FreedomWorks Foundation Content

Can We Stop Pretending Democrats Care About Black People, Immigrants?

Perhaps the greatest strength of the Democratic party is its ability to present itself as empathetic, caring and compassionate while simultaneously pushing policies that hurt the very people they claim to represent. The fact that they continually get away with this bald-faced sleight of hand is a testament both to their rhetorical skill and the ineptness of the Republican opposition.

In the 2012 presidential election, Barack Obama captured 93% of black voters, as well as 71% of Hispanics, 73% of Asians and 55% of women. While Mitt Romney was admittedly a rather lackluster candidate, there is no doubt that a large proportion of this gap can be explained by the perception of Democrats as “good” on so-called minority issues. But this perception is nothing more than an illusion, a fiction, a shell game. Democrats do not care about minorities, as is easily discovered if we look at their policies instead of listening to their speeches.

Case in point: a 2010 bill in North Carolina, sponsored by State Senator Earline Parmon and State Representative Larry Womble – both Democrats – requires hair braiders to obtain a state-issued license in order to continue practicing their trade. A large proportion of hair braiders are immigrants from African countries with a poor command of English and few marketable skills. The cosmetology licensing exam, however, is not offered in their native language, nor is the time and expense involved trivial. The fact that these hair braiders have legally come to this country in search of opportunity and, despite the language barrier, have found a way to support themselves through their art is both admirable and inspiring. Now, thanks to the “compassionate” left, they are threatened with unemployment and a one-way ticket onto the government dole.

Arguments in favor of licensure cite health and sanitation concerns, but common sense indicates that folding one piece of hair over another is at least marginally less dangerous than heart surgery or anesthesiology, other professions that require licenses. Not to mention that the people advocating most strenuously in favor of these licenses are the ones who have a financial incentive to do so, such as members of the licensure boards themselves or incumbent firms that see a competitive threat to their profits.

Currently, the deadline for braiders to obtain their licenses has been pushed back from 2010 to 2015, but this is merely a delay and will not affect the eventual outcome, namely, a large number of poor African immigrants being prevented from making money the only way they know how. Democrats like to assert that their zeal for business regulation stems from a desire to protect consumers from big business, but in reality, it is usually the little guy, unable to afford lawyers, accountants and lobbyists, who ends up getting hurt.

This is just one example of how the supposedly compassionate policies of the left are actually bad for minorities, bad for immigrants, and bad for anyone trying to make an honest living in this country without taking handouts from the government. It is time to stop letting leftist hypocrisy slip by without comment, and to start calling them out on the disconnect between their “hope and change” rhetoric and their “poverty and dependence” policies.


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