Black conservatism in the United States
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in the United States
Black conservatism in the United States is a political and social movement rooted in communities of African descent that aligns largely with the American conservative movement. Since the Civil Rights Movement in the later 20th Century, the African-American community has generally fallen to the left of the right-wing conservative movement, and has predominantly favored itself on the side of liberalism and civil rights progressives. Black conservatism emphasizes traditionalism, strong patriotism, capitalism, free markets, and strong social conservatism within the context of the black church.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Timeline of events
- 3 Politicians
- 3.1 Arizona
- 3.2 California
- 3.3 Colorado
- 3.4 Connecticut
- 3.5 Delaware
- 3.6 Florida
- 3.7 Georgia
- 3.8 Illinois
- 3.9 Indiana
- 3.10 Michigan
- 3.11 Mississippi
- 3.12 Missouri
- 3.13 Nevada
- 3.14 New Jersey
- 3.15 New Mexico
- 3.16 New York
- 3.17 North Carolina
- 3.18 Ohio
- 3.19 Oklahoma
- 3.20 Oregon
- 3.21 Pennsylvania
- 3.22 Texas
- 3.23 Utah
- 3.24 Virginia
- 3.25 Virgin Islands
- 3.26 Wyoming
- 4 Organizations
- 5 Blogs
- 6 See also
- 7 References
- 8 Further reading
- 9 External links
One of the main characteristics of black conservatism is its emphasis on personal choice and responsibilities above socioeconomic status and institutional racism. In the tradition of African American politics and intellectual life, black conservatives tend to side with Booker T. Washington as contrasted with W. E. B. Du Bois. For many black conservatives, the key mission is to bring repair and success to the Black community by applying the following fundamental principles:
- The pursuit of educational and professional excellence as a means of advancement within the society;
- Policies that promote safety and security in the community beyond the typical casting of a criminal as a "victim" of societal racism;
- Local economic development through free enterprise rather than looking to the federal government for assistance;
- Empowerment of the individual via self-improvement (virtue), conscience, and supernatural grace.
Black conservatives may find common ground with Black Nationalists through their common belief in black empowerment and the theory that black people have been duped by the Welfare state.
On the other hand, some of the policies advocated by Black conservatives are in conflict with some of the key points in the common social, economic, and political positions that a high percentage of African-Americans favor. For example, black conservatives typically oppose affirmative action, which is supported by the vast majority of African American communities. They tend to argue that efforts to obtain reparations for slavery are either misguided or counter-productive. Moreover, black conservatives - especially black Republicans - are often accused of being Uncle Toms. Ebony in their May 2001 "100+ Most Influential Black Americans" issue, did not include a number of influential African Americans such as Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, Armstrong Williams, Walter Williams and, most notably, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. The Economist, a British libertarian-leaning magazine, described the exclusion of Thomas from the list as spiteful. Black conservatives favor integration of African Americans into mainstream America and, consequently, disagree with Black nationalism. Black conservatives are more inclined to support economic policies promoting globalization, free trade and tax cuts.
The term "Black Republican" was coined by Democrats in 1854 to describe the newly formed Republican Party. Though the majority of Republicans at the time were white, the Republican Party was founded by abolitionists and generally supported racial equality. Southern Democrats used the term as one of derision, believing that a Lincoln victory in 1860 would lead to widespread slave revolts. The use of the term continued after the Civil War to reflect most Southerners' opinions of the Radical Republicans during Reconstruction. Over the next century, the term "Black Republican" would come to refer specifically to blacks affiliated with or voting for the Republican Party and is now a subset of the broader movement of black conservatism.
According to a 2004 study, 13.7% of blacks identified as "Conservative" or "Extremely Conservative" with another 14.4% identifying as slightly conservative. However the same study indicated less than ten percent identified as Republican or Republican leaning in any fashion. Likewise, a recent[when?] Pew Research Center survey showed that 19% of blacks identify as Religious Right. In 2004 the Pew Research Center indicated only 7% of blacks identify as Republican. Hence a certain percentage of noted Black conservatives are likely connected to the Democrats for Life of America movement or economic liberalism.
