Last week the Fairfax GOP hosted a special forum live on Facebook, devoted to the celebration of African American history and culture, with a particular focus on the conservative values we share.
Moderated by Vinson Palathingal (Fairfax GOP vice chair of outreach) and Srilekha Palle (Fairfax GOP chair of campaigns and elections), the following panelists shared their unique perspectives:
- Tim Parrish, chairman of the Prince William County Republican Committee
- Janet Varre, president of the Liberty Republican Women’s Club
- KCarl Smith, Trump 2020 coalition advisory board member
Parrish notes that black American voters generally hold conservative values already. “I tell my parents all the time: they raised me Right, but they vote Left,” he said.
Varre shares her diverse life experiences as well as her involvement in the modern conservative movement. “I knew I was a capitalist,” she recalls. “That’s what drew me in.”
Smith recounts the “pro-black, pro-civil rights” history of the Republican Party. “A lot of Americans today don’t know that truth,” he says.
“Some of the most conservative people you’ll meet in your life are people of color,” Smith notes. “In many cases, we’re not voting that way — and I used to be in that category.”
Republicans don’t need to convert black Americans to conservative beliefs, Smith maintains: “The values are already there.”
What Republicans have, according to Smith, is a branding problem. The Left has effectively defamed and tarnished the GOP and the conservative movement in the minds of too many black voters, he says.
“It’s a battle of propaganda, and that’s where we’re getting our clocks cleaned,” Smith laments. “And the Left plays the race card.”
In order to combat “the lies and false rhetoric of the Left,” Smith encourages Republicans to fully embrace and tout what he calls “the liberty message of Frederick Douglass.”