this agenda.
My answer is that Republicans need to start acting more like the businesspeople they claim to be.
Any businessman convinced that his product is the best doesn't blame customers for not buying it. He doubles down on his efforts to understand these potential customers better and how to sell to them.
There needs to be more appreciation of the differences in the black population.
A Gallup poll done in 2011 showed that whereas 39 percent of whites say they are “very religious,” 53 percent of blacks do. A large percentage of “very religious” blacks are conservative and very different from blacks on the left who identify with the NAACP.
The @Large conference, where I was a speaker, was hosted by pastor C.L. Bryant, who tells his own story about leaving the left-wing black establishment in his new film “Runaway Slave.”
Bryant was president of the NAACP chapter in Garland, Texas, but his relationship with the NAACP soured when he refused to speak at a Planned Parenthood pro-abortion event.
His eyes began to open and see that his traditional Christian values – protecting the unborn and promoting the traditional family, individual freedom, and dignity – were out of whack with the political agenda blacks were automatically signing onto.
Elbert Guillary is now the first black Republican in the Louisiana state legislature since reconstruction.
Listen to him to understand why a conservative black leaves the Democratic Party.
He called the Democrats “the party of disappointment” and expressed disillusionment with Democratic policies on abortion, gun control, education, and immigration.
Democrats “have moved away from the traditional values of most Americans,” he said. “Their policies have encouraged high teen birth rates, high high school drop-out rates, high incarceration rates, and very high unemployment rates.”I don't entirely agree with Parker's assertion that the GOP needs to act like businesspeople. Certainly, yes, it needs to be a party of opportunity. But, there also needs to be a distinct difference between the GOP and Democrats, instead of being "Democrat lite," or coming across in a way that might be interpreted by some as pandering.
What about the immigration (aka amnesty) bill in the Senate? There's a good opportunity for the national party. Black leaders are writing the Congressional Black Caucus and telling them that this amnesty bill will hurt workers. This comes at a time when 13 percent of blacks are unemployed--double the national average, under Obama.