20 Most Influential Black Republicans
John Hawkins has compiled a list of The Top 20 Most Influential Black Republicans. While I might quibble with the ordering here and there, I didn’t note any glaring omissions on first read. Instead, my reaction was how remarkably thin the list is.
Clarence Thomas, Herman Cain, Condi Rice, Colin Powell, and Allen West are all in the top 10. Most of the remainder of the list is filled with pundits, including Thomas Sowell, Shelby Steele, and Larry Elder–but also some D listers like Jesse Lee Paterson (of whom I’d never heard), Deroy Murdock, Star Parker, and Robert George. Even J.C. Watts, whose 15 minutes were up in the 1990s, makes the list.
Now, I’m painfully aware that the Republican Party, despite its heritage as the Party of Lincoln, is unpopular with blacks. It has been since Franklin Roosevelt won them over in the 1930s. Consequentially, blacks vote something like 90 percent Democrat.
Still, that leaves 10 percent of 12 percent of a nation of 310 million people–roughly 3.7 million black Republicans. And Colin Powell–whose Republican bonafides are pretty shaky these days–is the only undeniable superstar on the list? (I’d put Rice and Sowell there, too, but they’re much more controversial.)