Home
In this issue
April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review June 21, 2006 / 25 Sivan 5766

Steps to making me a GOPer

By Clarence Page


Printer Friendly Version
Email this article

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | An intriguing debate has broken out among Republican elites over how to treat black folks.

On one side, you have those like Jack Kemp, the former New York congressman and 1996 Republican vice presidential candidate, who would like to break the Democratic Party's nine-to-one lock on black voters by reaching out with positive and meaningful gestures.

Kemp wrote a commentary published in late May in the conservative Human Events, the New York Sun and some other newspapers that called on the Grand Old Party to "get on the right side of history" on racial matters.

He suggested two ways to do this: By extending all of the 1965 Voting Rights Act, parts of which are set to expire next year, and "by extending the voting franchise to the residents of District of Columbia," which is predominately black and lacking voting representation in Congress.

"Slander," responded conservative essayist Steven M. Warshawsky. "Mr. Kemp's article is an outrage," Warshawsky writes under the headline "Jack Kemp's White Guilt" in The American Spectator.

Warshawsky does not necessarily disagree with Kemp's suggestion, but with Kemp's justification: "His premise — that the Republican Party is on the 'wrong' side of history on racial matters — is deeply flawed, both as a matter of historical fact and political philosophy."

Warshawsky cites historical examples of the GOP's "strong support for black Americans" dating back to its origins before the Civil War, often with Democrats on the other side, defending slavery and segregation.

Who's right? As with many other questions of race and rights, that depends on what part of history you're talking about. Our feelings about race are based on our experiences with it, which complicates matters because each and every one of us has a unique racial experience.

My own experiences tell me that Warshawsky is right that Republicans too often get a bum rap on race, considering the heroic sacrifices many Republicans have made for racial progress. Joseph Medill, the first great leader of the Chicago Tribune, where I work, opposed slavery, helped found the Republican Party 150 years ago and supported the candidacy of Abraham Lincoln, who's still my favorite president.

Donate to JWR

But Kemp also is right in explaining why the GOP lost black support after the glory days of Dwight Eisenhower. As an African-American child of the Eisenhower 1950s, I have fond memories of another Republican Party, much more moderate on issues of race and other issues than the GOP we know today. The words "black Republican" would have raised eyebrows only because the label "black" was not yet in fashion. We were still "colored" in those days.

Just about everybody "liked Ike" in my little Ohio factory town, including the "colored" folks. I recall my childhood's greatest political turning point in 1957, when our little black-and-white TV screen showed Arkansas National Guard troops with bayonets on their rifles keeping black students out of Little Rock's Central High School. The next day, I turned on the news to see those same troops escorting those same black students into the high school, past jeering white mobs.

What happened? "President Eisenhower must have made a phone call," my father explained. After that, I really liked Ike!

We also liked moderate Republicans like Gov. Nelson Rockefeller of New York, Sen. Jacob K. Javits, also of New York, and Sen. Edward Brooke of Massachusetts, the first black senator since Reconstruction.

And we really liked Illinois Sen. Everett Dirksen, who rallied enough senators from both parties to overcome fierce resistance from Southern Democratic senators like Robert Byrd of West Virginia, a former Ku Klux Klansman, and Al Gore Sr., of Tennessee, father of the future vice president. Time does heal wounds — and wounds some heels.

But, Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater's opposition to that Civil Rights Act turned black voters heavily in favor of Lyndon Johnson in 1964 and simultaneously lost Southern white voters to Johnson's party, as Johnson predicted it would. To black voters, the act of sacrificing political capital is true heroism, especially on behalf of equal rights. Soon, the Republican Party became known as the party of white flight, an image only partly redeemed in recent years by the success of high-profile black Republicans like Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.

With all that history in mind, I applaud Jack Kemp. Unlike some conservative zealots, he does not see government as the enemy. He sees it as a vehicle to help individual initiative and free enterprise work for everyone, even those who are still left behind in poverty, substandard housing, high unemployment and low-performing schools after the civil rights revolution.

I've often said that my family did not leave the party of Lincoln; the party left us. Folks like Jack Kemp can help it find its way back.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

Comment on Clarence Page's column by clicking here.

Archives

© 2006, TMS

Columnists

Toons

Lifestyles