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What Nixon Can Teach the GOP About Courting Black Voters

The starting gun of the 2016 presidential election has quickly been followed by Republican candidates stumbling over how to talk to, and about, voters of color—the examples are almost too many to count. There was Donald Trump calling Mexican immigrants rapists; some cringe-worthy refusals to label the Charleston shooting a hate crime; plus the awkward flailing over the question of the Confederate flag (until Nikki Haley jumped in to the rescue). Then came the first debate. Seventeen candidates, more than three hours, only two direct questions about race and only one candidate—Rick Perry—able even to utter the word “African-American” or “black.” Instead, the candidates opted to change the subject. When Carson was asked about race, he went on a tangent about neurosurgery, and [...]

The Political Power of the Black Sorority

After a five-month delay, Loretta Lynch made history last week. On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Lynch as the next U.S. attorney general, the first African American woman ever to hold this Cabinet position. Her long-stalled nomination sometimes seemed in doubt, held hostage to partisan jockeying between Democrats and Republicans. But one political bloc never gave up, relentlessly rallying its support behind Lynch: the black sorority. During her initial hearing, the seats behind Lynch were filled with more than two dozen of her Delta Sigma Theta Sorority sisters arrayed in crimson-and-cream blazers and blouses, ensuring their visibility on the national stage. These Delta women—U.S. Representatives Marcia Fudge and Joyce Beatty among them—were there to lend moral support and show the committee that they meant [...]

We used to count black Americans as 3/5 of a person. For reparations, give them 5/3 of a vote.

A cash payout will never work. Here’s a better way to fight the enduring damage of slavery.   If you want to shut down a conversation about race, just say the word “reparations.” Even black Americans are divided over the idea that money can compensate for the vestiges of an evil institution that ended 150 years ago; only 60 percent think the government should make cash payments to descendants of slaves. White Americans, on the other hand, have reached a consensus: In a YouGov poll taken shortly after the Atlantic published Ta-Nehisi Coates’s viral feature, “The Case for Reparations,” 94 percent were opposed. Yet a year of protests over disparate law enforcement practices, a decade of particularly sharp income inequality and centuries of [...]

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