The Republican Party: It’s Not Just for White Guys Anymore

The Los Angeles Times reports that conservative black pastors are not only enjoying total access to the State Department, but might get their own office soon.

Black pastors meet Rice, claim Africa ‘mandate’

Escalating its courtship of a politically powerful constituency, the Bush administration is teaming up with some of the nation’s best-known and most influential black clergy to craft a new role for U.S. churches in Africa…

The Rev. O’Neal Dozier, pastor of the Worldwide Christian Center in Pompano Beach and a Republican [for more on Wingnut Dozier, read on], said Rice’s decision to huddle with the pastors gave them a “mandate” to craft Africa policy…

If it goes forward, the collaboration could substantially expand black-church participation in the faith-based initiative, from a largely domestic focus to an overseas portfolio that pastors think could make hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars available for black-church work combating AIDS and related social ills internationally. Rice and the pastors discussed establishing an office of faith-based initiatives within the State Department that would direct federal funds for overseas aid to church and community groups.

Blacks have traditionally been not only counted on to vote Democratic, but according to many, taken for granted by the Democratic party. Those days best come to a screeching halt.

The Democratic party isn’t just losing blacks to extreme religious causes. Many black business owners, just as white ones, see more value in aligning themselves with the GOP.

The Lakeland (Florida) Ledger:

The Frederick Douglass Republican Club of Central Florida will hold its chartering ceremony June 7.

The guest speaker will be Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele.

In 2003, Steele became the first black in Maryland to be elected to a statewide office…

[Insurance agent Phillip] Walker changed his registration from Democrat to Republican three years ago. He said the party — with its low tax, low regulation message — better aligns with his political beliefs and religious convictions…

Anthony Broadnax, an engineer technician with Lakeland Electric, said he hopes the club will groom potential candidates for public office. He’s hoping the club will bring awareness to the black community.

“We need to educate our people regarding the party,” he said.

I hope the Florida, and national, Democratic parties will take note. The civil rights era is over, and blacks need new reasons to be Democrats.

I’m not sure Howard Dean, who wanted to be the candidate for guys with rebel flags on their trucks, fully appreciates the nuance of race in this country. And I don’t think New England/Massachusettes whiter-than-white guys like John Kerry or Michael Dukakis will ever carry the day.

Attention, Democrats: our ship could well be sailing.

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