Attending last month’s National Republican Convention in Cleveland was quite an experience. Over 50,000 people attended the week-long festivities, including speeches, interviews, commentary, live entertainment and the confirmation of the Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump.
The city of Cleveland did an excellent job of hosting the event. I felt completely safe as security was tight but still allowed one to see the city and all its amenities. I especially enjoyed talking with members of law enforcement which numbered in the thousands. I let just about everyone I came in contact with know how much I appreciated them protecting us attendees and them putting their lives on the line every day. The expression on their faces let you know they coveted every vote of confidence, and they all were very gracious
I broadcast my radio show “Lion Chasers with Lonnie Poindexter” from media row at the Quicken Arena all week. Of the many highlights during the week what most grabbed my attention were the number of Black attendees at the convention and the number of Black Republican candidates running for office. I met and interviewed candidates running at every level of office, including city, county, state, even federal office.
I met Ms. Lori Bartley, who is running for US Congress District 18 out of Houston, TX. I interviewed her on my show. I met Ms. Cynthia Werner, who is a delegate to the convention out of Dallas, TX, who gave me a state of Texas campaign convention pen. I was able to reconnect with Ms. Glo Smith, a US congressional 5th district candidate from Jacksonville, FL. Glo ran unsuccessfully in 2014, but has thrown her hat back into the ring for another try at winning the office given the incumbent Democrat Representative Corrine Brown is now under indictment for multiple fraud charges and other federal offenses. I originally met Glo in 2014 as she was an attendee and speaker at the Black Conservative Summit in Washington, DC an event I facilitated with Freedom’s Journal Institute. US congressional candidate Casper Stockham stopped by the booth as he is running in Colorado’s District 1, Denver. I also saw candidate Corrogan Vaughn, who is running to take Democrat Elisha Cummings congressional seat in Baltimore.
At the state level, there was Ms. Shalira Taylor, who is running for state representative District 11 in Cleveland, OH. I also interviewed her on my show. Ms. Shannon Wright was in attendance at the convention as well. She is running for Baltimore City Council President.
There were many Black Americans in attendance. Estimates are upwards of nearly one thousand made the trek to Cleveland and much more would have come but for work or finances which precluded them from attending. I asked those I did reach why they are running and why as a Republican. The collective answers were:
- They saw a need in their respective communities and felt they could make a difference.
- Their Christian faith compelled them to do something about America’s spiritual decline, and they saw no line of demarcation between their faith and public policy.
- They knew Black history and stated that the Republican Party is the historical home of Black America going all the way back to emancipation and reconstruction.
The candidates also acutely understood the plight and state of Black America under President Obama’s administration, which I have dubbed Black Camelot. Here are some sobering facts:
“Under Black Camelot, the percentage of black Americans struggling below the poverty line has advanced according to data from the most recent Census Bureau, from 25.8 in 2009 to 26.2 in 2014 — up 1.6 percent. The median income among black households during those years according to the Census Bureau data, sank from $35,954 to $35,398 — down 1.5 percent. The number of black food-stamp participants exploded during Obama’s tenure; from 7,393,000 to 11,699,000, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports — up 58.2 percent. Also, from Obama’s inauguration through the fourth quarter of 2015, the percentage of black Americans who own homes foundered from 46.1 percent to 41.9 percent, according to the Census — down 9.1 percent. Of the $831 billion dollars Mr. Obama was given through the Stimulus Package. What shovel-ready jobs has he provided to help poor blacks?”
Even liberal political pundits have noted the decline in the Black community under Black Camelot’s reign. Tavis Smalley, a liberal black radio and television broadcaster, has repeatedly stated black Americans have lost ground in every major economic category under the Obama administration.
Democrat presidential candidate Hilary Clinton (Obama 2.0), who wants to lead our nation, has clearly stated she plans to continue what Obama has started. The black attendees and candidates I spoke with all agree that things would only get worse under a Clinton administration. They also stated that is why Donald Trump resonates with them.
According to Jason L. Riley, a journalist with the Wall Street Journal, in his recent piece titled “Why Trump Shouldn’t Write Off the Black Vote: His success in business could help him explain how liberal policies have hurt African-Americans.”
“The class warfare practiced by liberals stems from a belief that poor minorities sit around resenting white wealth, or should. The reality is that ghetto residents don’t hate Bill Gates. They want to be Bill Gates. One of the most successful rap labels in the 2000s was co-founded by Jay-Z and called Roc-A-Fella Records, a slang spelling of the Rockefeller family name that’s long been synonymous with wealth. Jay-Z grew up in a housing project in Brooklyn. He wasn’t envious of the super wealthy. He was a go-getter, and today he’s worth more than $600 million, according to Forbes.”
Black Americans are waking up in increasing numbers to the fallacy of liberal ideology and 50 plus years of Democrat rule in black communities across America that created the tragic collapse of cities like Detroit, MI. They know if Democrat leadership continues there will be more cities in urban America imploding under the weight of liberal progressivism. Seeking political office as Republicans is both a practical and moral stance by them to stem the tide and change their communities.