Commentary: From One Brother to Another

Commentary: From One Brother to Another

African-Americans should stand up for what's right, not necessarily Right.

Published March 5, 2012

My Dear Black Republican Friends,
First and foremost I wish to state for the record that I abhor your party and everything it stands for with a passion. But my love for you as fellow human beings in general and as an African-Americans in particular is unwavering.

In the past 30 years your party has managed to drag us into a costly war under false pretense (can you say Iraq and weapons of mass destruction?), rob the American worker of their fundamental rights by virtually crippling their unions, implement policies that fostered one of the largest gaps in wealth inequality in recent history, while bringing the U.S. economy to the brink of disaster.  

They have cut huge holes in our nation’s safety net, forcing many of our country’s most vulnerable citizens to fall through the cracks — victims of the Grand Ole Party’s supply-side economics crusade. The sad thing is that many of these victims of what the Rev. Jesse Jackson calls “economic violence” are African-Americans. They could very well be your unemployed cousins, your sick aunt, your disabled uncles or retired mama. But I digress from the purpose of this letter.

My friends, it’s time that you sit down to address (pardon the pun) the elephant in the room.  It’s no secret that since the historic election of Barack Obama to the White House your party has been hell-bent on seeing him fail, and they have done everything in their power to make sure that it happens. OK, I get that dirty tricks are all a part of partisan politics.  

When you have elements in your party questioning Obama’s citizenship; when you have top GOP strategists willing to label African-American women as “welfare queens” and Black males as criminals (Willie Horton) just to stoke racist elements within their own constituency to vote Republican; when some of your party’s top presidential candidates like Newt Gingrich call our first African-American president “the best food stamp president” or Rick Santorum questions his Christian faith by calling it “a phony theology” and compares the Obama Administration to “drug dealers”; when a prominent Republican, who happens to be a federal judge, forwards an email suggesting that the president may have been the product of bestiality; even you, my Black Republican friends, have to agree that the inmates have taken over the asylum and have gone too far with this racist shtick.
Black America is not a monolith. We all don’t think alike, act alike or, for that matter, like the same music. Some of us are moved by the political beat of different drummers. And so it should be. But when the music or the drummer continues to hurl racist attacks at someone who looks like you, how long can you continue to march to that drummer’s tune?

As my grandmother use to say, “If they will insult your brother to your face, imagine what they will say about you behind your back.” This is just some food for thought from one brother to another.   

The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of BET Networks.

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(Photo: Mike Kemp / Getty Images)

Written by Charlie Braxton


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