Eventually, the unofficial GOP strategy of disregard will chase off even their hardcore base of black voters. You know, the five out of every hundred blacks that show up at the polls to vote for Republicans on election day. And quadrennially, after the latest embarrassing exit polls, we have to beat our breast and ask why blacks have abandoned the party of their liberators.
It’s a dumb question.
The better line of investigation is to ask why the party of education reform does not follow up on the rampant corruption and malpractice in public schools to make inroads with black voters.
Here is a short tale that illustrates the sloth and inertia of Republicans.
Kelly Williams-Bolar is a black, single mother of two who was thrown in jail in 2011 for sending her daughters to an out of district public school. Educational theft was the charge. No, her daughters weren’t cribbing off the Asian kid’s math test. They were illegal students — a powder keg of a phrase in places such as Arizona, California or Texas but apparently infused with some entire other meaning in the oozing slough of Ohio public schools.
Ms. Bolar’s daughters were stuck in the local ignorance stockade known as Akron public schools. Being a conscientious parent she looked for a way to rescue her children from a blighted future. She used her father’s address to enroll them in a better public school district. This went on for four years until the Fugitive Student Team (yes, really) in the Copley-Fairlawn School District sniffed out the runaway students and had Ms. Bolar bound and shackled. Subsequently, a jury convicted her of fourth degree grand theft of school services (so much for the wisdom of the American public). She spent ten days in jail and and was given three years of probation. Oh, and the school wanted her (and her father) to pay reparations in the amount of $30,000 for the education her children had stolen from the free public school.
What does this have to do with the Republican Party? Nothing at all, unfortunately. The only defenders of Ms. Bolar were Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, some doctrinaire Lefties at an outfit called change.org, the Institute for Black Public Policy and Anderson Cooper. In other words, the cheerleaders for the very system that disasterizes the education of black youth from coast to coast got away with masquerading as her protectors.
The party of education reform was notably silent.
No Great American Panels were convened on her behalf, no calls to action from the RNC or Ohio Republican Party. She wasn’t a white firefighter getting shafted in an affirmative action quarrel so, it seems, it was okay to holster our outrage.
Yes, Republican governor, John Kasich, granted clemency to Ms. Bolar but that was only after the uproar from the public reaction to the parole board’s outrageous denial of a pardon reached the governor’s mansion.
Education is a tailor made issue for Republicans to steal votes from Democrats and turn blacks away from the Left. Presidential opposition to the DC scholarship program, the run of blacks into homeschooling, besides the comprehensive failure of public schools to adequately educate its black students are just a few millstones to hang around the necks of Democrats, who are irrevocably indebted to teacher’s unions. It is laughable that the party of George Wallace and Ross Barnett gets to pretend it cares about the quality of education blacks receive.
At what point does the resolute Republican indolence when it comes to the issues that most affect black citizens lend credence to the tired old Left wing charge of racism? Really the allegation of racism is an insult to all the hard working, nose to the grindstone racists across the country. Racists care. The GOP can’t even rouse itself enough to pay attention.
Too bad, because hapless Republicans need all the friends they can get these days. Get the education issue right and Republicans will find larger audiences for their (hopefully conservative) message on immigration, entitlement reform and gun control.
It is what inclusion looks like — gathering more people under the conservative banner by emphasizing, not abandoning, core principles.
Pigmentation isn’t political destiny unless you think black mothers like being hauled off to jail for caring about their children.
(cross-posted from The Talley Sheet with updates and revisions)
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Author Wendell Talley