Early this month, a group of black Republicans in California founded the Legacy Republican Alliance (LRA), an organization dedicated to welcoming black people into the ranks of the Republican Party. In an interview with PJ Media, LRA President Corrin Rankin said President Donald Trump is proof that Republicans are not racist and that Republican policies help black people, while Democratic policies harm them.
“In black communities, the word ‘Republican’ is synonymous with racism,” Rankin noted. During the administration of President George W. Bush, “I was a Democrat and I hated George Bush because he was a racist. That’s what I was told. It’s just this repetitious cycle.”
“I believe that this time, black people are starting to break out of that. I personally support this president. I think that President Trump is breaking this cycle,” she told PJ Media. “In terms of calling this president a racist, I would say his actions speak louder than their words.”
Rankin referenced the record-low black unemployment rate, Trump’s efforts on school choice, and his leadership on criminal justice reform.
“He made a campaign promise specifically to look out for the black community and do what he could to lower the unemployment rate. He got elected and he did just that,” she said. “School choice was his vision for helping underserved black communities and children get an education.”
As for criminal justice reform, she said Trump saw how laws from the 1990s like the crime bill — which then-Sen. Joe Biden (D-Del.) loudly championed — harmed black communities. “He passed the First Step Act. President Obama worked on this for eight years, but never passed it.
Now Trump is on to the Second Step Act.”
“I would say that he heard us,” Rankin said. “When you start making changes to a justice system that has been proven to harm black people, that resonates with everybody, no matter where you’re at.”
The LRA president insisted that conservative policies like “low taxes, limited government, less regulations” are good for the black community. These policies allow “entrepreneurs to rebuild and reshape our communities.”
Meanwhile, Democratic policies have harmed the black community. “The proof is in the pudding: Baltimore, Sausalito, Los Angeles,” she said. Black communities in those cities are mired in poverty and poor living standards as homelessness increases in the streets of LA. In fact, a recent study found that the congressional districts with the worst disparities between blacks and whites are overwhelmingly represented by Democrats.
Rankin pointed to a particularly egregious example. “Sausalito, California — which is a liberal, Democrat-led county — they were found guilty last month of knowingly and intentionally segregating their schools, diverting money from the black school to the white school.” Indeed, Attorney General Xavier Becerra, a Democrat, found that the district had “knowingly and intentionally maintained and exacerbated” racial segregation and established an intentionally-segregated school, The New York Times reported. Naturally, the Times did not note that Sausalito is run by Democrats.
“Here we are in 2019. They started in 2013 and did it until they got caught,” Rankin said, bitterly. “These are the same Democrats, politicians who will say, ‘We’re champions for diversity.’ They’re fakes.”
Meanwhile, black Americans should agree with Republicans on many cultural issues. “Black people, by and large, are conservative people,” the LRA president said. “The vast majority of us, including myself and pretty much everyone I know, were raised in some conservative form of religion: Do unto your neighbor as you would have them do unto you.”
She said Democrats are pushing the black community away by endorsing radical social positions on issues like gun control, religious freedom, and transgender identity. “When I grew up, my father owned a gun. We’re gun owners, legal gun owners. It’s our religious freedoms, our Second Amendment rights.”
Rankin recalled a time when black Americans weren’t allowed to own guns, both before and after the Civil War. After Martin Luther King Jr.’s house was firebombed, he applied for a concealed-carry permit and was denied. She warned that Democrat attacks on the Second Amendment alienate the black community. “We earned those constitutional rights. To have them be continually taken away, one by one, is something that should really resonate in the black communities. We can’t allow the Democrats to slowly take us back in time.”
The Democrats’ extreme policies are “part of” why black Americans are moving away from the far-left party, she said. “The other part of it is the exposure of the lies, exposing the harmful policies that have been implemented by Democrats.” She specifically mentioned clips of Joe Biden advocating for the crime bill as an effective tool to get black voters to reconsider supporting the Democratic frontrunner.
She also cited Biden’s absurd warning to black Americans that former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-Mass.), then the 2012 presidential candidate, would “put y’all back in chains.”
“It’s so disingenuous. It’s just a flat-out lie by Joe Biden. The Constitution’s 14th Amendment gives the right to American citizenship for descendants of slavery. So how the heck is Mitt Romney, a Republican, why would he do that?” Rankin asked. “He would be going against Republican values to remove a Constitutional right.”
“No one is putting us back in chains. It’s very disingenuous when Democrat politicians say things like that,” she added.
Rankin noted that the very first black Americans to serve in Congress were Republican. The Republican Party was founded to prevent the spread of slavery into the territories, the issue that sparked the Civil War.
“The first black members of Congress in our history were all Republican. We have to get back to that. As a party, as Republicans, we need to remember where we came from and where we are and start living that way again. I’m very passionate about this,” she said. The Legacy Republican Alliance aims to remind black Americans that the GOP championed their freedom and representation in the past and still stands for policies that help their communities.
The LRA is excited to announce that today, we are officially launching our website, and announcing our LRA PAC.
We are launching this effort to promote Black conservative leadership throughout California.
— Legacy Republican Alliance (@LegacyReps) September 4, 2019
“We really want to have a home for black people who are looking to the Republican Party or considering the Republican Party. I hear a lot of dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party, but they’re not quite convinced to jump into the Republican Party. The LRA is really aimed to be a home for them, to make it a comfortable transition,” she said.
Rankin encouraged more black conservatives to run for political office at all levels. For those on the fence, she encouraged them to engage with black Republican groups like the LRA.
“Try it, give us a chance. Challenge us. Question us. We want to earn your votes. We want to earn you being part of the Republican Party. I can’t stress it enough how much black people are wanted in this party,” Rankin said.
The LRA president said she calls the GOP “the Grand Opportunity Party. There’s a lot of opportunity here.” She called for “a conscious awakening within our party” to bolster black participation in the GOP. “We were formed to free the slaves. Let’s get back to that.”
While the LRA is currently a California-based group for black Republicans in California, Rankin said it has the potential to expand across the country.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.