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Advice for the GOP on minority voters

Written By | Oct 8, 2014

OCALA, Fla., October 8, 2014 — The economy can be up or down, social attitudes can shift right or left, the country can be at war or peace, yet race relations remain a sensitive topic.

As far as politics are concerned, the racial issues typically boil down to economic concerns; the have and have nots – the 1% versus everyone else.

Some groups blame a lack of  job and educational opportunity for political racism while others propagate victimhood narratives, such as “I am poor because of [a particular political party or agenda]”.

When all is said and done and for whatever reason, there are too many people looking to government programs as an income source. As a country, we cannot continue to support more going out, than going in.

Minorities are thought to vote Democratic as the liberal agenda is perceived to be generous to those in economic dire straits. These voters supposedly hope that if enough Democrats gain power, the liberal party will create or expand generous public assistance measures.

According to John Derbyshire, columnist and commentator, it will take more than government assistance programs to increase the dire straights of the generationally poor.

“Dire straits is putting it mildly….dire straits really doesn’t meet the case,” Derbyshire went on to mention, specifying that “the Pew Hispanic Research Center does periodic reports on wealth; on median net worth of American households. The last figures I got to hand after 2009 [indicated that] the median net worth of non-Hispanic white households was $113,000. For Hispanic households, it was $6300 and for blacks it was $5700.

“So if you put it another way, I’m actually quoting from the Pew Research Center here, ‘(t)he median wealth of white households is 20 times that of black households and 18 times that of Hispanic households’, and if you look at the numbers just for women, it’s even worse. There’s an outfit called the Insight Center for Community Economic Development and they put out a report two or three years ago about minority women and their net worth and their wealth.”

Among other things, the report found that “(s)ingle black and Hispanic women have a median wealth of $100 and $120, respectively; the median for single white women is $41,500.” It also said “(p)rior to age 50, women of color virtually have no wealth.”

“So, yes, these non-Asian minorities — you’ve always got to put the Asians to one side here, you know, because they think differently — but black and Hispanic minorities are in dire straits….The East Asians do much better, although they’re a minority too,” Derbyshire stated.

“South Asians are a bit of a mixed bag because you have to throw in people like Pakistanis and the Hmong, but overall they’re doing better than blacks and Hispanics. East Asians and high-caste Hindus actually do better than whites”.

Republican operatives would be wise to forget about pitching a small government, pro-free enterprise message to folks who not only have next-to-no net worth, but likely come from generational poverty.

The better course is to increase jobs and opportunities and to do that the GOP should pursue the hearts and minds of those who make it their business to get ahead; people who want to live the American Dream.

That’s where minority support for Republican candidates is all but certain to come from. The votes are out there, but they won’t be found by running Spanish-language television ads or opening a field office in Detroit.

The GOP must embrace diversity, and do it wisely. And that means getting the message out that income parity starts with income opportunity and that requires supporting business in their efforts to create jobs and revitalize cities like Detroit.

There can be little debate that the politics of race are really the politics of money. When all is said and done, the only color that matters is the ability to make some green.


Listen to John Derbyshire on Cotto & Co., CommDigiNews Hour on Blog Talk Radio:

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Joseph Cotto

Joseph Cotto is a nationally syndicated columnist. He hails from central Florida, writing about political, economic, and social issues of the day. In the past, he wrote for The Washington Times Communities and Blogcritics Magazine, among other publications.