Welcome Home

The messaging regarding minorities, specifically Black people, who choose to leave the Democrat Party has become increasingly frustrating. Some catch phrases, usually about escaping from plantations, are without question, inflammatory. Summoning images of emotionally and spiritually broken slaves running for their lives while being hounded, quite literally, by slave catchers with barking dogs and shotguns at the ready; is not comparable to logging into your local Board of Elections from your iPad and selecting the “Republican” box. Frankly, if you find switching your political party akin to the horror of slavery in America then your view of politics is horribly, horribly skewed. For the betterment of our movement, please stop. There is no comparison. It is not the same. It’s not even close.

As a Black Republican, I cringe everytime I hear someone say Blacks should walk away. The term “walk away” evokes images of quitting a job with no notice; all emotion and very little thought process. As if they showed up to work one morning and said “that’s it!”, packed up their desk and stormed out. The truth of the matter is that Black people transitioning to the Republican Party are coming home. For Blacks in America, our rise to political power is inextricably tied to the Republican party. The Republican Party was the first political home for Blacks in America. The first Blacks to serve in either the House of Representatives or the Senate were Republicans.

Black Republicans did not sneak out under the cover of darkness to escape some imaginary Democrat plantation nor are we so tied to emotionalism that we feel the need to make rash decisions about our political future. We are more than capable of making thoughtful decisions about who we are and what ideals we support. We do not need a t-shirt, an edgy catch phrase or any political pundit telling us what we should be feeling or how to plan our own political futures. We are coming home because we choose to! Returning to the Party that has always embraced life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Returning to the Party that reflects our values: faith in God, family and freedom. We are returning to our roots.

Coming home is always a reason for celebration. Let’s not unintentionally demean those who are coming home. Let’s welcome them with open minds, listen to their ideas and encourage them to be as politically active as they choose to be. Not everyone wants to be on the front line but every single Republican is valuable. Let’s walk away from the rhetoric and simply say Welcome Home.

In service,
Nicole Bennett
1st Vice Chairman, MDGOP
Chairman, Maryland Black Republican Council, Inc.
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