From Reconstruction up until the New Deal, the black population tended to vote Republican as the Republican Party, particularly in the Southern United States, was seen as more racially liberal than the Democratic Party, primarily because of the role of the southern wing of the Democratic Party as the party of segregation and the Republican Party's roots in the abolitionist movement (see Dixiecrats for more on this). Blacks started to shift in significant numbers to the Democrats with the election of Franklin D. Roosevelt, whose New Deal particularly benefited economically disadvantaged minority communities and helped forge the New Deal coalition which dominated American politics for the next 30 years, and continued with the election of John F. Kennedy. This shift was also influenced by Herbert Hoover's practice of firing loyal African-Americans from positions within the Republican Party, in order to increase his appeal to racist Southern white voters. This can be considered an early example of a set of Republican Party methods that were later termed the Southern Strategy.
Another case study of differences between Black conservatives and Black Republicans is an emphasis on personal empowerment versus theological perspectives. Black Republicans like Colin Powell hold to the social ideas articulated by the early Radical Republicans like Frederick Douglass while at the same time supporting the self-empowerment message of Booker T. Washington. Many social conservatives who are black and Republican hold to a biblically based empowerment although they also appreciate Booker's emphasis on personal accomplishment. Conservatives like the Texas minister T. D. Jakes are evangelical African Americans who support policies more in common but not totally in line with many white Evangelicals.
The African-American church has traditionally been an important element of social and political movements in the Black community. These generally have been identified with persons of the Left or liberalism, like Jesse Jackson, but this is not always true. On issues concerning homosexuality, Black Protestants are more socially conservative than other groups, excepting White Evangelicals. Their view on the issue of homosexual teachers changed less than any other segment based on religion or race.
Timeline of events
This is a timeline of significant events in African American history which have shaped the conservative movement in the United States.
- 1832 & 1845
- 1868 – Oscar Dunn elected as the Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana, first African American elected as a Lieutenant Governor.
- 1870 – Alonzo Jacob Ransier elected as the Lieutenant Governor of South Carolina before being elected in 1873 to South Carolina's 2nd congressional district.
- 1871 – P. B. S. Pinchback replaced the recently deceased Oscar Dunn as Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana before becoming Governor of Louisiana and the first African American to become a Governor.
- 1872 – Caesar Antoine elected as the Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana
- 1875 – Blanche Bruce elected as the United States Senator from Mississippi and first African American to serve a full term.
- 1929 – Oscar Stanton De Priest elected as the first African-American Congressperson of the 20th Century. (R-IL)
- 1954 – President Dwight Eisenhower appoints J. Ernest Wilkins, Sr. as Assistant Secretary of Labor.
- 1955 - President Dwight Eisenhower appoints E. Frederic Morrow as Administrative Officer for Special Projects
- 1959 - President Dwight Eisenhower appoints John H. Morrow as United States Ambassador to Guinea
- 1968 – Arthur A. Fletcher is appointed Assistant Secretary of Labor; he will be a candidate for Chairman of the Republican National Committee in '76 and appointed Chairman of the US Commission on Civil Rights in '90.
- 1975 – President Gerald Ford appoints the following:
- 1979 – Melvin H. Evans is elected to U.S. Congress.
- 1980 – NAACP President Benjamin Hooks is invited to address the Republican National Convention
- 1981 – President Ronald Reagan appoints the following:
- Clarence Pendleton, Jr. as Chairman of the US Civil Rights Commission
- Samuel Pierce as United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
- 1982 – President Reagan appoints Clarence Thomas as Chairman of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
- 1985 – President Reagan appoints Alan Keyes the Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs.
- 1987 - President Reagan appoints Colin L. Powell the National Security Advisor.
- 1989 – President George H. W. Bush appoints the following:
- Louis Wade Sullivan as United States Secretary of Health and Human Services
- General Colin L. Powell as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
- Condoleezza Rice as Director of the National Security Council
- Constance Berry Newman as Director of United States Office of Personnel Management
- Vernon Parker as Special Assistant to the President on the White House Staff
- 1990 – Gary Franks is elected to US Congress (CT)
- 1991 – President George H. W. Bush appoints Clarence Thomas to U.S. Supreme Court
- 1993 – President George H. W. Bush appoints John W. Shannon as United States Under Secretary of the Army
- 1995 – J. C. Watts elected to US Congress (OK)
- 1998 – U.S. House of Representatives elects J. C. Watts (R-OK) to be Chairman of the House Republican Conference.
