By Lucius Gantt
Once upon a time, Black residents of the United States had more than a cozy relationship with Republican politicians.
If you find that hard to believe, let me take you back to the time of your ancestors and forefathers.
During the first two decades of GOP existence, the Republican Party called for and promoted African American equality when Democrats and Dixiecrats wanted slavery to continue.
President Abraham Lincoln, along with so-called radical Republicans led the political battle to end slavery and also led the fight to give Black men full citizenship.
Today, to many Black men and women, Republicans are considered by many Blacks and other people of color as political enemies.
Our people have fell in love with Democrats and I don’t have a problem with that.
However, it’s no secret, I don’t think there is a world of difference between America’s two major political parties. On ocassion, the parties get together to work against YOU!
I’ll do media work for either party that hires me just like newspapers and broadcasters will sell ads to any candidates, printers will print political literature for any candidate and voters have the choice and the chance to vote for a Democrat or a Republican. (If you don’t know, I’ve always been politically independent)
In 2022, our family members, friends and neighbors will cast votes for anybody with a “D” beside their names on the ballot regardless of how good or bad the individual candidates are.
No problem with that either. Everyone should make their own election day vote choices.
My question is this. What has either major political party done for Black people lately?
History suggests that no matter which party prevails on election day, Black voters will influence the election outcome! No matter who Black voters put first, the election day winners will put Blacks last.
In my mind, for us, it’s not only about voter registration, it’s also about political education, political awareness and equal and accessible political opportunities.
Perhaps, there will be billions of dollars spent on political races in elections nationwide this year and I know for a fact that more billions will be spent in political races in 2024.
If only Black candidates spent money with Black media and Black political professionals, this column would not be necessary.
Black candidates are courted and encouraged to run for President, Governor, Senator, Congressman, Mayor and for other offices primarily to draw Black voters to the polls, suggesting that if there are no Blacks on the ballot, Black voters won’t turn out.
Guess what? Black voters live in Republican areas and districts too. I think Black voters should exercise their Constitutional right to vote wherever they are qualified to cast their ballots whether Blacks are on the ballot or not.
Now is the time when candidates are putting their campaigns together and hiring people to provide needed political services.
The party that we “love” has favored some Blacks on statewide and national levels.
Candidates will be told, “We’ll raise you some money” but you can only spend the money the way we tell you to, you can only hire who we tell you to hire and you can only do business with vendors we tell you to do business with.
Most HBCUs teach Political Science and many Black schools like Florida A&M and Clark-Atlanta University teach journalism, communications and media studies like graphic arts and media production and placement but no Black man or woman is qualified to work in a decision making or spending position on a Black candidate’s campaign.
I’ll leave you with this.
If a Black candidate for any office can’t tell any political party, “Thank you for your contributions and your support and thank you for your personnel suggestions but I want a diverse staff, I want to hire some people that live in my city and I will be the final voice to determine who I’ll hire and work with.”
If Black candidates are not man or woman enough to say that there are Black people that are qualified, that are competent, experienced and talented political professionals that can help me win a race, if they can’t do that, I can’t help or support them.