Why Blacks in US and Africa are attracted to Democratic Party

Posted on Dec 5 2012 - 9:52am by admin

By Bishop Dave Chikosi

No matter where you find Black people on this planet, they tend to be socially conservative and religiously traditional. There are exceptions, but by and large this is the general trend. And so you would therefore expect Blacks to be drawn politically to Republican Conservatism and the two to be friends. Right? Wrong, and herein lies the conundrum that has a lot of people beat, especially in the wake of the recent US Presidential elections.

Bishop Dave Chikosi

Bishop Dave Chikosi

As the Republican Party (GOP) conducts a soul search and attempts to answer the “what-just-happened” question, I suggest they begin by tackling the issue of perception. Indeed perception can be everything.

Think about it: if I was addressing a room full of women and I wrote on the chalkboard: A woman, without her man, is nothing, I should not  be too surprised if handbags were thrown at me and I got booed out of the room.

But if I was to persuade them to allow me to come back and alter the sentence to: A WOMAN: WITHOUT HER, MAN IS NOTHING, the reaction would be very different. My popularity rating would go through the roof immediately. Instead of boos I would get boisterous applause. But you notice that I didn’t change a single word from the first sentence. All I did was change the first comma to a colon, as well as move the second comma to a different place. Small changes? Yes. Inconsequential? Not on your life!

Such is the nature of perception. Small things can substantially alter one’s perception. The GOP’s problem is one of perception. Change the perception, change your (political) fortunes.

Blacks, not just in America, but worldwide tend to see GOP Conservatism as nothing more than a vehicle for the privileged to maintain their status quo. While it’s true that Republicans advocate for the same traditional family/moral values that Blacks cherish worldwide, there is also the perception that the GOP is primarily concerned with creating and promoting an economic system that favors the rich and powerful over the poor and powerless.

They talk about all men being created equal but are unwilling to put in place policies that facilitate such equality. More like Ian Smith’s demanding freedom from Britain but unwilling to extend that freedom to all Zimbos. The perception is that Republicans simply don’t care for the poor, the needy and the disenfranchised. Some even go as far as saying the GOP hates poor people – and a lot of Blacks are poor.

On the other hand, Blacks have been drawn to the Democratic Party ever since President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964. This Act outlawed segregation in public places. His eventual Republican opponent, Sen. Barry Goldwater, opposed it! From that time on the Democrats became the party that promoted civil rights, tolerance and acceptance of minorities. The Republicans came to be viewed as the party for the privileged and intolerant; the anti-civil rights and anti-affirmative action Party.

And so this is why even though Blacks worldwide are aware of the unacceptable side of liberalism (same sex unions, abortion etc), they have traditionally sided with the Democratic Party. In America, Blacks and Latinos have traditionally voted Democrat.

Barack Obama

Barack Obama

The Democratic Party is viewed as catering for the underdog, of which Blacks have been on a global basis. And America is but a microcosm of this global struggle waged by Blacks for their place in the sun. In Africa, for instance, even though political independence has been achieved, there is this awareness that the ground is far from being level on matters such as international trade.

And so when a Black man becomes the President of the world’s most powerful nation twice in a row, it’s not hard to see why Blacks in America, Caribbean, Africa, South America etc would celebrate. It’s a mistake to take this celebration as an endorsement of the man’s un-traditional and unscriptural views. In the mind of most Blacks celebration and endorsement are not the same thing. Tolerance is not acceptance.

Black Christians in particular understand that very well. In America Black Christians are not expecting the nation to be saved spiritually by its President. They are very aware that they did not vote for a Pastor-In-Chief, but a Commander –In-Chief of the US Armed Forces. A nation is saved by the evangelistic efforts of its preachers not its presidents.

To be sure, Obama’s same sex and abortion views are not only disappointing for Christians everywhere, but offensive in so far as they fly in the face of how the Creator divinely ordered society at the beginning of creation. Not only did God give humans life (which only He has a right to terminate), but Jesus Himself affirms that  “God made them male and female from the beginning of creation” (Mark 10:6).

But politicians will always be politicians, whether it’s Obama, Romney or Bush. They all have the same motivations i.e. to win elections (sometimes by hook or crook). Our hope as Christians is in the Lord, not in politicians. This is why Christians everywhere should pray that the US President has a Damascus road encounter with “the One who rides across the ancient heavens, His mighty Voice thundering from the sky” (Psalm 68:33). Only then shall we see change we can believe in.

  • http://www.bob.co.za Matibili

    Well written here Mr Chikosi, I agree with you on Dem’s winning the perception game in the states. This is a well posed argument and I would add the GOP leadership has been overrun by extremists like Palin, Glen Beck, Bachman, Rush Limbough et-al who have become the defacto voice and face of the party leading to the perception that the Republican Party is a party of middle aged white men.

  • Ladychidor

    The problem is that pres B Obama already claims that he is a christian and even if he would want to maintain christian values , he doesnt govern alone. There are powers behind , that control what happens in the US , regardless of who is in power… Illuminati maybe?

  • Soko

    Thank God!!!Our beloved Bishop has finally raised a white flag & realising that one just cannot defend the indefensible … From Pastorpreneurship to Politics ,hmmm really wonder wots next ?!?

    • Fayafaya

      There we go again! U think being a bishop makes one a hermit who has no interest or contribution to make to non-religious topics? If so then u have a very simple mind that really should not be paraded in public like this. Do a google search on Bishop Chikosi and you will find his writings on various non-religious topics in several places on the internet. Hopefull u also get to write something . . but on 2nd thoughts dont. Please!

    • http://www.bob.co.za Matibili

      dude what does this article have to do with pastorpreneirship?

    • Ladychidor

      Soko why dont u post ur comments on the relevant article.? And not try to block debate by sarcasm and cynicism?

  • Soko

    After digesting some of Bishop Chikosi’s other very informative non-religious articles.I agree to disagree with you guys and hereby withdraw my grotesquely irrelevant comment above and do apologize for that !!!

    • Anonymous

      Thank you Bishop for your article. I also want to applaud Soko for being man enough to admit error & correction and even apologise. Am sure we all understand why this is something to applaud on this platform because many a time people are always cursing and hurtling obscenities at each other with egos flying left right centre & no one wanting to accept the others different views. Am sure it’s a lesson to learn that when in error it’s also honorable to admit & apologise. Long live civilized and harmonious discussions.