- 1999 – Ken Blackwell elected as the Ohio Secretary of State
- 2001 – President George W. Bush appoints the following:
- General Colin Powell as the United States Secretary of State
- Roderick R. Paige as the United States Secretary of Education
- Condoleezza Rice as Advisor of the National Security Council
- Alphonso Jackson as the Deputy Secretary to Housing and Urban Development
- Claude Allen as the Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services
- Leo S. Mackay, Jr. as the Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs
- Larry D. Thompson as the United States Deputy Attorney General
- Michael Powell as the Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission
- Stephen A. Perry as Administrator of General Services Administration
- Kay Coles James as Director of United States Office of Personnel Management
- Ruth A. Davis as Director General of the Foreign Service
- Reginald J. Brown as Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs)
- Brigadier General Francis X. Taylor as Coordinator for Counterterrorism
- Eric M. Bost as Under Secretary of Agriculture for Food, Nutrition, and Consumer Services
- Brian C. Roseboro as Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Financial Markets
- Dr Eric Motley as Deputy Associate Director, Office of Presidential Personnel
- Pierre-Richard Prosper as United States Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues
- 2001 – Randy Daniels Secretary of State of New York joins the GOP.
- 2002 – President George W. Bush appoints the following:
- 2003 – President George W. Bush appoints the following:
- Clark Ervin as Inspector General of the United States Department of Homeland Security
- Vernon Parker as Assistant Secretary of Agriculture for Civil Rights
- 2004 – President George W. Bush appoints the following:
- Alphonso Jackson as United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development
- Gerald A. Reynolds as Chairman of the United States Commission on Civil Rights
- Constance Berry Newman as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
- Brian C. Roseboro as Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance
- 2005 – President George W. Bush appoints the following:
- Condoleezza Rice as United States Secretary of State
- Claude Allen as Director of the Domestic Policy Council
- Admiral John O. Agwunobi as United States Assistant Secretary for Health
- Jendayi Frazer as Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs
- B. J. Penn as Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Installation and Environment)
- 2006 – President George W. Bush appoints the following:
- Lurita Doan as first female Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration
- Ronald J. James as Assistant Secretary of the Army (Manpower and Reserve Affairs)
- 2009 – Michael Steele elected the first African American Republican National Committee chairman
- 2010 – Tim Scott (SC) and Lt Col. Allen West (FL) elected to US Congress; Jennifer Carroll is elected Lieutenant Governor of Florida and is the first African-American person elected to statewide office.
- 2011 – Herman Cain sought the Republican presidential nomination in 2012
- 2012 – Artur Davis, a former Democratic Party member of the United States House of Representatives for Alabama's 7th congressional district from 2003-2011 joined the GOP in Virginia and indicated he may run as a Republican.
- 2013 – Tim Scott, United States House of Representatives for South Carolina's 1st congressional district is appointed by Governor of South Carolina Nikki Haley to become the new United States Senator.
- Damon Dunn - Dallas Cowboys football player, and candidate for California Secretary of State in (2010) left the Republican Party in 2013
- Edward Duplex - Mayor of Wheatland, California (1888)
- Shirley Husar - Washington Times ["Urban Game Changer"] Columnist | Governor Appointee Board Member for The Geologists and The Geophysicists for the State of California Governor Appointee Board Member served for 4 years. (1983-present )
- Ryan Frazier - Aurora City Councilman (2003-2010) and U.S. House Candidate (2010)
- Peter Boulware - Baltimore Ravens football player and Candidate for Florida House of Representatives (2008)
- Mike Hill - State Representative in Florida House of Representatives (2013–present)
- Melvin Everson - Georgia State Representative (2005-2011)
- Dr. Deborah Honeycutt - U.S. House Candidate (2006 & 2008)
- Dr. Andrew Honeycutt - Candidate for Georgia House of Representatives (2014)
- Willie Talton - Georgia State Representative (2005–present)
- John D. Anthony - Illinois State Representative (2013–present)
- Erika Harold - Miss America (2003) and U.S. House Candidate (2012/2014)
- Eric Wallace - Co-chairman of Cook County Republican Party
- Keith Butler - Detroit Councilman (2002-2008) and U.S. Senate Candidate (2008)
- Bill Hardiman - Mayor of Kentwood, Michigan (1992-2002), Michigan State Senator (2003-2011) and U.S. House Candidate (2010)
- Paul H. Scott - State Representative in Michigan House of Representatives (2009-2011)
