Editorial: GOP can learn from Brooke

Editorial: GOP can learn from Brooke
January 16
00:00 2015
(pictured above: Edward W. Brooke)

Edward W. Brooke, a liberal Republican who in 1966 became the first black person in U.S. history to be elected to the Senate, died Saturday, Jan. 3 at age 95.

“A Republican in a largely Democratic state, Brooke was one of Massachusetts’ most popular political figures during most of his 12 years in the Senate,” the Associated Press reported. “Brooke earned his reputation as a Senate liberal partly by becoming the first Republican senator to publicly urge President Richard Nixon to resign. He helped lead the forces in favor of the Equal Rights Amendment and was a defender of school busing to achieve racial integration, a bitterly divisive issue in Boston.”

Brooke also helped push through a Federal Housing Act amendment that limited the amount of rent families had to pay to reside in public housing.

Today, it’s hard to imagine a black Republican – or any member of the GOP – fighting for justice. Days before the new Congress was sworn in, the National Newspaper Publishers Association published a story about how the newly-elected black Republicans – U.S. Rep. Mia Love of Utah, U.S. Rep. Will Hurd of Texas and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina – weren’t expected to work for the black community.

They were elected by a majority white populations, just as Brooke was. Sen. Scott, for example, won with just 10 percent of the black vote and 82 percent of the white vote, according to exit polls, NNPA reports. He has fought against issues that blacks value. reported that Scott proposed a bill in 2011 to block families from receiving food stamp benefits if one of the adults in the home joined a union strike. He earned an “F” on the NAACP’s legislative report card in 2013.

Scott’s commercials as he ran for the Senate rarely showed black people, and he never talked about the real issues in the commercials.

Here, in Forsyth County, a white majority elected black Republican Robert Barr, pastor of Agape Faith Church,
to an at-large school board seat. Barr made history, being the first African-American to be elected to the school board outside of predominantly African-American District 1.

Barr’s brother, Rev. Aaron P. Harris, wrote a letter to The Chronicle published on Dec. 25, stating that “Barr will be addressing issues within the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County School System that concern the citizens and affect the school district the most.

The question is: Is he a black Republican like Edward Brooke?

About Author

WS Chronicle

WS Chronicle

Related Articles


Featured Sponsor

Receive Chronicle Updates

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.



More Sponsors