Saturday, August 13, 2022

Now of All Things! A Black Sports Jock-Pundit (Stephen A. Smith) Peddling the GOP

stephen a smith (espn)

*ESPN host Stephen A. Smith has gotten quite a reputation for being a controversial tell-it-like-he-sees-it guy. That’s fine in sports punditry. He’s an ex-jock, and in that world pretty much any inanity will fly.

But when Smith pursed his lips and ventured outside sportsdom to quip that blacks should vote GOP at least one election go round he proved once again that sports and entertainment personalities that venture opinions about politics more often than not embarrass themselves. If we want to be more charitable, the best that can be said is that Smith is just the latest in a long line to peddle the delusion that the GOP can change its ways and become an open arms party for blacks.

Those who routinely peddle that are usually a handful of GOP would be presidential contenders such as Rand Paul, an infinitesimal and politically inconsequential handful of GOP elected officials, and an always dependable core of conservative media and think tank contracted black conservatives.

Before, during and after every national election, they kick into high gear and contend that getting more blacks to jump political ship will be a major seismic jolt to the Democrats and be a start toward breaking the lock that the Democrats have on the black vote. Smith, as with the rest that spout this fantasy, grab a headline or two, and get plenty of airtime on conservative talk radio and TV.

Now that Smith has gotten that headline it’s worth a moment to take a look at what gives their utterance some surface plausibility. The standard mantra is, as Smith said, that the Democrats shamelessly take the black vote for granted, election after election and that blacks get nothing in return for their supposed slavish loyalty to the Democrats. The black GOP cheerleaders trot out endless studies and reports that purport to show that black poverty, education and health care disparities, prison incarceration rates, homelessness, and joblessness have soared during Obama’s tenure in the White House and in the major cities run by Democrats. Smith added a new wrinkle to this. He claimed that blacks need look no further than the immigration issue to see how both parties furiously court the burgeoning Hispanic vote and this insures that their interests, most importantly immigration, will be a focal point of both parties concern.

Smith, and the other black GOP proponents, omit one, actually two small facts. The Democrats did not wreak the social and economic damage, race baiting, and neglect that characterized three decades of Republican rule in the White House and the sledgehammer attacks on or malign neglect of civil rights leaders and concerns when Republicans were out of the White House. There has not been one waking moment during Obama’s six years in the White House that they have not turned vilification, obstructionism, hectoring, badgering, and barely disguised race baiting of him into a fine art. The party that Smith and others think blacks could have a temporary home in topped this with the invite of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress. He then promptly turned around and nakedly race baited to win reelection in the recent Israeli elections. The GOP then showed a near treasonous disregard of Obama by attempting to make its own foreign policy with Iran.

There’s the endless foot in the mouth, racially insulting gaffes, racially loaded campaign ads by Republican officials and politicians and the refusal by mainstream GOP leaders to loudly condemn them and even defend them. This has continually ignited black fury the last three decades. The fight of House Republicans against the Affordable Care Act, affirmative action, the slash and burn of job and education programs, and the inflammatory attacks on Obama, time and again reaffirmed that the GOP is chock full of bigots.

The flip side of this is that blacks vote Democratic not solely because of GOP reaction and bigotry but simple pragmatism. Most blacks still look to them to fight the tough battles for health care, greater funding for education and job programs, voting rights protections, affirmative action, and against Reagan, Bush Sr., and George W. Bush’s draconian cuts in job, education, social service, funding and programs, and their retrograde nominees to the Supreme Court who have done everything possible to roll back the civil rights clock, and peck away at affirmative action, civil rights and civil liberties protections. The Democratic Party often has been roundly criticized and deserves that criticism for not fully mobilizing and engaging African-American voters in state and local elections and for downplaying their interests at times. But even at its worst the Democratic Party is light years ahead of the GOP in what it has done or will do for black voters.

Smith claims that blacks are props for the Democratic Party. And that it’s time to change that. It will take more than a sports jock’s laughable shock peddling of the GOP to do that.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. His new book is: From King to Obama: Witness to a Turbulent History (Middle Passage Press)

earl ofari hutchinson
Earl Ofari Hutchinson

He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on American Urban Radio Network. He is an associate editor of New America Media. He is host of the weekly Hutchinson Report Newsmaker Hour heard weekly on the nationally network broadcast Hutchinson Newsmaker Network.

#1 Amazon Bestseller
From King to Obama:
Witness to a Turbulent History

by Earl Ofari Hutchinson
From King to Obama (cover)



  1. Electing the first black president, and the hatred for him by the right, I for one have become aware of just where we as black people stand in this country. I’ve taken things for granted, like most black people. We have just excepted our place, and that is to be better in order to get the same recognition as a mediocre white person. However, with the republicans so mad because of the black president in the White House that they have blown their, other wise, secret cover, and their racist, bigoted vitriol was only spoken behind closed doors. Are outwardly very thinly veiled racism, (welfare president). Make no mistake this is a wholly white party, and the black people that alien themselves with this party are delusional. The republicans have called the first black president every racist expletive in the book. What’s more astonishing is the black republicans that think they are exempt from these disparaging remarks. I beg to differ; the only difference is they say these disparaging remarks behind closed doors. The blacks that they attract are normally buffoons, Herman Cain, Armstrong Williams, Allen West, Dr. Ben Carson to name a few. And as soon as the party realize that they will not bring in the black vote, they’re dropped. Ask Michael Steel and Herman Cain. Although Michael Steel still tote the line for his white constituents. No Stephen Smith, we should not vote republican. They represent the big corporations and the 1%ers, and could care less about poor and middle class people, and a particular disdain for people of color, such as your self.

  2. I might add, and it sickens me, for the black republicans to gain acceptance to the all white republican party, they have to disparage the black president to show allegiance. This is why the good doctor, Ben Carson, is being flaunted to prove his allegiance, he has compared the president signature achievement, ACA to the Holocaust, the killing of six million Jews. He didn’t know that the lies he spewed was just that lies, manufactured by fake fox, propaganda, spin machine. Yet he picks up the ball and runs with it like he is delivering earth shuddering news. The only problem is, every time he opens his mouth nothing but BS spills out, which means he will be gone soon, like Herman Cain’s 999, which rendered him a buffoon. LOL!!!

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