Blacks flip Republican image


With it being a critical election year, it’s hard to avoid any political party. It seems everyone and every view has been represented throughout this political election.

But what about the black Republican?

For decades, the black Republican has been viewed as an ‘Uncle Tom’ are racist among their own.

April Burgess, a political science professor at Tallahassee Community College, said the stereotype stems from the history of the black American struggle and simply being uneducated.

“I think black Republicans aren’t racist against their own race,” said Burgess. “I believe it’s based on our history.”

According to the National Black Republican Association, the U.S. Congress passed the 15th Amendment, which granted African-Americans the right to vote, most African Americans were Republican. President Abraham Lincoln, who famously wrote the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed all slaves, was also a Republican.

It wasn’t until 1924 that blacks were permitted to attend Democratic conventions.

The term ‘Uncle Tom’ has been used loosely throughout history based on the idea that blacks essentially are against their own.

Toni Rollins, a community activist in Miccosukee, Fla., said the term is racist and shouldn’t be used, especially in today’s society.

“Talk about being a racist. This is discrimination amongst our own,” said Rollins. “Simply because someone of a similar race or background has a different view doesn’t mean they’re against me.”

According to, black conservatism in the United States is a political and social movement rooted in communities of African descent that aligns largely with the American conservative movement.

“A number of black Republicans want to decentralize government,” said Burgess. “Simply, less government involvement.”

A large number of African-Americans’ values are conservative. Still, more than 90 percent vote Democrat.

Black conservatism emphasizes traditionalism, strong patriotism, capitalism, free markets and opposition to abortion and gay marriage in the context of the black church.

“A lot of our history goes back to the black church being our foundation,” said Burgess. “For example, a lot of black churches backed

away from President Obama once he announced his support for the gay community.”

However, there aren’t as many young black Republicans as there are Democrats.

Brian Kyth, a business administration student from Jacksonville, said he doesn’t understand how someone who looks like him could be a Republican.

“No, I don’t think a Republican who is black is a sellout,” Kyth said. “I do question why would someone support a group that doesn’t necessarily support you.”

Latanya Walker, a fifth-year political science student from West Palm Beach, Fla., believes being a Republican has everything to do with the way she was raised.

“I grew up in a politically split home,” said Walker. “I was raised to gain my own knowledge and to base my political views off of what I feel, not what the majority believes.”

Despite public perception, there are a number of blacks who support the Republican Party. Students such as Walker say they exemplify the best of Republican values and thoroughly understand the need for the party.