By Deborah Bucknam
It is time for black Americans to abandon the Democrat Party and come home to the Republican Party, the party of their forebears.
Freedom has been the guiding star for both Republicans and black Americans from the beginning. Republicans fought and died to free American slaves, while Democrats fought to keep blacks in bondage. The first Republican President, who issued the Emancipation Proclamation, died by a Democrat assassin’s bullet. And Republicans, over the vociferous opposition of Democrats, passed the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution, giving black Americans the right to citizenship, to vote, and to their God given rights under the our Bill of Rights.
The Democrat Party has been anti-black from its beginning. The ghastly practices of slavery, then after the Civil War, Black Codes, lynching, Jim Crow, KKK and segregation were all policies and practices of America’s Democrat Party alone. Worse, they weren’t practices that lasted a little over a decade, like the Third Reich, or even 50 years, like South Africa’s apartheid. Racist policies and practices of the Democrat Party lasted, in one form or another, over 165 years.
The Democrat Party of today has never acknowledged, let alone atoned for, that appalling legacy, even while denouncing others as racist. You have to admire the chutzpah of the Democrat party, with its shameful history, which hears “dog whistle” racism in the most innocent speech of its opponents. As late as 2010 former Ku Klux Klan Exalted Cyclops Democrat Robert Byrd held the title of President Pro Tempore in U.S. Senate and was eulogized at his funeral by the Democrat President, Vice President and former President of the United States. Even now, the United States Senate Office Building is named after white supremacist Democrat Senator Richard Russell.
More importantly, current Democrat Party policies continue to undermine blacks by placing all African Americans in a box labeled “victim.” The effect has been to actually victimize black Americans by enacting welfare programs that have decimated black families. While the marriage rate among African Americans before the 1960’s was higher than white Americans, now 60 percent of black children live in single parent households, with well documented despair, debilitation and poverty resulting.
American cities ruled by Democrats have become dangerous netherworlds for black Americans, with black kids terrorized by violence in school and on the streets. The city of Chicago has been governed by Democrats for more than 80 years. Today, 49 out of 50 Chicago city council members are Democrats. Yet black Americans are being murdered in that city at a rate far greater than the homicide rates in Iraq, Afghanistan, or most countries in Africa.
On the other hand, the Republican Party today is a natural fit for black Americans. While “black lives matter” has turned out to be merely a Democrat talking point, Republicans have actually demonstrated that black lives do matter to them. Republican New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani instituted a policing program which dramatically reduced black on black crime and saved thousands of black lives in the process. Under President Trump, African American unemployment is at a record low. Perhaps most tellingly, the President’s dramatic school choice initiatives that support black families’ yearnings for a better education for their children are opposed overwhelmingly by Democrats.
So, it’s past time for black Americans to re-evaluate their self-defeating allegiance to the Democrat party. And it’s past time for the Republican Party to aggressively court black Americans back to the Republican Party, to which their ancestors belonged in overwhelming numbers for over 80 years. Such a shift would be beneficial for black Americans, the Republican Party, and the country.
Deborah Bucknam is a St. Johnsbury-based attorney and former Republican candidate for state attorney general.