Once upon a time, the Republican Party was known as “the party of Lincoln.” Some still think call it that, trying to hearken back to a time when the party actually attracted black voters. But over the past decade, Democrats have garnered the vast majority of support from African Americans; we’re talking upwards of 88 percent. Today, black Republicans are scarce.
But why, exactly? Well, the Great Depression, the New Deal, and the nomination of Barry Goldwater in 1964 happened, says Leah Wright Rigueur, a Harvard historian and author of The Loneliness of the Black Republican: Pragmatic Politics and the Pursuit of Power. This week on Intersection, host Jamil Smith talks to Wright Rigueur about how the relationship between the GOP and black voters has shifted from supportive to downright icy over the past 100 years.
And then, there’s Dr. Ben Carson. As part of Intersection’s series looking at the 2016 presidential candidates through the lens of identity, conservative television anchor and political analyst Amy Holmes, BuzzFeed political reporter Darren Sands, and The Nation contributing writer Mychal Denzel Smith come on the show to talk about what it means to be a black conservative today. Will Carson be able to mend the party’s relationship with black voters, or will he widen the gap with his conservative policies and inflammatory rhetoric?
Find out what our host and panel has to say on these questions and the black conservative identity, on the new episode of Intersection.
Black Republicans might be lonely, but articles about them aren’t. To learn more about this week’s topic, take a look at the Episode 8 reading list.
- Ben Carson Is Saying All the Right Things, by Jamil Smith for the New Republic
- Running for President Isn’t Brain Surgery, by Tressie McMillan Cottom for The Atlantic
- #BlackLivesMatter Misfire, by Ben Carson for USA Today
- On Ben Carson’s Comments on Gayness and Hetero Fears of the Sexuality Spectrum, Mychal Denzel Smith for Feministing
- What Explain Ben Carson? The Long Tradition of Black Conservatism, by Leah Wright Rigueur for The Washington Post
- The Partisan Paradox of Black Republicans, by Theodore R. Johnson for The Atlantic
- Ben Carson Should Stick to Surgery, Not Running for President, by Crystal Wright for her blog, Conservative Black Chick
- Yes, Republicans Can Win Black Voters, by Theodore R. Johnson for the National Review
- Why the Republican Push for Black Voters Is (Mostly) Doomed to Fail, by Peter Benoit for The Atlantic
- A Black President Is Not a Magical Negro, by Jamil Smith for the New Republic
- Hillary Clinton’s Racial Justice Platform Is Finally Taking Shape, by Jamil Smith for the New Republic
(Last, but not least: Intersection has a new sponsor! Take a listen to find out who it is.)