- Neal E. Boyd - 2008 Winner of America's Got Talent and Candidate for the Missouri House of Representatives (2012)
- Sherman Parker - State Representative in Missouri House of Representatives (2002-2008)
- Carson Ross - Missouri State Representative (1989-2002) and Mayor of Blue Springs, Missouri (2008–present)
- Lynette Boggs - Miss Oregon (1989), Las Vegas City Council (1999-2004), Clark County Commission (2004-2006) and U.S. House Candidate (2002)
- Maurice Washington - Nevada State Senator (1994-2010)
- Bruce Harris - Mayor of Chatham Borough, New Jersey (2012–present)
- James L. Usry - Mayor of Atlantic City, New Jersey (1984-1990)
- Ralph L. Bradley - Mayor of East Windsor, New Jersey (1992, 1993, 1995)
- Michel Faulkner - New York Jets football player, and 2010 New York 15th District Congressional candidate (2010)
- James Garner - Mayor of the Hempstead (1988-2005) and U.S. House Candidate (2004)
- Thomas Stith - Town councilman of Durham, NC (1999-2007) and Governor of North Carolina Pat McCrory's Chief of Staff (2013–present)
- Dr. Ada Fisher - NC Republican National Committeewoman (2008–present) and U.S House candidate (2006 & 2008)
- T.W. Shannon - Oklahoma State Representative (2007–present) and Speaker of the Oklahoma House of Representatives (2013–present)
- Lynn Swann - Republican nominee for Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 2006 and Pittsburgh Steelers football player
- Stefani Carter - Texas State Representative (2010–present)
- Norris Wright Cuney - Chairman of the Texas Republican Party (1886-1896)
- Scott Turner - Texas State Representative (2012–present) and Denver Broncos football player
- James White - Texas State Representative (2010–present)
- Michael L. Williams - Commissioner of the Texas Education Agency (2012–present), Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission (1999-2011) and U.S. House candidate (2012)
- E.W. Jackson, Republican nominee for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia (2013)
- Olivia Johnson - Roanoke, Virginia Sheriff (2008-2012)
- Winsome Sears - State Representative in Virginia House of Delegates (2002-2004) and U.S. House Candidate (2004)
- Noel C. Taylor - Mayor of Roanoke, Virginia (1975-1992)
- Niger Innis - Director of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)
- Roy Innis - Chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE)
United States judges
- Janice Rogers Brown - Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of California (1996-2005) & U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (2005-present)
- Sarah J. Harper - Ohio Court of Appeals (1990-2003)
- Wallace Jefferson - Associate Justice of the Texas Supreme Court (2001-2004) & Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court (2004–present)
- Ola Lewis - Superior Court Judge North Carolina
- Kevin A. Ross - Judge of the Los Angeles County Superior Court (1996-2005) & Judge on America's Court with Judge Ross (2010–present)
- Clarence Thomas - Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States (1991–present)
- Lynn Toler - Arbitrator on the court series Divorce Court (2001–present)
- Angela Tucker - Texas District Court Judge (2012–present)
- Dale Wainwright - Associate Justice of the Texas Supreme Court (2003-2012)
- David W. Williams - Judge of the United States District Court for the Central District of California (1969-2000)
- Robert P. Young, Jr. - Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court (1999-present) & Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court (2011-present)
- George Washington Williams - United States Ambassador to Haiti
- Edward J. Perkins - United States Ambassador to the United Nations
- Eric M. Bost - United States Ambassador to South Africa
- C.L. Bryant - TV Host
- Stanley Crouch - Author of In Defence of Taboos
- Larry Elder - Author of 10 Things You Can't Say in America
- Robert A. George - Journalist
- James Golden - Producer for The Rush Limbaugh Show (under the alias "Bo Snerdley")
- Amy Holmes - News Anchor and political contributor on CNN
- Zora Neale Hurston - Novelist
- Michael King - Emmy Award- winning television producer
- E. W. Jackson - Conservative activist and commentator, GOP nominee for Lt Governor of VA, Marine Corps Veteran, former Small Business Owner, and Harvard Law Graduate
- Raynard Jackson - Columnist and TV political analyst
- Lenny McAllister - Author of Diary of a Mad Black PYC (Proud Young Conservative) and radio talk-show host from WVON-AM Chicago 
- John McWhorter - Author of Losing the Race and Senior Fellow at the Manhattan Institute
- Tamera Mowry-Housley - Actress best known for co-starring in the sitcom Sister, Sister
- Deroy Murdock - Columnist for E. W. Scripps Company
- Reverend Jesse Lee Peterson - President of the Brotherhood Organization of a New Destiny
- Shelby Steele - Author
- George Schuyler - Journalist
- Armstrong Williams - Author of Beyond Blame and TV host of On Point
- Lieutenant Colonel Frances Rice - Chairman of the National Black Republican Association
- Major General Mary J. Kight - Adjutant General of California (2010-2011).
