Senator Rand Paul’s appearance yesterday at Howard University (a.k.a “Mecca”), was gutsy and surprising. But what was not surprising was the wall of doubt and indifference that separated Sen. Paul and the crowd of mostly black students.
Sen. Paul said that it was Democrats who were responsible for racism and the Jim Crow laws that kept so many blacks in virtual slavery. Paul asked how the party of Abraham Lincoln and emancipated slaves became “the party that now loses 95 percent of the African American vote?” Sen. Paul’s question was later answered when a Howard student said that he “wants a government that is going to help me.” That is the mindset shared by a growing number of Americans, and especially black Americans.
Senator Paul’s rebuttal to that student was right. Too much government is not healthy. And dependence on government has engendered a destructive sense of futility that has slowly gripped a large portion of blacks for nearly fifty years. The number of blacks living in poverty, relying on government programs, and still struggling to find work is largely attributed to a shrunken sense of self that flows from generational reliance on Government.
The problem is cultural, not political.
The challenge going forward for Republicans is whether they are willing to combat the communal rational, racial suspicions and ideological closed-mindedness to conservatism among so many blacks, with an appealing campaign to win back their loyalty.
For now, that remains to be seen.