In this colunm last week, I stated that the Bush administrators are allegedly using the “Emmett Till Case” along with “faith-based initiatives” as new opportunities to wedge the Republican Party into the black community, hoping to improve on their 16 percent total of black votes in Ohio (11 percent nationwide) for the upcoming 2006/2008 elections.
But why, since Bush and his neo-conservative Republicans have done everything to turn back civil rights gains by African Americans except cook and eat their children. This would have happened if Colin Powell did not take the matches away from Condoleezza Rice.
Gwen, a mother of three children who lives in Lawndale, also asked, “Why do the Republicans think they can get black votes by just lying to us?”
Briefly, here are the facts: Without the 7-percent increase in the black vote in Ohio, Bush would have lost the 20 electoral votes to Kerry.
? In the 2000 election, Ohio blacks gave Bush 9 percent of their votes.
? Research shows that the 7-percent increase in black votes for Bush was mainly due to the “religion scare” over same-sex unions. The Republican strategists used blatant legal fiction by “coating some black ministers” with “faith-based” initiatives. (Example: One Baptist lady said she voted for Bush because her pastor said vote for a Christian man.)
? In the 2004 election, Ohio blacks gave Bush 16 percent of their votes, which was a 7-percent increase. Without this 7 percent, Bush would have received 47.24 percent of the Ohio vote. Kerry received 48.71 of the Ohio vote even without the 7-percent increase of the black vote. He could have won the state and the election. Finally, if the 7-percent black vote increase had gone to Kerry, his final totals would have been 55.71 percent of the Ohio vote to Bush’s 47.24 percent.
The Bradley Foundation has funded studies and positions papers that predict GOP gains among African Americans if the party uses the black churches as centers of faith-based funding for social programs and for private school vouchers. The black media is also a focus of attention because of its unique access to the black community and its prominent focus on religious affairs.
As I stated in the past, the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation funds some of the country’s most popular neo-racist authors. For example, the foundation funded and still funds Charles Murray (co-author of: The Bell Curve, a neo-racist source book), Dinesh D’Souza, (author of The End of Racism and Illiberal Education, two neo-racist screeds) and David Horowitz, a tireless Jewish racial provocateur who runs the incendiary think tank, the Center for the Study of Popular Culture.
Despite the worthlessness of these racists, Bradley dollars are funding the arguments for faith-based funding and fueling the Republicans’ quest for a larger black mindshare. But the high-profile appointments of Powell and Rice have failed to cause a big change in black folks’ electoral behavior. And this is evident despite the Democrats frail, anemic attempts on the national level at black outreach. Their efforts have been hampered by a lack of connection and respect for the cultural currents of black community and the GOP’s right wing’s racist tradition, thinking blacks would believe their “legal fiction.”
But African Americans, as a group, seemed almost immune to the pro-war propaganda pushing the illegal Iraq invasion. A Gallup poll, released March 28, 2003 revealed that 68 percent of black Americans opposed the war. We, as a group, were wiser than other groups in this country, to predict the horrible loss of human lives that has increased terrorist attacks, instead of decreasing attacks since the invasion.
In Chicago and nationwide, liberating, King-type ministers like Rev. Al Sampson, pastor of the Fernwood United Methodist Church on Chicago’s South Side, showed films like Outfoxed, Rupert Murdoch’s war on journalism and Fahrenheit 9/11. Sampson’s church, and Rev. Jeremiah A. Wright Jr. of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago are just two of many in Chicago and Cincinnati, Ohio that aggressively confront the Bush neo-warhawk’s cynical attempts to capture black mindshare with its focus on God, gays, and vouchers.
The GOP is also trying to hitch a ride on Christian piety into the black communities. However that ride is getting “bumpy.” Recently, in an unprecedented “togatherness,” the four largest black Baptist groups (like the Westside WACA of the early ’70s) issued a joint statement that basically repudiated the thrust of the neo-Republican outreach efforts. The group gave short shrift to issues like same-sex marriage and abortion, heavily pushed by Bush’s hypocritical evangelical supporters. And that was intentional.
The four groups of the NBUSA, the National Baptist Convention, The National Baptist Convention of America Inc., The Progressive National Baptist Convention Inc. and The National Missionary Baptist Convention of America is the largest black religious group in the nation, with 7 million members. Together the four groups represent about 15 million black Baptists.
Sadly, here in Chicago, we have some “low-down dirty” preachers, as Mr. Lee King called them, also “false profits” who sell their congregation out for fortune and little fame and go along with racist oppressors to suppress their own kind.
When Gabriel Prosser, Denmark Vesey and Nat Turner heard the voice of God telling them to stand up and fight for freedom, there were other black Christians in bondage who felt that liberation was not as important as cooperation. King-type ministers are still looked down upon today.
Too many ministers in Chicago today still believe that “cooperation is the agenda for black Christians, not liberation.” The GOP is hoping that faith-based funding will sweeten the pot for that kind of cooperation. If black religious conservatives buy into the racist GOP plan, then federal grants will change the way churches think about how to serve their communities. Time and energy will be lost on how to structure programs for grants, instead of creating solutions for problems.
It smells like bribery, folks.