Kimberly Klacik, who is running for Congress in Maryland’s seventh district, made a profound statement about GOP outreach to the black community in her Republican National Convention address. While much of the attention was focused on her comments regarding the Democratic Party’s handling of the predominantly black cities they govern, she sent a crucial message to the Republican Party as well – but are they listening?
Klacik’s Example to the GOP
Klacik railed against the Democrats who have been running cities like Baltimore for decades without affecting positive change. “The Democrats have controlled my city, Charm City, for over 50 years and they have run this beautiful place into the ground,” she said. She continued:
“We want safety in our neighborhoods. We want jobs and innovation, like tapping the potential of the Port of Baltimore to create manufacturing jobs for Americans. We want lower taxes. We want school choice. We want a chance to get ahead, not just get by!”
The candidate then touched on GOP outreach — or the lack thereof — to black voters. “I want Baltimore to be an example to Republicans around the country that we can compete in our inner cities if we reach out to the citizens and deliver real results.”
Is the Republican Party Finally Ready?
The Republican Party has struggled to earn support from the black community since the 1960s, when it began focusing its outreach efforts on white voters living in rural and suburban areas. The party has failed to garner a significant number of black voters at the local, state, and federal levels. Much of this failure is due to a lack of genuine outreach to African Americans.
The lack of competition has empowered the Democrats to consistently ignore the needs of the black community with impunity. Since they know that the GOP refuses to compete for the votes of African Americans, progressive politicians don’t fear being ousted. This paradigm has caused no small level of devastation in predominantly black neighborhoods of cities like Los Angeles, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and plenty of others.
Hopefully, people like Klacik can reignite a desire in the Republican Party to engage with the black community face to face. The candidate, who used to be a Republican strategist, became well-known on social media when she drew attention to the substandard living conditions in which many Baltimore residents live.
The candidate made headlines again when she released her campaign ad attacking Democrats and pointing out how Baltimore’s leadership has failed the community. But what many do not see is the fact that she is regularly speaking to residents in person instead of relying on radio and television ads.
Klacik’s social media also includes videos showing her conversing with potential black voters in a way the party hasn’t seen in decades. To be clear, her chances of winning are not favorable; as a Republican, she has an uphill battle in her predominately Democrat-ruled district. If she gets enough support from the GOP, she has a better chance of pulling off an upset. But even if she does not win, her campaign still gives the Republican Party a template from which to build an overall push for black votes.
Combined with President Trump’s efforts to reach black Americans, this race could be the beginning of a much-needed shift in the Republican zeitgeist, especially when it comes to the black community. However, the question remains: Is the Republican Party finally ready to go back to its roots and re-establish a relationship with black America?
Read more from Jeff Charles.