Friday, February 13, 2009

Michael Steele's Acceptance Speech: S2D2

I listened to Michael Steele's acceptance speech quite closely and guess what? He didn't say anything, yet alone address many of the issues African-Americans have with the Republican Party.

For instance, what will the Republican Party do to confront their most disastrous modern legacy: a poor relationship with black Americans?

How will the Republican Party turn a social conservative agenda that seems obsessed with religion, guns and abortion?

How will the Republican Party address why most African-American Republicans feel isolated in a party that is overwhelmingly white, male, Southern, conservative and seemingly closed to ethnic minorities?

How will Republicans address alleged accusations of voter suppression in every major campaign?

I don't know about you, but it's going to take more than a smiling black face to convince me that the Republican Party has anything to offer a person of color--it's going to take an acknowledgment of who I am and deference for my issues.

How do you feel? Is the selection of a black man enough to make YOU trust the Republican Party? What must the Republican Party do now?


Anonymous said...

I agree, there was nothing spectacular about Steele's speech, but I also wonder if he is walking lightly at this point.

I personally, don't distrust the Republican party, but i also am not a fan of the two party system we basically operate under. I think he have great potential to reconcile the Republican party with ethnic minorities, but it will will be a UP-HILL battle.

Here are my QUICK thoughts on what the Republican party could do.

- More black faces will help,but they need more than just a few.
- Involvement in minority communities (poor communities)
- More compassion in approaching conflict
- Distancing from Bush
- Focus on the moral beliefs, which fall in line with many African-American moral values
- Distance themselves from being synonymous stereo-typical Christian-right
- Show how conservative fiscal methods can improve urban areas (really just better explain their ideology, cause for most black folk it just doesn't make sense)
- Re-establish the values of the original republican party
- Reach out to religious leaders in the African-American community

UniqueAmericanConscience said...

Well blackwasp19:

Regarding your remarks...I could not have said it any better. There are a surprising number of African-Americans who would listen to the Republican Party if they follow your formula. I, for one, would listen. But I doubt (even with Mr. Steele) they will go there.

Iam Robert said...

blackwasp: If Steele is the "new" conscience of the Republican Party, why should he have to speak lightly?

I think you are absolutely right about the party needing to return to its roots! After all, the Republican party was founded by anti-slavery expansion activists and modernizers supposedly to help black folk. How did they stray so far from their roots?

I also agree with many of your suggestions for the party but have a few questions:

What sort of involvement in minority communities do you propose (for example, business investment in the community, back to work programs, etc.)?

How could they distance themselves from the Christian-right who are currently their base?

What do you mean by more compassion in approaching conflict? Is that with minorities or just those who hold a different point of view?

How do you feel about Unique's concern that the Republican Party, or more properly, its members, simply will not change?

Iam Robert said...

Unique: Welcome to the discussion and thanks for your deep insights. Now, why do you feel the Republican Party would not or could not change? Why wouldn't they follow blackwasp's proposed agenda?

Anonymous said...

Good comeback - haha my thoughts were quick so know I have to put some more thought into it.

I think, unfortunately he has to speak lightly because he can't risk losing members of the party, especially at this early juncture. I mean if he came out and said the truth, "we are in utter shambles and we need to fix this crap now" I think he would have turned some folk off and his latter efforts would be weakened.

Anything in a minority community would be helpful. What I would say is economic development based on business principles, they tout hard work, well give people the chance and they will work hard. If they would work on creating and foster black entrepreneurs who stay in the black community I think it would considerably change their image.

I somewhat take the distancing themselves comment back. Well, I should define it better. The stereotypical Far-Right (which is somewhat in retreat). I actually think the Christian right is changing overall and the Republicans would do well to embrace those who are seeing pro-life as a broader concept than anti-abortion, but that means that have to highlight those folk. You are right they can't leave the religious right, but I think they can afford to move away from the far-right. Who are the far right going to vote for if not Republican? It wouldn't be an issue of losing votes it would be taking that voting bloc out of the forefront.

I think anyone. Many people see Republicans as the rich bully because of the bombastic commentators on FOXNews.

They might not change, but I think they are at a point where it might be change or start to die. They have some serious issue because of the negative ramifications of Bush, if they don't do something (or the democrats to majorly screw up) they are going to be out of power for a while. I do also think, that Republicans aren't bad people, I think they had some bad leadership and became entrenched in narrow ideology - some of which probably wasn't republican in nature (which is why many Republicans critiqued bush on his spending methods).

Iam Robert said...


Okay, I can see your point about Steele's not wanting to turn off party members this early on. So I agree, we must wait and see what impact he has on the party overall.

I love your idea on minority community involvement--if they fostered and business investment in our most impoverished communities that would change their image and help the black community as well. But I guess I can't help but ask if theirs is a "pro small business platform" why have they not done this?

As for the far right, I don't mind people being fiscally or morally conservative. But tell me, do you feel that some of these folks mask their prejudice under the guise of conservatism? Sometimes I do.

Overall, I hope the Republican Party, under Steele, will adopt some of your ideas--God knows they're needed in these troubled times.

Iam Robert said...

unique, blackwasp:

Do you feel a letter to the Republican Party, outlining your approach to reach and help minorities, would be of benefit?

If nothing else, maybe we'll get a reply back that will give insight into "where their heads at now."