You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser
and improve your visit to our site.
Skip Navigation

Intersection Episode 8: The Loneliness of the Black Republican

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
Subscribe in iTunes   •   Stitcher   •   RSS Feed

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.

(Last, but not least: Intersection has a new sponsor! Take a listen to find out who it is.)