Republicans aren’t the bad guys in this political equation


Mr. Walter Backstrom wrote an article in the Opinion section of the Reporter on Oct. 25 that caught my eye. He asked the question “What were the Republicans thinking?” when they seemingly only “sent” 38 African Americans to be part of their 2000 delegate national convention. And why was it the Republican party is not more open to African Americans or other minorities?

I suspect Mr. Backstrom knows the answer is not that the Republican party does not attempt to be more inclusive; it is that the African American community generally shuns the Republicans as though they were Dolphins fans on the day of a Seahawks game.

More African Americans were not sent to the Republican National Convention because they didn’t come to the precinct and district caucuses and state convention where the delegates are elected by those who are willing to give up their time to participate and ask to be candidates. Republicans would be delighted to have more minorities participate, but generally they just don’t. They do not get involved with campaigns, attend monthly district meetings, volunteer to become precinct committee officers and, with infrequent exceptions such as Mr. Backstrom, don’t volunteer for anything in the Republican party. Part of the reason may be that they fear intimidation by their fellow African Americans who would turn on them if they dared to reveal that they are Republicans. They let others dictate to them how they should think.

When a Republican volunteer knocks on the door of an African American family they are almost sure to get a cold reception because the other party has done such a good job of demonizing Republicans. The fact is Republicans don’t stand on street corners with signs calling for the impeachment of the sitting president EVER. They do not participate in angry destructive demonstrations, are not the ones who flood your mail box with hateful and false accusations of the opponent in the last days of an election, and are not the ones who have run nearly every government in the state into deficit and raised taxes to such a painful level. They are not the ones who have been running the education system African Americans feel have failed their children.

Yet the perception persists that Republicans are bad, racist and want to hurt the African Americans. Republicans are none of this. They are good people who care about their neighbors and do a lot to help them. If you don’t think so, go meet some of your Republican neighbors and find out what kind of people they are. African Americans who do not have a good logical reason to be part of or support the Democratic party should take a closer look at the Republicans. Are you a Democrat just because all your family and friends are? Republicans would love to have you participate and help them make the State of Washington a better place for all of us to live.

Orin R. Wells


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