Last year’s NBA Finals was a matchup between the LeBron James Cleveland Cavaliers and the defending champion Golden State Warriors. Imagine, for the entire series, the three referees that are on the court for the games were the three children of LeBron.
Aside from child labor laws not allowing such a commitment, there would be an obvious conflict of interest seeing that they have to be driven to and from the games by one of the players on the court they are supposed to be officiating.
This would not even be a discussion. Politics, however, is a different story for some reason.
The 2018 Georgia Gubernatorial Election between Democrat Stacey Abrams and Republican Brian Kemp, aside from controversies of a canceled debate by Kemp in order to attend a Donald Trump rally in Georgia and racial tensions, the largest controversy had to be Kemp’s decision not to step down from his position as the Secretary of State, whose job includes supervising elections.
This is less LeBron’s kids refereeing his game but rather James and two of his teammates refereeing and playing in a game. It may have been a bad look from a certain point of view, but Kemp’s office maintained they would be impartial, no crimes were committed and Kemp went on to narrowly win over Abrams with 50.2% of the vote.
Instead, the election of Kemp, the Florida Gubernatorial race between the victorious Republican Ron DeSantis and Democratic former Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum which was even more contentious with dog whistle politics towards Gillum and the Republican Party’s further push away from the center forces strategist in the party to either continue with their current pace or fight to return to the center.
The Republican Party is no longer the party of Abraham Lincoln. It is ridiculous to hear that statement from party members of being “The Party of Lincoln.” Returning to sports references, it is the equivalent of the Golden State Warriors calling themselves the “Team of Wilt Chamberlain.” At one point in time, yes. However, times change, the rules of the game changes and both Lincoln and Wilt the Stilt are no longer with us.
This is what the true party of Lincoln looks like. In the history of the United States, twelve former slaves found themselves from a southern plantation to holding one of the highest official positions in the country. Twelve former slaves were United States Congressmen. All twelve were Republicans.
- Joseph Rainey: South Carolina’s 1st 1870-1879
- Jefferson F. Long: Georgia’s 4th Jan 1871-March 1871
- Benjamin S. Turner: Alabama’s 1st 1871-1873
- Josiah T. Walls: Florida’s at-large and Florida’s 2nd 1871-1876
- John R. Lynch: Mississippi’s 6th 1873-1877, 1882-1883
- Jeremiah Haralson: Alabama’s 1st 1875-1877
- John Adams Hyman: North Carolina’s 2nd 1875-1877
- Robert Smalls: South Carolina’s 5th and 7th 1875-1879, 1882-1887
- Henry P. Cheatham: North Carolina’s 2nd 1889-1893
- George W. Murray: South Carolina’s 7th and 1st 1893-1897
- George Henry White: North Carolina’s 2nd 1897-1901
- (Senator) Blanche Bruce: Mississippi 1875-1881
Does this mean that the Republican Party of Lincoln was pro-black? Of course not. Neither party, Democrats or Republicans, wanted these men in power and used any tactics they could to obstruct or steal power from them.
Congressman Jefferson F. Long held his office for only two months after the previous Representative was declared by the US House not entitled to hold the seat. The anti- Reconstruction white majority of Georgia’s GOP did not support Long for re-election. In Mississippi, John R. Lynch had to fight the white terrorist group, the White League, whose efforts were award in 1875 when the Democrat Party returned to power in the House of Representatives. In 1874, Joseph Rainey’s power was tested by the terrorist organization, The Red Shirts, who killed at least 100 black people, including the Hamburg Massacre where six blacks and one white man were murdered in July of 1876. When Jeremiah Haralson was elected to his Alabama seat, he was contested within his own party and had to have his former owner, Judge Jonathan Haralson, speak out in support of him.
After the Union soldiers left the former Confederacy and Reconstruction unofficially ended, along with the rise of Jim Crow and voting suppression for the black southerners, it took decades for black Congressmen to return to Washington representing the south. Not until Barbara Jordan of Texas’ 18th and Andrew Young of Georgia’s 5th did the former Confederacy see black representatives. At this point, the black legislators were overwhelmingly Democratic because, no matter what Candace Owens said, the southern strategy was adopted by the Republican party in order to appeal to the white majority by vilifying the people of color minority after the Civil Rights Movement, as portrayed here by famous Reagan campaign consultant Lee Atwater.
After Arthur W. Mitchell of Illinois’ 1st replaced black Republican Oscar Santa De Priest in 1935, only six African Americans were elected to the House under the Republican banner. In terms of Senators, after the first three black senators in Congress came in as Republicans, only one other black Republican senator has been elected, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina who is in Washington today.
So an honest question has to be asked within the Republican Party on whether or not they will try to appeal to the black voting demographic outside of photo-ops of Jim Brown and Kanye West with Donald Trump. Acts like this do more harm to the images of Brown and West than actually help the Republican Party. Trump did achieve the highest black voting percentage since the 2004 election. However, the answer comes down to one factor: Obama.
Also, 8% to Clinton’s 88% is not really something to brag about in any serious way. In the seven Presidential elections between 1936-1960, 30% of African Americans voters went for Republicans. In 1964, Barry Goldwater on a platform of anti-Civil Rights and for segregation lost in a landslide to Lyndon Johnson and gained only 6% of the African American vote. No matter how many black faces are carried in by elephant, Trump and the Republican Party are in serious danger of losing the black vote for long after their children and grandchildren have come and gone.