True story. I’m in the Baltimore airport this past May, waiting for my connecting flight back to South Florida. I get into a friendly conversation with this black man standing next to me. What do we have in common? His daughter and my younger granddaughter are competitive athletes and around the same early teen age.
I spoke of B’s track experience. I said, “B was a walk on at her local track club. She was an instant star. She ran first in the hundred and second in the 200 in her age (and gender) group.”
He had a similar experience. “M loves to swim. Before we knew it she was winning ribbons and making a strong contribution to her team.”
My turn: “But eventually the track meets took in a larger geographic area. And we learned: B could run faster than the little white girls but not as fast as the little black girls.”
His turn: “But eventually the swim meets took in a larger geographic area. And we learned: M could swim faster than the little black girls but not as fast as the little white girls.” No hate. No bigotry. No excuses. Just two proud family members sharing a common experience.
Every “opinion” writer should cover “race” on occasion. It keeps you humble. You’re guaranteed to annoy someone.
And speaking of being annoyed... True story number two.
My elder daughter and I are at the Indianapolis Fair Chevrolet Free Stage. The performer: Anthony Hamilton, a pop/blues singer. Not exactly my music (rock and country) but pleasant enough. My daughter, S, and I were two of about ten white audience members in a total house of about one thousand. The crowd was mature, happy and very friendly. Halfway through the concert Anthony Hamilton stopped singing long enough to lecture the audience on “respect.” Uh-oh. He concluded his brief rant with: “And if they don’t show you respect, you show them the fist.” And he raised his right hand with a clenched fist in the air. A smattering of audience members followed suit. I just thought: “Why?” S and I didn’t make it to the end of the concert. Something changed.
My point? No point. We’re all individuals going through life collecting experiences and observations, often different than what the media tells us to feel and see.
It’s political season in America. As the Buffalo Springfield sang in the ‘60’s: “Battle lines being drawn. Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong.” The black Democrats are currently led by celebrities like LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Stephen Curry, and Colin Kaepernick. The new black insurgents find favor with Kanye West, Candace Owens, Jim Brown, Charles Barkley, and Star Parker. It’s 5 on 5 for the November 2018 political sweepstakes. The United States House of Representative and Senate are the prizes. Who do you like? Before you answer you should ask a very important question: “What’s the betting line?” You see, in 2016 Hillary beat President Trump by 88 percent to 8 percent in the black community — and she still lost. That’s the line. The insurgents get 80 points. Now who do you like?
Rasmussen says as many as 36 percent of the black community has a favorable opinion of President Trump. Should we believe it? Will the 36 percent vote that way? The NAACP poll is at 21 percent. Black unemployment is at an all-time low. Does anybody really care? (I also saw Chicago in Indianapolis). As I have written before: The geopolitical tectonic plates are shifting; even in black America. Are they?
The essay is intentionally more about the questions than the answers. Will this be the year of the black Republican? Or will it be same old, same old? We’ll all find out together this November. And that will officially start the race for 2020. The Trump reelection. On your marks. Get set. Go.
Sid Dinerstein is a former chairman of the Palm Beach County Republican Party. He founded JBS Associates, a 600-person financial service company, and currently combines politics and business with Niger Innis in Inclusive Elections LLC, a firm that brings urban electorate voters to the GOP. He is the author of "Adults Only: For Those Who Love Their Country More Than Their Party." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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