Home / Opinion / Commentary / GOP’s trouble is not with color, it’s with kind

GOP’s trouble is not with color, it’s with kind

GOP's big majorities in Arizona Legislature at riskThe GOP doesn’t have a problem with black. Clarence Thomas, Condoleezza Rice, Allen West, Mia Love, Vernon Parker and many others are respected conservatives of color. The issue is the kind of black that Republicans prefer.

If the party of Lincoln is going to survive, it must learn how to engage black people who aren’t partisan lapdogs. Black apologists, “house Negroes,” “Uncle Toms,” and their ilk went out of style in the black community when the first slaves tasted freedom.

Yes, they have endured into the present, but the resentment and rejection they experience in black circles is real and manifests itself politically and potently. They represent the “kids in the tree house” who stood on the shoulders of others to get “inside.” Ladder- climbers who didn’t build it, but damn sure pulled it up after them in the name of “self-accountability.”

This type of black is a liability for the GOP. They can’t win elections because they have no base. Conservative white voters won’t ever really trust them and black voters won’t forgive those who turn their backs on the community.

West, Love, and Parker are examples of people who have, philosophically, moved “up and out.” Personal wealth or success has nothing to do with the black-on-black animosity they are burdened with. They bare the scars of rejection because they favored the path of individualism over collective advancement. White people have that luxury, black people don’t. As many a civil rights leader or black politico has said: “Not one of us is free until we are all free!”

The GOP’s brand of black doesn’t live by that motto and so they struggle in limbo politically, not wholly accepted and valued by their white patrons and “friends” and run out of mainstream black political life by virtue of their “values” like lepers from the town square.

Republicans face the challenge of rediscovering their pro-civil rights, economic restoration, and integration platform of old. It was Lincoln who promised the 40 acres and a mule, and black folk never forgot it. It was Republicans who fought the racist Democrats of the Reconstruction Era in attempts to authorize the government to give large sums of money to black people for the buying of property, the organizing of banks, and the launching of job and skills training organizations.

The Rev. Frederick Douglas was a real leader in the old GOP. But Douglas, unlike black GOP “leaders” of today, did not spare the feelings of middle-aged white men, he did not pity racist fools, and he did not compromise about the economic and political needs of his people out of fear of white rejection. Douglas was the original GOP evangelical. He believed God was on his side ready to war with those opposed to a movement for black liberation, integration, and equity- building.

Remember Fannie Lou Hammer and the Mississippi Freedom Party and their struggle against the southern Democrat machine that dominated that party then? The Democrat Party of that time is not the same party today that gave rise to President Obama. The Democrat Party and black members spent decades driving out demon imps who did the bidding of the devils of discrimination and racism. The GOP must do the same. No amount of window dressing or black posers can hide the trouble inside the GOP.

Overwhelmingly, blacks are pro-life and straight-marriage Christians.

Where the GOP loses most of us is not over these issues. The GOP loses minorities with its unwillingness to reject the platform of barons of business (many of ill-gotten gain), economic racism, and the “hold them back, hold them down” agenda of white citizens of means who prefer a society of exclusivity and “white privilege” that any person of color with dignity finds completely unacceptable in God’s world.

The conservatives of today must look to the not so distant past for guidance. Even the fathers of black power, Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Stokley Carmichael, were not above working with Republicans. Powell even endorsed President Eisenhower, because Eisenhower endorsed black progress in America. Powell and other leaders in Congress and black society struggled against the political ugliness of not-so-Negro- friendly white Democrats of their day to win victories for blacks through impossibly difficult bipartisanship and inter-racial cooperation. If they could do it then, surely we can do it now.

My fear is that Republicans will continue to surround themselves with black patricians. That Republicans will alienate the masses of black plebs who, through great sacrifice, determined long ago what it means to be black in America and what kind of black a person may or may not be. As the saying goes, “They may be our color, but they are not our kind!” Is that too hard for intelligent and clean white people to understand?

Republicans will continue to fail miserably until they stop ignoring certain segments of society out of prejudice and fear. They must find the right kind of black and get themselves back on track or die the long death of political irrelevancy. A confederacy of wannabe Ronald Reagan racists derailed, derided, denounced, disconnected and deserted as the engine of American progress chugs along without the cantankerous and color-free caboose of “modern” conservatism.

— Rev. Jarrett Maupin, Baptist minister and political, civil rights and social justice activist.


  1. Mr. Maupin fails to mention Frederick Douglas had a young pretty “white” secretary who became his second wife after his wife died. His secretary was as young or a year younger than is youngest daughter, I cannot recall which now. His children did not like the marriage and there was conflict over his will. His young wife ended up with the house and preserved it, that is why it is a historical government park in D.C. today. He could very well have been involved sexually with her prior to his wife’s death. He visited with Pres. Lincoln, although I cannot recall a specific number of times now. Also, he was part “white”, having a white father who owned his mother. I have been to the house on a tour which is on a hill with a beautiful view of the Patomic River.
    Also, something the Republicans fail to ever mention, while proclaiming Pres. Lincoln as “their” president, is the fact Lincoln was a member of the Whig Party which fell apart in the months before he was nominated. He was not even at the Republican Convention when he was nominated, being at home in Ill. This was the custom of the time. Too bad it isn’t today.
    I was reared a Southern Baptist, I left it several years ago due to rabid radical religious right it was leaning into. So.Baptists do not follow the true church any longer. I now am a member of the United Methodist Church. Martha Jo Billy

  2. I feel my comments are relevant and Mr. Maupin omitted important details in his comments. Am I NOT ENTITLED TO MY OPINION of his comments?? Martha JO Billy, Gilbert

  3. This is extremely racist article – I am disappointed that the Capital Times choose to publish this hate speech.

    To Mr. Maupin’s broader point – the GOP is experiencing an identity crisis nationwide; “grass-roots” vs “establishment” Republicans. The entire party will continue to fail until their is a meeting of the minds between the two. Mr. Maupin obviously missed this basic point due to his myopic obsession with the “white devil”

    I cannot speak for the all of the Republican Party, however I can say without a doubt that the South Mountain GOP (www.SouthMountainGOP.com), which is in Mr. Maupin’s legislative district, is open and interested in all CONSERVATIVES regardless of color, creed or sex.

    Thank you,
    Sarah Coleman
    Republican Precinct Committeeman – Olney in LD27

  4. This article was obviously written by a racist, either a democrat or liberal black. The truth is, most black folks are “takers” that are on some form of receiving government check, whether it is a government job or welfare. Due to this they, overwelmingly support the democrat party as to do otherwise would jeopardize their gravey train.

    Martha Jo Billy, sorry you left the Baptist Church, but they probably would not marry you to your wife, but the Methodist Church would. Also, you probably have something against blacks and whites marrying so that makes you a racist.

  5. How dare you say these things about Republicans–I am deeply offended
    You sound like the typical radical-socialist liberal

  6. Too many minority ethnic groups have taken welfare on as a career. Instead of listening to Bill Cosby they’ve been listening (if they listen at all) to Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson and others like them. Lack of responsible fathers who wander hither and yon producing babies for the mother who will receive yet more government money in one form or another, for each child born. This has been going on for years (decades) and Al and Jessie make a pretty good living = there are also Eugene Robinson and others who produce hatred for the white people…

    Incidentally, when measuring poverty figures, the non-cash goodies like housing money and other subsidies are not counted. Dr. Thomas Sowell has made good research and published opinion articles that blow the “poor” back up into a situation where they are getting as much or more than those who work. For the workers, then, “why work at all?” comes into play.

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