Since the November 3rd election, I have received many phone calls and emails from influential Republicans and prominent Conservatives. Despite losing the White House, they were very concerned that President Donald Trump rose from 8% of the black vote in 2016 to 12% in 2020.
What a sad state of affairs when a market share of 12% is cause for celebration. In most industries, this is viewed as unacceptable and embarrassing.
Here lies the problem with the conservative movement: Our expectations of the black community are so low that even tiny advances are celebrated with jubilation.
The reason expectations are so low is because deep down inside – for the purposes of this column, I’ll use the words Republican and Conservative interchangeably – Conservatives know that they haven’t really made serious efforts to relate to the black community care for.
They are doing just enough in their eyes not to be labeled racist.
According to this perverse logic, they cannot be racist if they have a black on the staff. or if you grew up with a black nanny you cannot be racist. I am not joking; I’ve had a lot of preservations with conservatives in that direction.
Those who have followed my writing over the years know that I have criticized the lack of “substantial” commitment by conservatives to the black community.
Most blacks who have been invited by conservatives to speak at their events have little to no connection with the black community, and their speeches are often offensive to the black community.
If your goal is to be entertained or to throw red meat on the white base of the party, they might be suitable speakers. But if your goal is to build relationships with the black community, they are counterproductive.
I urge conservatives to indicate the number of blacks they have in decision-making positions within their organizations. How many black people do you have around you who tell you what to hear and not what to hear?
How many five- and six-digit black consultants do you have in store? How many black vendors do you contract with over the course of a year?
When I say decision-making positions I mean someone who can hire or fire; has budgetary authority to spend money; or you can set up meetings with key executives.
This is the 21st century, and many conservative organizations barely or at all reflect the diversity of our country. How is that possible?
These organizations hire their friends, give their friends consultancy contracts, and contribute to their friends’ campaigns. They do the same things that they accuse radical liberals of. You are in a bubble, an echo chamber full of people who only think and look like you.
Are you racist? Absolutely not. People tend to focus on the things they are familiar with; It’s a logical and natural thing.
No, I’m not talking about emulating the Democrats. No bean count. As usual, they go overboard with their pursuit of diversity to the point that it is discriminatory.
However, if you’re conservative and don’t realize that every time you’re in a meeting or conference there isn’t a black person to be found there, this is a problem.
Democrats are obsessed with diversity and Republicans are ignorant of diversity.
Both are equally wrong and detrimental to our American values.
True leaders understand this dilemma and make a conscious decision to add diversity to their organizations so they can stay relevant. There is no evidence that conservatives learned this lesson.
I’ve done PR and crisis communications for some of the biggest names in politics, business, sports and entertainment from around the world. I describe myself as a “straticist”, not a strategist.
Most people in my job understand PR or strategic communication, but few understand the merging of the two when facing a problem. hence the word “straticist”.
The Republican Party and the Conservative movement have a branding problem. We have allowed radical liberals to brand ourselves as racist. A lie repeated enough becomes the truth.
Conservatives are under the misconception that blacks need to be sold or convinced by conservatism. Blacks are more conservative than most whites; Poll after poll has shown that blacks are the most ecclesiastical people in the country.
Blacks do not need to be educated about family values and entrepreneurship. We had the most intact, stable families from 1900 to 1950 and the highest marriage rates. Then in the 1960s the Democrats injected welfare into our community and all of these radically liberal “social” programs.
We were always enterprising before slavery; until the Democrats cut off our access to opportunity and capital.
Conservatism is in our DNA.
The sooner conservatives understand this, the sooner we can make significant progress with the black community. The sooner conservatives stop promoting black minstrel shows, the more black people will publicly join our cause. To give two examples: The “comment” of a certain aspiring young lady and a certain comedic duo, each with their own podcasts, plays with the worst black stereotypes ever committed.
We as black conservatives are not here to spread inflammatory rhetoric against the black community or to maintain a room full of white conservatives with weak attempts at humor. We want to be a full partner in spreading a positive, conservative message in the black community.
In the immortal words of my grandmother, “Boy, your actions speak so loudly, I can’t hear what you’re saying!”
How appropriate for conservatives.
Conservatives have to deal primarily with black entrepreneurs. They are the leaders of the black community, not the preacher-politicians.
When all is said and done, more has been said than done.
The Daily Signal publishes different perspectives. Nothing written here should be construed as reflecting the views of the Heritage Foundation.