- Stephen L. Carter - Christianity Today columnist, author of The Culture of Disbelief
- Robert A. George - Columnist for the New York Post
- Ken Hamblin - Denver Post columnist
- Deroy Murdock - National Review columnist
- Sophia A. Nelson - Chair of PoliticalIntersection.com and politicalintersection.blogspot.com
- Star Parker - President of the Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education, columnist, author, California congressional candidate
- Thomas Sowell - Hoover Institute fellow and Author of Basic Economics
- Ida B. Wells - Columnist
- Professor Walter E. Williams - Author of More Liberty Means Less Government
Athletes and entertainers
- James Brown - Musician. Openly endorsed Richard Nixon in the 1972 presidential election and named Strom Thurmond as one of his heroes during a 1999 interview with Rolling Stone.
- Nolan Carroll - Miami Dolphins football player and son of Jennifer Carroll, Lieutenant Governor of Florida
- Wilt Chamberlain - Los Angeles Lakers basketball player
- Ray Charles - Musician.
- 50 Cent - Rapper. Supported George W. Bush in 2005, but switched to the Democratic Party in support of Hillary Clinton in 2008
- Stacey Dash - Actress
- Sammy Davis, Jr. - Entertainer. Originally a liberal Democrat, Davis supported Republican Richard Nixon in the 1970s until the Watergate scandal.
- Eazy E - Rapper. Normally apathetic towards politics, but voiced his support for George H.W. Bush after being invited to a White House dinner in 1991.
- Robert Griffin III - Washington Redskins football player
- Dwayne Johnson ("The Rock") - Actor and WWE wrestler.
- Ronnie Lott - San Francisco 49ers football player
- Don King - Boxing Promoter
- Karl Malone - Olympic Gold medallist and basketball player
- Shaquille O'Neal - Olympic Gold medallist and basketball player
- Joseph C. Phillips - Actor
- Jackie Robinson - Brooklyn Dodgers baseball player
- Thurman Thomas - Buffalo Bills football player
- Cowboy Troy - Country Rapper
- David Tyree - New York Giants football player
- Sheryl Underwood - Comedienne
- Jimmie Walker - Actor
- Kenny Washington - First black player to join the National Football League after it lifted its thirteen-year ban on black players in 1946
Education and Business
- Michelle Bernard - President and CEO of the Independent Women's Forum
- Herman Cain - former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, talk show host and one-time presidential candidate
- Ward Connerly - University of California Regent
- Arthur Fletcher - Academic
- Samuel B. Fuller - Businessman
- James T. Harris III - 9th President of Widener University
- Dr. Mildred Fay Jefferson - First African American to graduate from Harvard Medical School
- Alveda King - niece of Dr. Martin Luther King and senior fellow at the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution
- Martin Luther King, Sr. - Father of Martin Luther King, Jr.
- Stephen N. Lackey - Businessman
- Vernon Robinson - Academic
- Marvin Scott - Academic
- Joshua I. Smith - Businessman
- Booker T. Washington - Academic
- Walter E. Williams - Academic
- Vern Williams - Member of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel
Civil Rights and Activists
- Octavius Catto - civil rights activist
- Frederick Douglass - A leader of the abolitionist movement
- Eldridge Cleaver - Leader of the Black Panther Party
- James L. Farmer, Jr. - Civil rights leader
- Ted Hayes - Activist for the Homeless
- Dr. T. R. M. Howard - Civil Rights Campaigner
- James Weldon Johnson - Activist
- James Meredith - Civil Rights Campaigner
- Jesse Lee Peterson - Activist
- Sojourner Truth - Abolitionist speaker and suffrage advocate
- Harriet Tubman - Abolitionist speaker and suffrage advocate
- Insight America
- Republicans for Black Empowerment
- Congress of Racial Equality
- American Civil Rights Institute
- Project 21
- Coalition on Urban Renewal and Education
- National Black Republican Association
- Hip Hop Republican
- List of fictional Black conservatives in the United States
- African Americans in the United States Congress
- List of minority governors and lieutenant governors in the United States
- Hispanic and Latino Conservatism in the United States
- For an overview of these themes, see Stan Faryna, Brad Stetson, and Joseph G. Conti, Eds., Black and Right: The Bold New Voice of Black Conservatives in America, (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1997)
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- Alliance of Black Republicans
- African American Republican Leadership Council
- Black Conservative Think Tank
- Black America's PAC
- Congress of Racial Equality
- American Civil Rights Institute
- New Coalition for Economic and Social Change
- National Black Republican Association