Monday, March 28, 2011

Party Politics in Blacks and Whites

I was following up on a thread in FB where a respondent asked the question why does it seem black Conservatives are no longer considered black? This was based on a statement in the linked video where the Rev. said that he had to convince people that yes indeed, he is still black.

I think there is a media blackout on both the conversions to the Republican Party, and on the doubts people in "the black community" have regarding the positions and effectiveness of the Democrat party. This fits neatly into a cultural difference, which is that blacks tend to place higher priority on and commit to personalities and "the group" than on their principles, while whites largely place higher priority on principles than on a person or group. Thus the media can be largely successful in herding blacks into the Democrat party by creating the perception that "their group" (the Dems) is where they are, where they belong, and that "the other guys", (GOP) is against them. Never mind that blacks' social beliefs more closely align with "the other guys", it's about staying with "our party". For example, in 1992, I campaigned for the GOP up and down the ticket, but when I went to the election night party, I felt a bit out of place. I soon left, and stopped by the Democrat election night watch party, where they made me feel right at home, assuming I was on their side. It didn't make me switch parties or anything, but I determined that we need to make all feel welcome and valued in the GOP. Still a lot of work to be done!

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