Non-White Conservatives: It’s Time to Bust Out of Hiding
Senator Tim Scott’s audience for speech in L.A. suburb was over 90% White. Why, Republicans?
This man surely knows how to deliver a speech. I am a natural skeptic, but he rocked the house and quickly had me on the edge of my seat. I want to hear lots more from him.
But the audience at April’s A Time for Choosing Speaker Series speech by Senator Tim Scott to a packed room of over 600 at the Ronald Reagan Library was most notable for its conspicuously missing attendees: Blacks, Latinos and Asians.
I counted the few darker heads I could find in the audience and tallied about five Black, five Latino and two Asian. And I was looking hard. Let’s say I missed half or more — that still only gets us to about 25 out of the over 600 in attendance. I had assumed that the large Black community in Los Angeles would rally behind the conservative presidential hopeful from South Carolina. I was wrong.
Sure, tickets were $75 a head, but that included a buffet dinner in the impressive Air Force One hall, entrance to the Library’s WWII exhibit and parking was free. And it was held on a Tuesday evening at 6 PM about an hour’s drive north of Downtown Los Angeles. But do the cost and location explain such a low non-white turnout?
Why did I go listen to Senator Scott? I hate assigning labels and I don’t fit neatly in any camp, but if you must know I will tell you. I have a brown female head with patches of grey hair. I am not a Republican and I have never been affiliated with any political party. In fiscal matters, I lean conservative, but on many social issues I am considered very liberal. I don’t have any religious affiliation and I can’t say that I believe in any God in any way even remotely related to any organized religion.
I believe in democracy and capitalism as the best ways to improve living conditions for humankind. I believe wholeheartedly in education, personal responsibility and financial literacy as the keys to improving American lives. I am concerned that we the American people are ripping ourselves apart from the inside out. I am focused on supporting civic discourse to foster respectful, productive interactions with people of all types of backgrounds and beliefs. I refuse to believe we are that different from each other, or that we really harbor ill will against each other as publicized by the racism narrative. I am looking to support elected officials who bring real leadership to the table.
Senator Scott had lots to say that aligns with my hopes for the future.
But I am actively searching and looking for opportunities to engage in civic discussions on ideas that matter to me. These opportunities do not arrive on my doorstep. Why not, Republicans? Why don’t you try to speak to me? Do you even know that I am here, or that I am receptive and ready to rebroadcast your message? Do you have a message for me?
I feel like Jodi Foster in Contact: I am scanning the galaxy, listening ever so carefully, patiently waiting for signs of life from a vast silent universe, sticking to my conviction that the message will eventually come, but not knowing in what direction to point my ear. It turns out you don’t broadcast to my neighborhood.
I believe there are many, many others like me, alone with their thoughts in the wilderness, waiting quietly for someone to speak to us in a language we can understand. We are surrounded by other narrow, deafening voices that seek to drown out our individuality and tell us our most closely guarded convictions are wrong — that we should be ashamed of what we have accomplished with our own hands and the work of our families before us.
I’ve been holding out quietly for a long time, but lately my inner voice broke through. I am now proclaiming my thoughts from my rooftop, except my rooftop is low and my voice has no amplifier.
Read my related article on another speech in the series:
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