"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." -- Mahatma Gandhi

Missouri Matters: Should the GOP Write Off the African American Vote?

December 22nd, 2008 by mopns · No Comments

From time to time, I will excerpt blog posts or interesting forum discussion comments from our new social networking website “Missouri Matters.” Mr. Arps responded to a forum discussion he started called, “With Barack Obama Being Elected Our Nation’s First African American President, Should the GOP Write Off the African American Vote During His Tenure in Office?”

By Christopher Arps

I think there is a misconception within the Republican party whenever the term “minority outreach” enters the reforming the party debate. Many are fearful (and rightfully so) that those efforts will be nothing more than a haphazard and watered down version of what the Democratic Party offers its minority constituency. Those of us in the conservative African American community,who are organizing and debating among ourselves, have a whole new vision of what African American outreach should entail.

When I was a field representative in St. Louis for former Sen.Talent, District Director Kacky Garner, Gregg Keller and I initiated an ambitious outreach plan to the Senator at the beginning of his tern. We suggested to Senator Talent that he visit three to four African American churches on a regular, rotating basis. Sen. Talent eagerly accepted and the program became very successful. Mr. Talent didn’t speak or asked to be recognized, but he did sometimes joined in on an hymn or clapped his hands when the spirit moved him. (albeit a bit off beat at times!) After the services at these churches, there were always lines of people respectively waiting to shake this decent and honorable man’s hands and thank him for attending their church. After several months, we had other St. Louis pastors asking for Senator Talent to attend their churches. We even received calls from Kansas City pastors.

These efforts were not just PR events, they were sincere and followed up with legislation aimed at helping African Americans, such as Mr. Talent’s groundbreaking legislation to battle the deadly Sickle Cell Anemia disease. Read more…

Related:

johncombest.com: Christopher Arps: Why am I a Republican? (2003)

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