I maintain that the faith window is still open for blacks to unite with white, Hispanic, and Asian leaders among the conservative faith community. The valiant leaders that rallied in 2004 are ready to ride again, if they hear the right sound. Now is the time for the NBRA to lead the way in creating a new unifying dialogue with the faith community in which they can discover and promote the shared values that social conservative and biblically grounded folks share.
2. An Obama presidency may lock blacks into the Democratic Party for another 8 to 10 years.
In a static political world this statement would seem like a truism. People that think in this manner do not expect the Republican Party to support exciting, new black candidates. It will be easier than ever before for the RNC to find the next generation of black leaders it needs. Ambitious, conservatively blacks may not want to spend countless years jockeying for local positions. In liberal states like Maryland the atmosphere is just right for emerging leaders. Further, there are quite a few black conservative leaders on the political sidelines that should be taken off of the “injured list.” This list could include men like Ken Blackwell (former Ohio Secretary of State), Michael S. Steele (former Lt. Governor of Maryland), Condoleezza Rice (current Secretary of State), Colin Powell (former Secretary of State), and J C Watts (former Congressman from Okalahoma). In addition to these black luminaries, there are scores of black pastors in major metropolitan areas who can be mobilized to reach strategically significant areas. The Democrats have used black pastors for years in both local and national races.
3. Republican campaign dollars may shift to Hispanics who may give the party 40 - 50% of their growing vote.
Wise Republican Party leaders would not view the recruiting of blacks and Hispanics as mutually exclusive. It should recruit both communities. Regardless of the growing number of Hispanic voters, there will always be communities that will have black voter majorities. In addition, Barak Obama’s campaign proves that the right black candidate can cross the color barrier and win. The NBRA needs to help train promising black candidates. This training should include fund raising, strategic assistance in campaign development, and networking/coalition building.
It’s time for conservative Christians to step up and become the glue for an emerging conservative movement. In my new book, The Truth in Black and White, I explore the changing nature of faith, race, and politics in America today. I give a concrete plan to mobilize Bible-believing blacks with their white counterparts. The work was written as a way of uniting social conservatives in this unprecedented movement in history. Tell a friend about the book, start a discussion group, and let’s seize the moment. Find out more at www.thetruthinblackandwhite.com
Bishop Harry Jackson is chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition and senior pastor of Hope Christian Church in Beltsville, MD, and co-authored, Personal Faith, Public Policy [FrontLine; March 2008] with Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council.