Labeling another person has become a popular political pastime. The intent is to use a label that is impossible to disprove no matter the amount of contrary evidence.
Perhaps the worst label one can attach to another person is "racist." How does one disprove that? The left has shamefully and inaccurately used the label against Republicans and conservatives over many years to great political advantage. The label is applied in order to delegitimize one's opinion and ostracize the person from legitimate debate.
To their credit, Republicans are fighting back against this smear. At Monday's GOP convention, several African Americans spoke.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-South Carolina, had the best line and personal story of the night. He said he had gone "from cotton to Congress," growing up in his grandparents' home after his parents divorced. Scott co-authored a police reform bill, but he reminded viewers that Democrats "walked out of the room" from it because "they wanted the issue more than they wanted a solution."
Scott then got to the heart of what made him a success: "... even while I was failing the ninth grade ... my mother always said, 'When you shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you will be among the stars.' She never lost faith in me, even when I lost faith in myself. Because of her encouragement, I went to summer school and caught up."
He met a businessman who "saw something in me that I could not see in myself and started teaching me valuable lessons in life." From there he was off and running.
Scott's story was about taking advantage of the opportunities America offers.
Another speaker was football great Herschel Walker. Speaking as one might testify as a character witness at a trial, Walker, who said he has known Donald Trump for 37 years, defended the president against charges by the left that he is a racist and doesn't care about Black or brown people.
"People who think that don't know what they're talking about," Walker said. "Growing up in the Deep South, I've seen racism up close. I know what it is, and it isn't Donald Trump. Just because someone loves and respects the flag, our national anthem and our country doesn't mean they don't care about social justice. I care about all of those things. So does Donald Trump. He shows how much he cares about social justice in the Black community through his actions, and his actions speak louder than stickers or slogans on a jersey."
Scott and Walker — and many other African Americans who spoke — represent a new generation of Black people who cannot and will not be stereotyped as members of a monolithic bloc expected to indulge in groupthink and vote only for Democrats. They reject the notion expressed by Joe Biden to an African American radio host: "If you have a problem figuring out whether you're for me or Trump, then you ain't Black."
Incredibly, polls show that an overwhelming number of African Americans intend to vote for Democrats in the fall election. That could be about to change, as Republicans increasingly show they care for all Americans and expose the failure of Democrat programs, which sink more boats than they lift.
Republicans are starting to do a better job of reaching out to minorities. It is their party — from Abraham Lincoln, to Calvin Coolidge (who spoke out for civil rights during a time when the KKK was ascendant), to Dwight Eisenhower (who sent troops to desegregate Southern schools), to providing the critical votes that passed civil rights legislation in the 1960s over the objections of Southern Democrats — that offers minorities an opportunity to become independent of government and build a better future for themselves and their families.
A positive almost always overcomes a negative.
Tribune Content Agency