Republicans Versus Democrats: Who really is anti-Black?—Myth Buster Pt.1

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THOUGHT: The Republican party is anti-black and racist toward minorities particularly Black Americans.

CHECK: False

In the age of Donald Trump and “Make America Great Again” terms such as racist, bigot, and hater have been used constantly. There has seemingly been a resurgence of “civil rights” and a fight against a “racist establishment”. These claims while presently aimed towards a political party’s leader (Republicans) have been traditionally aimed towards the party itself.

The Republican party has been traditionally viewed as a racist anti-Black party ran by old white and rich men who couldn’t care less about those who are impoverished or considered minorities. This superficial view has taken root within both the culture and political habits of Black Americans since the mid to late 1960s. However, truth be told such is not a fair and balanced view of reality. While certain merits may apply on the surface a deeper look reveals that the party customarily viewed as racist particularly towards Blacks advocates for policy and in the positive interest and benefit of many Black Americans.

Journalism professor at Howard University and Democrat Mark E. Beckford spoke to this belief saying; while in principle the Republican party aligns more directly with Blacks values it does not show up in public relations and communications. This breakdown is shown most notably in policy positions on two adverse issues that directly affect the Black community at a disproportionate rate; education (school choice versus public schooling) and Abortion (with much of the Democratic platform taking a “pro-choice” stance).

This truth, as it concerns education, is highlighted in a new poll results from Brookings conducted by Democrats for Education Reform, an advocacy organization that supports charter schools, show a stark contrast between the attitudes of White Democrats on one side, and Black [and Hispanic] Democrats, on the other. According to this poll among White Democratic voters, 26% expressed favorable opinions toward charters, while 62% had unfavorable opinions. The results were essentially flipped for Black Democratic voters with 58% favorable and 31% unfavorable. The idea and proposal for school choice has been a cause championed by many on the modern right (yes, even the age of Trump).

Abortion the number one cause of death of minorities specifically Black Americans that exceeds deaths via cancer, violent crime, heart disease, AIDS and accidents. According to the Wall Street Journal, “nationally, Black women terminate pregnancies at far higher rates than other women…in 2014, 36% of all abortions were performed on black women, who are just 13% of the female population.”

As mentioned in the Wall Street Journal “racism, poverty and lack of access to health care are the typical explanations for these disparities. But Black women have much higher abortion rates even after you account for income. Moreover, other low-income ethnic minorities who experience discrimination, such as Hispanics, abort at rates much closer to White women than Black women. This specific issue shows great disproportion.

Examining in these contexts the policy stance on education and abortion from both sides (Republicans and Democrats) taken at face value seem to be the opposite of common thought. Considering that more Black Americans desire school choice than any other group and the fact that abortion disproportionately affects the Black woman one would think Republican policies on these issues would find favor with Black Americans, but the evidence is still in the opposite direction.  While the Republican party on its surface as Professor Beckford put it aligns more directly with Blacks values it does not show up in public relations and communications with many of the major policies favoring Black Americans.

NOTE: Originally written for “Co-Curricular Truth Be Told”/Carswell Spring 2020—Howard University