GOP Minority Recruitment Isn't 'Affirmative Action'

Star Parker and Oklahoma politician T.W. Shannon
Star Parker and Oklahoma politician T.W. Shannon
The Associated Press reported on minority recruitment among Republicans.

The GOP is spending $60 million to expand its outreach among demographic groups with whom it historically has struggled, including Hispanics, African-Americans and Asian-Americans. A new initiative aims to recruit 300 women and 200 minorities to run for state and local office. Republicans already bested their prior goal last year of finding 100 new Hispanic candidates.

The Republican party recruiting minorities and women to reach out to minorities and women isn’t at all like government racial preferences, but that doesn’t stop the media from attempting to equate the two. Since an overwhelming majority of black Americans vote for liberals, it’ll take some serious effort to change that.

I didn’t come to the party through a race-based appeal, but some people might need that kind of incentive. Ideally, we’d reach individuals through shared values. Sometimes you need to go where the people are to speak to them, and people might need to see someone who looks like them. But it’s not akin to government-supported schools turning away applicants because they’re the “wrong” race for diversity purposes.

The party’s platform says it opposes “preferences, quotas and set-asides as the best or sole methods through which fairness can be achieved, whether in government, education or corporate boardrooms.” Notably, that could leave room for the consideration of race as one of many factors in selecting candidates or students, which is how affirmative action generally is practiced.

Affirmative action was conceived as casting a wider net to include qualified candidates historically excluded from the recruitment pool based on race or sex. That’s quite different from lowering standards for certain groups to “increase diversity.” Today, people use “racial preferences” and “affirmative action” interchangeably, but they’re not synonymous.

The NAACP’s Hilary Shelton called government-mandated, race-based lowered standards “equal opportunity programs,” and without them, “what issue or plan do you have to fix” the problem of blacks not trusting the GOP.

Speaking only for myself, and not the GOP, I believe solutions to problems racial preferences are designed to solve should begin much earlier in life. Families have to do their share to improve life outcomes for children, including marrying before children, and staying married. Within these intact and stable families, they should raise the level of educational aspiration and instill values like personal responsibility and self-reliance. Teach children the power they have to shape their lives, despite whatever obstacles they face.

Whether or not more blacks vote for Republicans or trust them, adhering to traditional values, over permissive ones, will improve their life outcomes–generally speaking.

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