On Monday, TheBlaze took an in-depth look at the Republican Party’s roots and its long history as the upholders of Civil Rights. Still, despite being the anti-slavery party of Lincoln, members of the African American community have, in large numbers, migrated to the opposite side of the political aisle.
With a line-up of speakers at the Republican National Convention that is arguably more diverse than those in the past, and with a recent NBC-Wall St. Journal poll revealing that “zero percent” of African Americans approve of Mitt Romney, black conservatives around the country are speaking up, and out, in support of limited government and fiscal responsibility — the hallmarks of the GOP.
To glean greater insight, TheBlaze’s Benny Johnson took the convention floor on Thursday to speak with Chelsi Henri and Ashley Bell — some of these very conservatives — to find out why they made the leap from Democrat to Republican.
“They didn’t call me…Look at the two of us,” Henri, who is the first in her family to vote Republican, said in response to the “zero percent” polling figures.
“That’s not zero percent,” she added.
The Jacksonville resident went on to explain that the GOP more closely represents her personal value system and that she believes welfare and entitlement programs are the cornerstone of “modern day slavery.”
Bell chimed in, stating that he switched parties in 2010 after realizing that “Senator Obama” is a far cry from “President Obama.”
“The majority of blacks agree that we are not better off today than where we were four years ago,” he said.
Rationalizing why he voted Democrat in the 2008 election, the young conservative from Gainesville said that he believed Obama “was pragmatic and trying to be responsible” at first, something he likely no longer believes to be true about the president. He said that he hopes to make the case to the country “that we can do better” and that the Republicans can show America “how to do better.”
The outspoken duo also condemned Democrats’ use of the race card, class warfare and its “politics of envy and jealousy.” To this end, Henri and Bell took a moment to address Vice President Joe Biden’s recent inflammatory remarks, when he announced to an audience comprising roughly 50 percent African Americans, that Romney would put “y’all back in chains.” The comment drew ire from conservatives for its obvious allusion to slavery, yet oddly went unaddressed by members of the Democratic establishment.
“Did he seriously just say that?” exclaimed Henri in response, before pointing out that Biden’s comment was particularly egregious given that it was given while serving under the country’s first African American president.
“Who’s “y’all?” asked Bell incredulously.
“Someone from Delaware saying that doesn’t make any sense to me,” he added. The young conservative noted that he was upset most by the fact that the Left stood behind Biden in the wake of his insult and that Biden himself stood by the comment.
He noted that it’s “one thing to gaffe,” but entirely another to come out and say that you stand behind that gaffe and in fact meant what you said.