Friday, November 18, 2005

Definition of a Sellout

It gets no clearer than this:

For decades, Republicans have struggled to reach out to black Americans. But now in Orange County, the GOP has to reach no further than the NAACP. As of this week, Derrick Wallace, head of Orange County's NAACP, has switched parties -- to become a Republican.


Republican Party leader Lew Oliver described himself as "extraordinarily pleased," while Democratic leader Tim Shea said he was disappointed. Wallace, a construction-company exec, was candid about the fact that his business life was a big part of his decision to change."It's purely a business decision. Ninety percent of those I do business with are Republicans," he said. "Opportunities that have come to my firm have been brought by Republicans."To that, Shea responded: "I'm a little confused. Are we talking about the National Association for the Advancement of Construction Professionals -- or Colored People?"

Wallace elaborated that his "business" line of thought also referred to the NAACP. Behind many of the power desks in this town sit Republicans. And he said he wants his organization to be part of that structure. Just as importantly, he said, he didn't want people to immediately brand -- or dismiss -- NAACP concerns as synonymous with those of liberal Democrats. "I want this branch to be respected," he said.

Oliver said they already are, noting that all of the members of the GOP executive board joined the NAACP a few years back to show that they were serious about outreach. "We have taken pains to do our very best to reach out," he said. But Shea and other Democrats have long maintained that Republican talk about inclusion is little more than that: talk. They cite GOP policy after policy -- on everything from voting rights to health care -- that disproportionately negatively affects blacks.

Joining the Republican Party because you believe in its philosophy is one thing. It's uncommon, for logical reasons, for African Americans. But if one believes what the Party believes, fine. But to switch parties because the GOP is the party in power and gives you contracts -- that's the textbook definition of a sellout.


At 9:16 PM, Blogger American Negro said...

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