On Sunday 3/25 I attended “Blacks, Republicans, and Race” at William Jewel College. The event was presented by William Jewell College and The Clay County African American Legacy.
Attending the event was Mr. Kevin Williams, producer of a new documentary called Fear of a Black Republican. Mr. Williams screened about 30 minutes of his movie for the attendees. It is very thought provoking. I definitely think this is a film you should be aware of. Here is the trailer:
Growing up I would have probably considered myself a “Republican.” While I attended the Clay County Caucus as a Republican, on Sunday I woke up and declared it a new day and returned to my Independent status. One of the many reasons I refuse to give money to the Republican party and consider myself a Republican is it continues to refuse to focus on the urban vote. If Republicans were to shave off 10% of the minority vote in this country then Democrats would have a huge problem on their hands!
After the film, there was a panel discussion that featured the Honorable Carson Ross, Mayor of Blue Springs, Missouri; Kevin Williams; Bev Randles, former Shook, Hardy, and Bacon attorney, and North Kansas City Republican who is currently managing the gubernatorial campaign for her husband, Bill Randles; and Tim Flook, an attorney, former Missouri State Representative and William Jewell College graduate.
I am going to post several videos below from the event. Overall, I was impressed, and I am pleased that this happened in our county. It was great to see Rep. Jerry Nolte was able to show up. I was incredibly disappointed in the showing by the Clay County Republican Central Committee and other Clay County Republicans at the event. One of the things that was pointed out in the movie was how little attention the Republican party pays to the minority vote, accurate assessment.
This is Kevin Williams giving an introduction to his film:
One of the most interesting things that I took from the parts of the film that were screened was a better understanding of how the black vote shifted from Republicans to Democrats. For those of you that know your history, you should know that the Republican party was the party of black Americans for many years after the Civil War. Williams takes a small jaunt through political history to explain. There were several factors in the mid-20th century, but the event that caused the final shift to the almost uniform voting for Democrats was President Richard Nixon. (I often struggle with who was the worst President of the 20th century, there are so many options, but I could settle for Nixon if I had to.) Nixon refused to call Coretta Scott King after Dr. King had been imprisoned in 1960 in a Georgia jail. Nixon’s reason was that he was worried about alienating Southern voters. Instead, Kennedy called King and then capitalized on this politically. His campaign printed up a little pamphlet that discussed the problems Dr. King was facing. Because of Nixon’s foolishness Kennedy was elected. A few years later the racist President Lyndon B. Johnson would use the the Civil Rights Act as a political football, and the rest, we can say, is history.