July 6, 2015

RICK PERRY TALKS ABOUT RACE: Rick Perry’s speech last Thursday at the National Press Club haven’t received much attention in the mainstream media over the holiday weekend, until today’s Wall Street Journal editorial, which observes:

But his remarks are far more than a mea culpa. He also lays out a rationale and a specific agenda for how the GOP can earn—and deserve—the support of black Americans. In particular he points out how Republican policies have improved life for all races in Texas. And he contrasts those results for blacks in progressive states that purport to do so much more for minorities but have left them behind economically.

“There is a lot of talk in Washington about inequality. Income inequality. But there is a lot less talk about the inequality that arises from the high cost of everyday life,” Mr. Perry says. “In blue state coastal cities, you have these strict zoning laws, environmental regulations that have prevented builders from expanding the housing supply. And that may be great for the venture capitalist who wants to keep a nice view of San Francisco Bay, but it’s not so great for the single mother working two jobs in order to pay rent and still put food on the table for her kids.”

That’s a nice turn of the equality argument against Democrats. Mr. Perry does the same on education, pointing out that “in too many parts of this country black students are trapped in failing schools.” He notes that in 2002 Texas ranked 27th in high-school graduation rates; by 2013 it was second, and its most recent graduation rate for blacks was first.

Mr. Perry also stressed Texas’ impressive record on prison and sentencing reform, especially for nonviolent drug offenses.

I like Perry’s approach, and it’s clear that he’s learned some hard lessons from his 2012 quest for the GOP nomination. His speech wasn’t pandering to minorities, but articulating how conservative policies help their everyday lives in far more palpable ways than the race-baiting, divisive, blaming, entitlement approach of the liberals/progressives. My favorite line from Perry’s speech:

If we create jobs, incentivize work, keep nonviolent drug offenders out of prison, reform our schools, and reduce the cost of living—we will have done more for African-Americans than the last three Democratic administrations combined.

The question is: Will black, Hispanic and Asian voters open their minds to the GOP policies or have they been permanently brainwashed by the political left elites’ incessant accusations of racism?

RELATED: Steven Hayward at PowerLine has some interesting observations in support of Perry’s attempts to reach out to minority communities.

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