The causes and consequences of the “Southern Strategy” as it relates
to African-Americans and the American political system. Richard Nixon’s
“Southern Strategy” (or as the Nixon administration would call it
“positive polarization”) of the 1960s was a political platform that
provided the final push in transforming the “the party of Lincoln”
into the political party greatly favored by the great grandsons of the old

Confederacy. This strategy was aimed at getting support from the traditionally

Democratic South by promising not to promote sweeping social or economic changes
in race relations. Nixon argued that he supported equality however, he was
against “big government”. Meaning, he was not in favor of enforcing
the civil rights or integration laws. He was against forced busing and
affirmative action. Once Nixon was elected he eliminated the timeline
requirements for compliance with affirmative action and integration laws using
this strategy. Nixon assigned the task of promoting “positive
polarization” to his vice president Spiro Agnew. This promotion caused
great tension against blacks amongst whites (Spiro would send representatives
into white communities disguised as minority advocates to inform them of
government programs created to help minorities at the tax payer’s expense).

Nixon also promoted black capitalism in an effort to separate middle class
blacks from poor blacks. Nixon’s strategy fueled on racial jealousies was
successful. It helped the GOP win five of the past eight presidential elections.

It re-established the two-party system, which was once predominantly, the

Democratic South. In 1994 it helped the GOP end the 40-year democratic rule in
congress. Why the significance of the new Black Conservatism within the context
of the “Southern Strategy” combined with American politics becoming
more conservative in the post 1960s era. The growth in ethnic minorities in this
country threatens the very existence of the Republican Party, and the presence
of Black Conservatism is vital to its survival. The shadow of the “Southern

Strategy” and radical right association of David Duke, and Pat Buchanan has
most definitely reprieved the faces of most non-whites to the GOP. The

Republican Party got a glimpse of the political future last fall when a larger
than expected number of minority voter turnout helped the Democratic Party gain
five congressional seats, and unseated two Republican governors in the deep
south. Which brings us to why Black Conservatism is becoming more conservative
in the post 1960s era. There is not anything new about the political philosophy
of Black Conservatives. They merely repeat long-standing white conservative and
neoconservative arguments. However, what is new in Black conservatives’ analyses
is that it is Black people developing an implicitly racist rationale for placing
limits on social policies. The rational goes as follows: · Although lingering
racism still exists, thanks to the victories of the civil rights struggles,
racial discrimination is no longer a critical obstacle to Black progress. We can
speak of a racist American past, but not of a racist contemporary America. ·

African American demands for equal opportunity made during the civil rights era
now go too far in demanding equal outcomes. A non-discriminatory America does
not ensure equal outcomes. Capitalism maximizes skill and talent and any
differences among ethnic groups, or between genders, is a function of each
group’s particular strengths and weaknesses. · Today’s problems of race
relations and Black poverty cannot be remedied by government policy alone. The
roots of today’s problems are located first and foremost within African

Americans: in our inability to successfully compete in a free market system, in
the poor values and irresponsible and offensive behavior of poor Blacks, in our
psychological hang-ups about group identity and past victimization, and/or in
our failure to take full advantage of existing opportunities. In this light, not
only are government social welfare and legal remedies, such as affirmative
action programs, unnecessary, they are detrimental to the development of Black
people. Social welfare programs destroy Black families, foster debilitating
dependency, and reward irresponsible behavior. · Affirmative action programs
lower Black self-esteem since whites will always diminish Black accomplishment
as reflecting only affirmative action imperatives and Black beneficiaries of
affirmative action programs can never be fully confident that their success
stems from their talent. These programs are also detrimental to Blacks because
of the white (male) resentment they engender. Affirmative action has, in any
case, only benefited more advantaged Blacks. · The appropriate strategy for

African Americans is one focusing on self -help. First, we need to de-emphasize
racial identity and loyalty in favor of an American identity. Second, African

Americans should compete on the basis of merit only. Third, we need to
de-emphasize government programs and civil rights legislation in favor of racial
self-help. Blacks need to focus on Black entrepreneurship, building and
supporting Black business, particularly in poor Black neighborhoods. And, most
important, the Black middle class needs to teach poor African Americans
appropriate values and behavior. The Republican Party use to be known as
“the party of Lincoln”. Now it is the party that wishes to irradiate
the very principles that Lincoln began. Black Conservatives build on a
philosophical foundation borrowed from Booker T. Washington, and incorporate
self-help bromides of Black cultural nationalist rhetoric. The new Black

Conservative can be viewed as the new racist culture. The origins of this
nucleus of politicians (Black Conservatives), and the extent to which they
advance or impede Black political life in America Today. Dr. Deborah Toler,
author of the article Black Conservatives states that, Black conservatives’ work
does not exhibit a sustained and systematic examination of conservative
political philosophy and its potential usefulness for Black Americans. Nor do
the Black conservatives, most of whom are trained social scientists, engage in
credible social science research. They ignore reams of data contradicting their
underlying assumptions and fail to produce reliable statistical evidence or to
generate ethnographic research to support their positions (Dr. Deborah Toler,

The Public Eye: Black Conservatives, September 1993). Black Conservatives are
hindering the progress of African-Americans today. An excellent example would be
the position of Nathan Glazer’s 1975 Book titled, Affirmative Action, Ethnic

Inequality and Public Policy, which summarized white neoconservatives’
objections to affirmative action: that, by the end of the 1960s, discrimination
was no longer a major obstacle to minorities’ access to employment, education
and other social mobility mechanisms; affirmative action has not benefited the
poor who need it most, but has primarily benefited middle class Blacks and other
minorities; and affirmative action fuels white resentment against minorities.

Conclusion The “Southern Strategy” effect is wearing off. The ideals’
of the old Confederacy is most definitely not the same ideals of the new
majority. The shadows of Nixon’s intolerance doctrine has damaged the image of
the Republican Party. Using Black Conservatives who have little to no connection
with the African-American community to capture some of the Black support away
form the Democratic Party is an extremist tactic to keep the party alive.
“Compassionate Conservatism” does not exist in this country, and the

Blacks that belong to the Republican Party are there as tokens.