We had voter intimidation. Talk about poll taxes, the poll taxes were started by Democrats! And there were steep fines . . . poll taxes and literacy tests put in place in the South so that blacks couldn’t vote.

Now, I’m not saying that parties don’t change. But it’s also folly to suggest that we had all those southern Democrats come flooding into the Republican Party. That’s not true. Al Gore Sr. who voted against the Civil Rights Act, remained a Democrat until the day he died. Senator Byrd from West Virginia, he also gave the longest filibuster I think to date for the Civil Rights Act. And he was a Democrat. He was also a member of the Ku Klux Klan.

You talk about the ’60s and civil rights, well, we know it was southern governors that were hosing people down, turning a blind eye to lynchings, Alabama and Mississippi being the worst culprits. And those were southern Democrats.

IN RESPONSE TO YOUR RECENTNEW YORKMAGAZINE INTERVIEW, AN ONLINE COMMENTER WROTE, “I HAVEN’T YET HEARD FROM MS. WRIGHT WHY CONSERVATISM IS GOOD FOR BLACK AMERICANS.” WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THAT? Why wouldn’t conservatism be good for black Americans? Why wouldn’t policies that promote businesses to create jobs be good for black Americans, who, by the way, have historically had double-digit unemployment? Particularly under this president, unemployment rose to levels we haven’t seen.

[C]onservatives believe in marriage. I think it’s really funny, that whenever I talk about marriage and parenting, liberals really don’t know how to react and they kind of scratch their heads. So what I would say is, conservatism is good for black Americans because we actually know — and statistics support this — that when kids, according to the Brookings Institution, come from two-parent households, their chances of falling into poverty are like less than 10 percent.

[Another] thing I would argue is “Education, education.” Frederick Douglass said something like, “You really get emancipation through education.” It hasn’t changed since the days of slavery when slaves were secretly learning how to read and write, even though they knew they were going to be killed in the South if anybody ever found out about it.

Conservatives are big champions of . . . merit-based salaries for teachers, getting rid of the teachers union, and also allowing parents to have a say. I’m not of the mindset that it’s all the teachers’ fault. Because it’s not. Parents have to be engaged and involved, too. That’s what the charter school movement is about.

THE CURRENT GOP SEEMS TO LACK AN ENERGIZING “ROCKSTAR” CANDIDATE OF THE KIND OBAMA PROVIDED FOR DEMOCRATS. WHICH GOP CANDIDATES ARE YOU MOST EXCITED ABOUT? President Obama was able to sell himself and his personality. He did a great job at that. His campaign operatives and his surrogates did a great job and the Republicans’ problem is we don’t know how to sell ourselves. Conservatives have a better message, but we fall woefully short when it comes to the messenger.

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