Kanye West doesn’t care about black people. Neither does anyone in the Democratic Party, not even the black ones. For decades, Democrats have been pandering to black voters without delivering much in their favor. Saying pretty things like, “We understand you,” and proposing policies that openly sympathize with their historical struggle, they won over the hearts and minds of America’s blacks. Much to the disbelief of those on the left, it is the Republican Party that has continually promoted the welfare of blacks the most effectively.
Ignoring the fact that Democrats are the slavery party and that current Democratic Senator Robert Byrd is a former KKK recruiter, the liberal approach to politics is a horrible inhibitor to the success of minorities –and that works to their benefit. When a group of politicians values a sect of voters heavily influenced by a certain factor, it is naturally in their interest to ensure that those voters continue living with that particular factor. In the case of blacks, Democrats can only rely upon their vote so long as they cultivate a sense of grievance regarding historical mistreatment.
It should not be inconceivable then, that they would seek to perpetuate a mindset consistent with this grievance among this loyal group of voters. As long as they feel helpless and oppressed, they will continue to be devoted Democrats.
Look what happens when blacks break out of the grievance pattern. After Condoleezza Rice fought against the setbacks of racism in the South through a strict adherence to what she recognizes to be conservative principles, she arguably became the most powerful woman in the world. Ever since, Democrats have been attacking her for being a “traitor” to her race, an “Aunt Jemima” and an insult to the black community. By their own argument then, the black identity is defined by an inability to succeed – and by a feeling of grievance and resentment. A refusal to join the liberal ranks in protesting society is a refusal to accept the state of black Americans. Republican blacks, they suggest, are not truly black, just as gay Republicans are “self-loathing,” and poor Conservatives are “misled.”
The very Republican values toward which Democrats foster social resentment are exactly what will prove to ultimately solve the social inequalities blacks presently experience. It is widely known that many Republicans are weary of high social program spending. Because of this, they have a pressing interest in ensuring the financial independence of Americans across the board. This attitude led to the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996. It resulted in the fall of black child poverty by 11.5 percent by 2001. Over 1.2 million more black children are now living in self-sufficient families and another half million were lifted from “extreme poverty” to “poverty.” While Republican motivations for welfare reform may often be questioned, at the very least our policies are recognizably effective in achieving admirable results for the black community.
Additionally, President Bush’s severely unpopular No Child Left Behind Act is making significant progress in reducing the education gap among blacks and whites. Dick Morris, the famed Clinton adviser, credited this Republican policy with bringing the reading and math achievement discrepancies to their lowest levels in the history of the measurement. By framing the debate on this policy around funding-related issues, Democrats can hide the fact that it is actually working. It is our duty, then, to ensure credit is given where credit is due. Republican efforts, especially in the last 10 years, have done more for blacks than any proposal coming from the left.
In the spirit of February being Black History Month, it is time we start to rethink black politics in America along these lines. If we want to lift up our fellow Americans out of social injustice and allow them to fully experience the American Dream as most others know it, then they should reconsider their strategy. The very party that is blamed for the failure of black social progress is the only entity truly contributing to their success. Perhaps Kanye West should reprimand his fellow leftists for their utter failure to accomplish anything but the persistence of black American grievance.
Frank Macias is a senior political science major.