Time magazine’s May 2009 cover depicted the Republican National Committee (RNC) logo under the headline “Endangered Species.” If you recall, many had written the GOP off and felt the Republican Party, as they knew it, was essentially gone forever and on the brink of no return. Of course, history shows they were wrong, and the party bounced back to take back the House of Representatives and picked up seven seats in the U.S. Senate the following year.
Today, many mainstream media elites, liberal pundits and politicians have gone even further to try to depict the Republican Party as not just endangered but extinct! That is the furthest thing from the truth. What they fail to accept is that the future for the Republican Party is bright because we are more diverse, more reflective of all of America, larger, and have great leadership at the RNC who understand the importance of engagement, education and activation with all voters, especially Black Americans.
The liberal elites are trying to downplay, cancel out, and ignore the tremendous gains the GOP made in our intentional engagement efforts to connect with even more Black American voters. I say even more because we have to push back on the notion that there are little to no Black Republicans. That is another falsehood – there are millions, and the numbers are growing.
This Black History Month it is important to focus on the fact that as a Republican Party, we have a rich legacy that is connected to Black History that should and needs to be told. RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel wrote in an op-ed about Black History Month “Black History Month is not just about Black Liberal history. To minimize a community into one ideology or political thought is wrong and discounts the stories, experiences and value of Black Republicans — past and present — and cancels a major portion of Black History. This year, we should not let a cancel culture trend move into our textbooks for our children. Black Republicans should be recognized and honored too.” The Chairwoman is correct, and it is good to have the head of the RNC express that and do so in multiple Black-owned newspapers.
Before the left tries to re-write our history and our future, let’s set the record straight for them. The GOP has always been the freedom and opportunity Party. The Republican Party is rooted in support for ending slavery, the Emancipation Proclamation, and ensuring the Civil Rights Act became law. Republican Presidents were responsible for the Voting Rights Act, Martin Luther King Day holiday, and the Smithsonian African American Museum.
The first Black Governor, first member of the House of Representatives, first U.S. Senator, first U.S. Secretary of State, and the second Black American on the U.S. Supreme Court, were all Republican.
Through our conservative, free market, pro-American ideas and policies, we have the winning roadmap to guide us into what I know will be more election victories in the future, most immediately in 2022, when we take back the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.
We are on the right track thanks in part to the bold life-changing policy decisions of our former President, Donald J. Trump. The work his administration did to empower minorities, specifically Black Americans, was both intentional and impactful in virtually every aspect of our lives.
Not only did we see more than fifty Black Republicans run for federal office, but we also saw dozens more run on the local level in 2020. President Trump received the largest share of non-White voters than any Republican Presidential candidate since 1960. He increased his support with Black Americans from 8% to 12% and more than doubled his support with Black Women. Millions of Black Americans were a part of the more than 74 million Americans that came out to vote for Donald J. Trump and the Republican Party.
Those increases happened because we had an inclusive message, and empowering policies like cutting taxes, historic low unemployment, job creation, deregulation, Opportunity Zones, licensure reform, Black economic empowerment, better and cheaper healthcare options, education reform that promoted more options for parents and students through school choice, and unprecedented resources for our nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities.
Moving forward the GOP will continue to put all Americans first, and the RNC is committed to continuing national engagement with all Black American voters at all levels. We are going to continue the work, stay involved, educate voters about our Party and ideals, and highlight the contrast of visions and plans between what we have accomplished versus what this already troubling, Biden/Harris Administration is offering.
We will continue to give voice to the once forgotten and the millions of Black voters that have been ignored by the left, feel left out by the values of the current party and are not being made a priority by the current Democrat establishment in D.C.
Moderate Democrats, Independents, Republicans, blue-collar workers, Black Americans, and all Americans have a home in our Party because we have a bigger, more diverse tent rooted in conservative principles that unite, not divide.
The future of the GOP is brighter than ever because we have a Party that has leadership that understands the importance of growing and engaging and going after every vote in every community. Staying on that path of diverse engagement will lead to more GOP victories in the months and years to come.
• Paris Dennard is the Senior Communications Advisor for Black Media Affairs at the Republican National Committee. Follow him on Twitter, @PARISDENNARD.
Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.