Chicago's Black Republicans Part 1

For many in Chicago, the term "Black Republican" sounds like an oxymoron. Since the 1930s, blacks in Chicago have aligned themselves with the Democratic Party to gain political power. But the number of blacks identifying with a conservative set of values is growing. As the election season gets underway, the Republican party is looking at new strategies to attract black voters.

Last weekend, 2CN's production team came to NetUp Cafe (528 E. 43rd St) in Bronzeville to interview two men who have become recognizable black faces for  the GOP in Chicago: Lenny McAllister and Rev. Isaac Hayes. 

In the first segment, 2CN spoke with Lenny McAllister about whether conservative values can help cure the social ills within the city. The Pittsburgh native spoke candidly about the power of language, the state of the school system and how Chicago's black political reputation is in dire straits. 

McAllister, 40, is the host of "Get Right With Lenny McAllister"-- an online talk show airing on LMGI Live daily. He is a dominant African-American voice for the conservative agenda appearing weekly on CNN as a political contributor, as well as blogging for Politic365.com. 


He told 2CN's Tanue David about the negative impact of using the N-word to market popular songs such as the chart topping "N***as in Paris" featuring Jay-Z and Kanye West.

"It's unfortunate that two multi-millionaires can be outside of the conditions that we see on the South and West sides of Chicago are going to perpetuate [negative stereotypes] and call that a bond." 

As a mentor to young black males, McAllister works to improve those same societal conditions by setting a positive example for them. He gives them advice and has even put his job on the line while attempting to save one of theirs. In July 2011, he "parted ways" with his former hosting gig at WVON-AM after requesting that listeners boycott a McDonald's franchise owned by one of the station's sponsors.

One year later, McAllister is still expressing his strong opinions in a variety of media outlets while promoting the conservative agenda. 

He warns parents to be mindful of images exposed to their children. In turn, they are expected to see his point that conservative values are more universal than limited to just one political party. 

"We have to get to a point where we elevate the standard and have a different type of dialogue with one another," McAllister pleaded. 

As next Tuesday's Illinois primary approaches, McAllister will be using his voice and community influence to do just that. 

* * * * 
In Part 2 tomorrow, Rev. Isaac Hayes speaks about how he changed party affiliations and whether or not there should be a separation of church and state.
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