The Republican Party has faced legitimate criticism in recent years for its inability to rise above the left’s personal attacks. While the conservative movement has fact and reason on its side, many on the right remain bogged down by false allegations of racism and bigotry.
As a result, too many party leaders find themselves pandering to special interest groups when they should be focused on fighting for policies that will benefit all Americans. In a move some feel fits that bill, the Republican National Convention Thursday issued a statement commemorating the cultural significance of Kwanzaa.
Although the “holiday,” which has existed for less than 50 years, was established as an exclusionary celebration open only to blacks, the RNC affords it significance equal to that of Christmas and Hanukkah.
A search of archived press releases at GOP.com shows the RNC did not commemorate Kwanzaa in 2012; however, the weeklong celebration is prominently featured on the site this year.
“I want to extend my best wishes to all who are celebrating Kwanzaa,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus wrote in the statement. “For families coming together to mark the occasion, I hope it is a joyous time of celebration with loved ones – and a time of meaningful reflection ahead of the New Year.”
While the relatively brief statement is harmless in and of itself, such proclamations highlight the problem Republicans have in reaching minority voters. Instead of proclaiming the virtues of fiscal and social conservatism, GOP leaders often try to outdo Democrats in the arena of meaningless rhetoric.
The black community overwhelmingly votes for Democrats; and no Kwanzaa greeting is going to reverse that course.
RNC Co-Chair Sharon Day proclaimed the celebration a “wonderful opportunity for all of us to honor the importance of family and community, and it reminds us of the great diversity in America.”
American diversity has been a key to this great nation’s unparalleled success; however, we collectively thrive when joining one another in a common goal. When cultural differences are elevated above the common experience of being an American, we all invariably suffer.
Merely paying lip service to Kwanzaa while failing to engage blacks in a meaningful explanation of conservatism will only sustain the stranglehold Democrats currently have on that community.
–B. Christopher Agee
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