Blacks Make Presence Felt at CPAC

Sharon L. Bratcher, Times Herald (Norristown, Pennsylvania), February 22, 2011

Blacks made their presence known at the 3-day Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held Feb. 10-12 in Washington DC. Though fewer in number than their white counterparts, they served as speakers and panel discussion experts and they were listened to by thousands who embrace the conservative political philosophy.

Herman Cain, a businessman, radio talk show host, and “black American patriot,” drew several standing ovations from the packed-out audience in the Marriott Wardman Park. {snip}

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Cain said that “the liberals don’t think that we can think for ourselves.” Not only has he embraced conservative thinking, he is actively planning to run for president on the Republican ticket in 2012.

Congressman Allen West, R-Fla., stated that he is a conservative black politician because there needs to be a cap on federal spending and a balanced budget amendment.

William Owens, the Vice-President for Product Development of The Tea Party Review pointed out during a panel discussion sponsored by World Magazine that the new “Tea Party” movement encompasses people from all races and walks of life. {snip} Two African-American gentlemen in the audience confirmed that they, like Owens, have not only attended, but organized and spoken at Tea Party events, adding that “the liberal media ignored the fact that we were there.”

Wright [Crystal Wright of conservativeblackchick.com] stated that she finds it frustrating that some of her friends are surprised that she can call herself a conservative. She stated, though, that “blacks are conservative on many issues, such as family values, and church, and lowering taxes.” {snip}

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Wright mentioned that the GOP seriously needs to work at “seeing us in the room” and not dismissing blacks as irrelevant. Language needs to “be respectful and people need to watch what they say” as well. But no matter what, “Voting must be issue-driven,” she concluded and not based on personalities, perks, or past history.

“There are statistics that are not passed around by the media today–it’s time to take a good hard look at what’s going on.” One fact that Ms. Wright stated was that unemployment in some urban areas ranges from 30-50 percent now, whereas it was around 19 percent back in the Reagan era.

Eric Jessup, an attendee, joined in the conversation and pointed out that historically it has been the Republicans that have helped the black community in the best ways. He does not believe that the Democrats have done the black community any good “holding them hostage to social welfare programs.”

Wright quoted Walter Williams, radio commentator, as summing it up thus: “the social welfare programs have done what slavery couldn’t do to blacks–destroy the family.” She pointed out that the breakdown of the family leads to dependency on the government.

Jessup added that there is still some inherited resentment in the black community towards voting Republican, because of past deeds.

Often blacks were also taught to be negative about America. {snip}

In the last panel discussion of the conference, political strategist Margaret Hoover stated that it’s time to stop playing “the game of identity politics,” separating people into interest groups, treating ethnicity above humanity.

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