Saturday, October 30, 2010

An Invitation to Black Americans to Vote Republican (Updated)

Republican candidates of all races need and want blacks to vote for them. The video above intertwines photos of a few black Republicans from our country's history, with is of the fourteen black men and women who are seeking election to Congress this coming Tuesday. On one level, this video is a repudiation of President Barack Obama's statement: "They're counting on young people staying home and union members staying home and black folks staying home." But the real aim is to inspire blacks to leave behind a Democrat party that has failed them and "vote republican for the very first time."
Closing frame from the video

Update: Thanks to Kevin Jackson for some editorial suggestions on the video! was where I learned about all the great black Republicans running this year. Here's the first version of the video.

Update 2: In addition to Kevin's suggestion, I got some good feedback from Chris who wrote in part: "I love it except for the references to Frederick Douglas and Black's history with the Republican Party. The Republican brand is in the tank when it comes to African Americans and it's been like that for a long time - and will continue to be in my opinion." In response, I've posted Take 3 above. This version does not include any of the historical figures. The second version is online here.

The thing I struggle most with in producing a video like this is knowing what to cut out. I always start with a basic concept. In this case, that concept was sketched out on October 1st in National Review and two days later at RealClearPolitics. The video earlier this month of Obama saying that Republicans are counting on blacks staying home, really annoyed me because I'm counting on Republican candidates winning over blacks. As you can see, the "basic concept" is really multiple concepts that may be inter-related. The hard part is boiling that all down into (ideally) 60 seconds.

Chris's comment reminded me of two things. First, the weekend before an election, no one wants a history lesson. And, second, ironically, a history lesson about Tip O'Neill's only defeat:
[Tip O'Neill] ran for and lost by 150 votes election as North Cambridge city councilman, his only political defeat. Before the vote he was surprised when longtime neighbor Mrs. O’Brien said: Tom (he was called Tom at home), I will vote for you, even though you did not ask for my support.

Stunned, O’Neill said, “Mrs. O’Brien, I have lived across the street from you for 18 years, have cut your grass summers and shoveled snow from your walks winters. I didn’t think I needed to ask for your vote. Mrs. O’Brien said, “Let me tell you something, Tom–people like to be asked.”

O’Neill took this lesson to heart, the origin of his oft-repeated maxim he made famous: “All politics is local.” Tip learned early that a politician serves at the pleasure of his constituents; that voters have names, faces, minds, and opinions; that they have problems they want your help on; and that they expect you to ask for their vote. (Editorial 1995, Nolan 1994)
The video above hits this point harder than the prior two. I removed the history lesson and adjusted the score.

BTW, if you want the elephant I created for the video, you can download a black and white JPEG or SVG (Adobe Illustrator) version. Feel free to print up some flyers to handout to friends and family asking them to vote Republican! I've created flyers/business cards that you could hand-out at polling places (observing all local laws, of course). You could either tailor this MS-Word version to the races in your district or you could use the generic "vote conservative/vote republican" message on this PDF version.


The Black Sphere said...

This is very nice work! I will send this to the RNC to see what they do about this.

Unknown said...

Absolutely outstanding - and about time there was an effort to educate. I think if you couple this with the data that shows America's poorest cities and their almost universal Democrat control.

Although I would not hold out hope for the RNC - I've read stories from many of these new black candidates that they are being ignored, both by the party and by the Republican congressional committees.

I would suggest Freedom Works and the Tea Party Express... Regardless this needs to get out to a MUCH wider audience.

STL Urban Spice said...

Thanks for taking the time to do this video!! The pictures, background music and narration sends a powerful message that we need to share. After the election, lets work to make this happen!