By Andy Kirchoff
Republican Congressional Candidate Chris Fields (R-MN) caught my attention for a variety of reasons. First, Mr. Fields seems genuinely intent on reaching out to the black community; rarely if ever do conservatives attempt serious voter outreach in these traditionally Democratic-aligned groups. If this wasn’t enough to grab your attention, Mr. Fields is going where no Republican has gone before: he’s vocally calling out his Democratic opponent for betraying minority voters.
This is important for many reasons. First of all, Mr. Fields is legitimizing the claims of many in the black community today that racism, both individual and institutional, is alive and well in America. This is a shift from the GOP campaign playbook, where claims of “racism” as a political issue are often met with flat-out indifference or dismissal. Part of this conservative reaction is based in reality: as Manny Fernandez’s article “Marco and Me” elucidates, almost every conservative has had the word “racism” lobbed at them by a liberal interlocutor in response to an argument more times than they can count. It’s usually deployed as a distraction from the actual substance of an argument, and is now overused to the point where the true meaning of the word has been virtually eradicated from contemporary discourse. George Orwell is undoubtedly pointing and laughing at us in his grave.
Alas, to those who have experienced racism, the seeming indifference to the issue by many Republican candidates for office makes voting for such candidates a bitter pill to swallow; needless to say, it also makes for tough losses in elections. The bitter truth is that racism continues to exist, both institutionally and individually; moreover, as some conservatives have begun to realize, its often perpetrated by liberal Democrats.
Planned Parenthood and its allies in the abortion industry, a darling of the political left for decades now, have a long and storied history of attachment to racists and eugenicists. Abortion disproportionally affects racial minorities to this day (those interested in this subject would do well to view the documentary Maafa21, which exposes the racist ideology and practices of the abortion industry that not only pervaded the early years of the abortion rights movement, but continue to this day. It can purchased online here). The folks at Colorlines.org and other leftist propaganda mills almost unilaterally fail to mention this dark history; in fact, Colorlines published an article that attacked Tim Tebow for his pro-life views. Dear Colorlines writers and readers: many blacks and a majority of latinos are pro-life. And really now, what is killing more black people: voter ID laws or abortions?
There’s also the issue of public education. While maintaining the educational status quo is a hallmark of Democratic politics these days, it is racial minority groups, more than any other demographic, that suffer the consequences of a system that prioritizes patronage, rather than the education of children. Even here in my home state of Illinois, despite the sponsorship of a black Democratic State Senator, school choice remains an unrealized dream – mostly because of other Democrats afraid of upsetting teachers’ unions, a political interest group that makes up a significant portion of the Democratic donor base.
Alas, liberal faux-outrage and hypocrisy isn’t the only thing that keeps Republicans from getting votes. With racism-spouting websites like VDARE receiving the accolades of certain grassroots groups and Republican officials alike (here’s looking at you, Rep. Tom Tancredo), the GOP not only becomes an easy target for race-baiting leftists; it legitimately becomes a target of valid criticism from anyone concerned about achieving the American Dream. When congressional candidates call African Americans “aborigines,” conservatives can’t claim that charges of racism are unfounded; indeed, intellectual honesty demands a concession that such criticisms are valid. When prominent conservative writers say that “…my guess is that Haiti is so screwed up because it wasn’t colonized long enough”, you can’t blame the ensuing outrage on the oversensitivity of liberals. Such comments deserve the ire of everyone, regardless of race, religion, or creed.
In order for the GOP to attract minority voters, it is not enough for us to merely “have a better ground game.” That’s a prerequisite for any successful political campaign, regardless of the electorate. Pointing out liberal hypocrisy on issues of particular importance to minority voting blocs is unquestionably important, and perhaps the “next wave” of successful electioneering – but that can only happen when the plank is removed from our own eye. Kudos to Mr. Fields for demonstrating that racial equality isn’t a “Democrat-only” issue, and for giving conservative-minded reformers something to cheer about!