Labeling another person has become a popular political pastime. The intent is to use a label that is impossible to disprove no matter the amount of contrary evidence.

Perhaps the worst label one can attach to another person is “racist.” How does one disprove that? The left has shamefully and inaccurately used the label against Republicans and conservatives over many years to great political advantage. The label is applied in order to delegitimize one’s opinion and ostracize the person from legitimate debate.

To their credit, Republicans are fighting back against this smear. At Monday’s GOP convention, several African Americans spoke.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) had the best line and personal story of the night. He said he had gone “from cotton to Congress,” growing up in his grandparents’ home after his parents divorced. Scott co-authored a police reform bill, but he reminded viewers that Democrats “walked out of the room” from it because “they wanted the issue more than they wanted a solution.”

Scott then got to the heart of what made him a success: “... even while I was failing the ninth grade ... my mother always said, ‘When you shoot for the moon, even if you miss, you will be among the stars.’ She never lost faith in me, even when I lost faith in myself. Because of her encouragement, I went to summer school and caught up.”

He met a businessman who “saw something in me that I could not see in myself and started teaching me valuable lessons in life.” From there he was off and running.

Scott’s story was about taking advantage of the opportunities America offers.

Another speaker was football great Herschel Walker. Speaking as one might testify as a character witness at a trial, Walker, who said he has known Donald Trump for 37 years, defended the president against charges by the left that he is a racist and doesn’t care about Black or brown people.

“People who think that don’t know what they’re talking about,” Walker said. “Growing up in the Deep South, I’ve seen racism up close. I know what it is, and it isn’t Donald Trump. Just because someone loves and respects the flag, our national anthem and our country doesn’t mean they don’t care about social justice. I care about all of those things. So does Donald Trump. He shows how much he cares about social justice in the black community through his actions, and his actions speak louder than stickers or slogans on a jersey.”

Scott and Walker — and many other African Americans who spoke — represent a new generation of Black people who cannot and will not be stereotyped as members of a monolithic bloc expected to indulge in groupthink and vote only for Democrats. They reject the notion expressed by Joe Biden to an African American radio host: “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t Black.”

Incredibly, polls show that an overwhelming number of African Americans intend to vote for Democrats in the fall election. That could be about to change, as Republicans increasingly show they care for all Americans and expose the failure of Democrat programs, which sink more boats than they lift.

Republicans are starting to do a better job of reaching out to minorities. It is their party — from Abraham Lincoln, to Calvin Coolidge (who spoke out for civil rights during a time when the KKK was ascendant), to Dwight Eisenhower (who sent troops to desegregate Southern schools), to providing the critical votes that passed civil rights legislation in the 1960s over the objections of Southern Democrats — that offers minorities an opportunity to become independent of government and build a better future for themselves and their families.

A positive almost always overcomes a negative.

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Readers may email Cal Thomas at tcaeditors@tribpub.com. Look for Cal Thomas’ new book “America’s Expiration Date: The Fall of Empires and Superpowers and the Future of the United States” (HarperCollins/Zondervan).

(2) comments

H Gordon

This is an important article. Another labeling I hear so often is Republicans calling all Democrats “the radical left”. That is as harmful as Democrats calling all Republicans “racist”. The far left and the far right are defining this moment and taking up far too much of the news and conversation. We need to focus on what the peaceful protesters are saying and praise them for their courage. I believe with conviction we are closer in thought and would be able to reach across the aisle much more than we do now in order to reach agreement. Blaming the state leaders is easy to do too, calling all the failures “Democrat cities” or “Democrat states”. Any president could do that, and it is wrong. It is the President’s job to view ALL Americans as HIS responsibility. Reaching out a helping hand to a fellow American, a fellow State or municipal elected leader, no matter their political beliefs is the responsibility of our President. No labels. Please. No more labels or pointing blame. Just one community helping each other. The guy at the top and Fox News need to stop labeling half this country “socialist” and “the radical left“. That would help greatly.

craybourn

Thanks so much for your comment, H. Gordon. The "guy at the top," as you put it, is the one person who spews the most vitriol towards groups he doesn't agree with -- including moderate democrats. That is not leadership at all. He hopes to win re-election by calling everyone names, inciting fears of violence (which is occurring under his watch, btw), and claiming that democrats are promoting a socialist agenda. To quote him, "Sad."

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