Why I Am Not A Democrat!
One of the more perplexing realities I have encountered in my lifetime is Black people’s fetish for the Democrat party. I have been actively researching this phenomenon for nearly 30 years, which began when I took a Black history class in 1972, my sophomore year in high school.
My first encounter with the ‘black-equals-Democrat’ phenomenon happened in 1964 as a young 8-year-old boy walking along College Ave. in Wheaton, Illinois with a now-deceased friend named Tyrone Watkins, who at 10, was 2 years older than me. The street was lined with parked cars of people who were attending a Republican rally at Wheaton College sponsored by 1964 presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. As we walked by a car with a Goldwater window sticker, Tyrone reached out with a stick he was carrying and violently scratched at a Goldwater sticker on the back driver’s side window. He muttered a few racial epithets before we moved on to watch a few moments of the rally through a chain-linked fence. Although I was too young to understand either racism or politics, however, from his behavior, I was not too young to pick up Tyrone’s rancor toward Goldwater. I had no idea that by 1964, and even among children as young as 8 and 10, the ‘black-equals-Democrat’ phenomenon was in full force!
As I grew through the turbulent ’60s, my few encounters with parental political comments occurred, when ever-so-often, I would hear my dad criticize the Democrats for trying to pay him for his vote while growing up in the city of Chicago. Just in case you’re wondering, he said they offered him $1.00 for his vote!
On my mom’s side, one day while in my late teens, for some reason I was talking about my pro-abortion position (after the 1973 Roe decision) in my mother’s earshot. Of course, I really had no idea why I was pro-abortion other than I was black, and therefore a Democrat, and Democrats are abortionists. After hearing my statement, my mother turned and said, “Well, you’re a Democrat.” She wasn’t criticizing me for being a Democrat, nor my abortion stand, but was merely pointing out that because I was pro-abortion, I was a Democrat. I think the only other memory I had growing up was my mother volunteering at a Republican voting precinct across the street from my house…and as I remember, that was one time experience!
Entering the early 70’s, from my mid to late teens, with cultural pressure mounting, like every good ‘black’ person, I succumbed to the ‘black-equals-Democrat’ mandate and became a Democrat. I sincerely did not have a clue why I was a Democrat, other than listening and watching neighborhood friends. Of course, this did not motivate me much, because I remember the first time I was eligible to vote at 18, I didn’t…and I was shamed by a white friend who mocked me for my hypocrisy!
Now, back to my first Black history class in 1972 in my sophomore year of high school. I had a black female teacher with a large Angela Davis black power Afro. I sat in a nearly all-black class, in a 97% white school; learning about black leaders of yesteryear—and I had no idea why! However, the lyrics of James Brown reverberated in my soul: “Say it loud, I’m black and I’m proud!’
Through the years, that Black history class stuck in my mind because I can remember the instructor teaching us about lynchings. My interest was piqued after seeing a few of the horrible images of blacks terrorized and murdered. I can remember thinking about how similar those images looked to Holocaust victims.
How does this relate to my present rejection of the ‘black-equals-Democrat’ cultural mandate of my upbringing? From my youth, I always wanted to know about the Holocaust, and after viewing the similar-looking images of the Black lynchings, in my late 20s, God began to create in me a growing intensity to study history! Once I discovered all history is ‘Providential’* History, I was hooked! However, to study ‘Providential History’, one must first understand that God’s Word is ‘THE’ foundation, and from that foundation emerges Christian history, Jewish history, American history, World history, political history, and even Black history! Now…I was really hooked!!!
For example, when I learned that 2/3’s of lynchings happened to blacks, which means 1/3 of recorded lynchings in America did not happen to blacks….I was shocked! I thought what else did my black history teacher, and my other history teachers in high school and college suppress—and most of all, what does this all mean?!?!!** I now understood that they could not help me because they did not understand Providential history!!! However, my soul was exploding with an insatiable thirst to know what God was doing in history and why…which means I could not satisfy my thirst by reading only the Bible!!! On the contrary, to quench my newfound thirst, I had to study the Bible AND history!
*Providential history is God’s view of the events of history. In other words, Providential history is uncovering God’s work in the past to bring about His perfect will and plan(Rom15:4).
**We (humanity) can never understand, apart from God’s view(Jn1:4,9; Ps36:9)!
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms -- to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances…”
-Viktor Frankl, Holocaust Survivor, and author of, ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’