"A question for Black Women Only" - Christopher Harris
"What do you believe is a sure fire way/strategy to get Blacks to walk away from the DNC?"
Christopher Harris, Founder of Unhyphenated America, a media and news company with a growing audience of 36,000+ followers, raised this question on his Facebook page days ago.
When I found the post on my newsfeed, I immediately knew my response to his question wouldn't sit well with some of his followers. But I gave it anyways:
My response should only be read if conservatives are legitimately interested in seeing more Black people vote for conservative candidates and the GOP.
As expected, some Black Conservatives responded to my remarks unfavorably:
"I so sincerely disagree. We have to tell people the TRUTH and hope they understand that they are responsible for themselves. Time to stop coddling to black folks...Black folks have been coddled for so long and NOTHING changes the heart." - Katrina
"It's futile and tiring. It's their choice to wake up, but they refuse. Their pride won't let them see the truth. They have to connect the dots on their own. Just like many others have. They are a lost cause in my book. I'm not casting my pearls to swine." - Mimi
Sobering comments considering so many Black Conservatives claim they want to see a major Democratic Exodus.
I shared with Chris in a private message that it really doesn't matter that we think certain Black Americans behave or act in a certain, negative way.
What matters is how our perception of people become a turnoff to those we claim we want to reach.
This, as I've explained in previous articles, is my critique among the conservative base.
Yet, despite what seems to be an "impossible" feat by many Black Conservatives, there is a way to reach Black voters with our message...if we are willing to do things God's way, no matter how uncomfortable it makes us feel.
Solutions Require that We First Examine Our Own Problems
It may surprise most Conservatives, but...
...we don't know it all!
Our ways and methods of living are not always the "right" solutions (pun intended), despite what most of us think.
In my examination of the ways in which most Black Conservatives speak towards Black Americans--especially on social media--we preach almost an anti-Black message to an audience of mostly White Americans...
...and then we have the audacity to believe that Black people--who feel berated by Black Conservatives--should stand at attention and listen to us tell them what to do.
In my conversation with Chris, I shared that while it is true that there are significant issues that must be addressed regarding our communities, we must find a better way of communicating our message with them.
Let me give you an example of what I mean.
I want you to take a look at a video that was shared with me.
As you watch it, I want you to think about the first words that come to mind.
Now, to some Conservatives, this video represents what many of us categorize as being the byproduct of liberal ideologies.
In other words, because Conservatives, by and large, believe we abide by certain spiritual laws, then those who do not ascribe to such beliefs have a mindset that is completely wrong.
For some Conservatives, the first reaction is to tell young adults like these that their behavior is a result of their thinking, and their thinking stems from environments that embrace liberalism.
And while this may technically be true, let's be honest: broadcasting our disdain for such behavior on social platforms that have a predominantly White audience will not solve the problem.
Instead, such response from Conservatives is actually a drawback.
Think about it: When was the last time you listened to someone who called you ignorant or a slave or stupid or any other debased word? When you were called a name or told that you were "brainwashed," did you listen to that person's advice in that moment?
No, you didn't.
You--like all human beings--would have your ego shot; and when the ego is hurt, it becomes nearly impossible for you to receive any "positive" message from that same "advisor."
In like manner, this is where Conservatives get things wrong, even if our intentions are pure.
I shared with Chris in another message that back when I was working as a teacher in the wretched public school system, my classes were flooded with students like the ones in the previous video.
I said, "The reason I was able to minister to them was because I saw them the way God saw them; and I communicated that message to them." While I had the choice to treat them the same way most teachers did, I tried a different approach and it worked.
Now, I didn't always employ this type of communication strategy. I remember a time when I misjudged a group of adult learners I worked with; and my negative perception of them actually caused a small bit of friction between us.
But when I--as the leader and instructor--fixed my approach, my students trusted me and had no problem receiving my message.
Dear Conservatives, Guess What? Black People Don't Have to Listen to Us!
As I mentioned earlier in this post, I shared with the commenters in Chris's post that if we want to reach more Black voters, then we must stop with our "high and mighty" message, and here's what I mean.
When people take the time to give us their ear, we must be cognizant that they are giving us something more precious than gold: their time.
People do not have to listen to anyone.
Black voters do not have to listen to Conservatives.
We are not entitled to their attention or their time, and we would do well to remember that.
We can't assume that just because we may have the right answers and solutions, that people are obligated to hear us.
No, instead, we must EARN their respect.
We must EARN their time.
We must EARN the right to give a message to them that will truly bless them.
Consider Yeshua, who was the master communicator. He didn't come preaching a condemning message to sinners. He knew exactly how to speak Kingdom principles to people using storytelling or any other method to reach their hearts.
He was willing to "sit and eat with sinners," not to show that He was like them, but because He understood the art of effective communication and human relationships.
More than that, He knew what kind of message to give to certain individuals based on what the Holy Spirit revealed to Him about the people.
If I were to tell you that the young adults in that video were future prophets, teachers, preachers, or anything we consider positive, would you believe me?
Probably not at first, because our initial implication is to always see people from the exterior.
But if you will learn to see people through the eyes of the Spirit, then God will show you the way a person is in Him; and from that vision, you can share this with such people so that they can start to see themselves in that light.
And this skill isn't something that only a few people can master. All it takes is simply asking the Holy Spirit, "Help me to see people the way you see them."
Conservatives Don't Have All the Answers, But We Have Good Ones
Obviously, those of us who call ourselves conservative do so because we have seen how such thinking and such values have added to our quality of life.
Whether we have been conservative for decades or just became one after the election of Donald Trump, we made the choice to be on this side for one reason or another.
But just as we came to such conclusion after careful observation, careful study, and careful application, we must also be willing to afford this same opportunity to those who simply don't know about conservative values.
Assuming Black people are a hopeless cause is the wrong attitude to have.
No one is hopeless, no matter how vile a person can be.
As long as they have breath in their body, there is still hope for them.
But those of us who know the Lord and who have experienced success in some way based on our beliefs must be willing to walk in other people's shoes so we know how best to minister to them.
This is the game changer.
Such efforts need to extend beyond just seeing people leave one political "plantation" for another one.
It has to go to the heart and soul of people.
If Conservatives are simply focused on Black people becoming Republicans, then we are no different than the Democrats we criticize, who see Black Americans as a voting bloc.
Remember, we are dealing with people, and we want folks to understand how powerful they are and how their votes can create a powerful future for their children.
We can't be so focused on the politics that we forget about the humanity of people.
I guarantee that when this happens, when we Conservatives embrace this type of messaging, we will see a dramatic change in our communities and our nation. We will see more Black Americans receiving our message and voting their conservative conscience.
But it starts with us, not them.
The question remains, will we be willing to do things differently so we can see major results?
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