Simply put: Because the party that was once crucial in the emancipation of African Americans, has turned into one that promotes hate, lies, and intolerance.
During the 1860’s, when Lincoln was President, the Republican party was considered the liberal party that was against slavery. Blacks mostly voted Republican after the Civil War and through the early part of the 20th century, not surprisingly, since Lincoln was Republican and the white segregationist politicians who governed Southern states in those days were Democrats who didn’t want anything to do with Blacks. From then on Blacks continued to stick with the party that promoted their causes in the United States.
The tide began to turn much later when Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt got 71 percent of the black vote for president in 1936 after meeting with black leaders to push for specific programs that helped regain the grounds lost, due to four centuries of servitude in the United State. Then Harry Truman grabbed 77 percent of the black vote in 1948, thanks to his issuing an order of desegregation to the armed services and an executive order setting up regulations against racial bias in federal employment.
John F. Kennedy used the civil rights movement to define the Democratic party as a liberal party for decades to come. Kennedy began pushing for the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 and after he was killed, Lyndon B. Johnson pushed it through.
Johnson then got 94 percent of the black vote that year, then, a record for any presidential election. The following year he signed the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Ever since, no Republican presidential candidate has gotten more than 15 percent of the black vote.
Members of the Black GOP like to harp on the fact that Martin Luther King Jr. was a Republican. But on April 4, 1968 Reverend Dr. King, at 39, was shot and killed in Memphis Tennessee, while supporting striking sanitation workers. You could best believe that today, Dr. King would be considered–just as he was in the 60’s thru the changing attitude of the Republican Party–as a dangerous troublemaker by the GOP. Today, King would have joined the ranks of union protesters in Wisconsin and other states whose Republican governors look to dismantle union bargaining rights across the country.
Democrats have done a lot more for blacks in the last 50 years or so, while Republicans have been behind every kind of intolerance, not just racism but sexism, homophobia, nativism…you name it.
African-Americans have a unique history in America not shared by any other race. To say that we have no choice and no voice in how we draw our party lines and choose our political candidates just shows how much you don’t know of our history here. Surely those who have criticized the need for government sponsored programs, assistance, and services–created in the 60’s –as “handouts” and “special favors” are now beginning to see just how much we all have benefited from a Democratic government in the face of a Republican party that seeks to take all from the ‘haves-nots’ to give to the ‘haves’.
The majority of Blacks in America have made the consensual choice to vote as Democrats. And that will continue to be the our choice as long as that party serves our causes.