Republicans have a duty to defend black conservatives from Democratic discrimination
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Despite their significant win on election night, Republicans have found themselves on the front lines of a new battle: The fight to protect black conservatives.

African-Americans who proudly align with conservatism find themselves increasingly at odds with Democrats, the party of so-called “inclusivity.” That has been on prominent display with the tentative nomination of Dr. Ben CarsonBenjamin (Ben) Solomon CarsonBiden cannot keep letting Trump set the agenda The Hill's 12:30 Report: Trump heads to New Hampshire after renomination speech Five takeaways on GOP's norm-breaking convention MORE to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development, who Democrats have opposed and attempted to smear more than any other nominee proposed by the president-elect to date.

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Unqualified is just one term Democrats have used to describe Carson’s appointment. “It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to lead the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,” Minnesota Rep. Betty McCollumBetty Louise McCollumOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Trump extends Florida offshore drilling pause, expands it to Georgia, South Carolina | Democrats probe Park Service involvement in GOP convention | Sanders attacks 'corporate welfare' to coal industry included in relief package Democrats probe Park Service involvement in GOP convention Overnight Energy: EPA chief outlines vision for agency under 'Trump's second term' | Agency sued over decision not to regulate chemical linked to fetal brain damage MORE wrote in a statement, “but it does take someone with a basic understanding of how to help all Americans afford safe and decent housing.”

Democrats viewed qualifications as less of an issue two years ago, when they nominated Julian CastroJulian CastroSanders says Democrats should have given more speaking time to progressives Castro says DNC should have put more Latino speakers on stage from beginning Jill Biden defends husband's cognitive ability from Trump attacks: 'It's ridiculous' MORE for the same position.

Castro, who had been the mayor of San Antonio, served in that position for just three before his 2012 selection as transportation secretary. Two years later, Castro was offered the same top position at HUD. At that time, Democrats did not describe the nominee as unqualified. They said it was an opportunity for him to grow and gain national policy experience.

If Democratic attacks on Carson were an isolated incident, we might be able to call it an anomaly. They come at the same time Republicans are fighting to make the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African-American History and Culture include Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in its exhibits. Thomas, just the second African-American to sit on the nation’s highest bench has been excluded from a museum that celebrates African-American history.

The museum did include Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American to sit on the bench, appointed in 1967 by Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson.

Despite its exclusion of Thomas, the museum does include a feature on Anita HillAnita Faye HillAnita Hill says she'll vote for Biden Biden set to accept nomination in convention-closing address 50 years covering Biden MORE, who came forward during Thomas’ confirmation hearings to allege sexual harassment. The allegations were never proven, and Thomas was confirmed. Thomas, who found camaraderie with the late Justice Scalia has made incredible strides while serving on the bench, which includes imparting wisdom and judgment on some of the biggest cases in the 21st century.

It’s troubling to see Democrats use a federal subsidiary like the Smithsonian as a tool in their battle against black conservatives, but it is not the first time the left has sought to suppress dissident voices.

During the reconstruction era, Democrats conspired with southern white planters to remove black conservative politicians from office.  It was a Republican Congress that freed the slaves, gave them citizenship, and the right to vote while Democrats fought them every step of the way. And more Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 than Democrats.

It’s unfortunate to see the Democratic Party's renewed attacks on black conservatives, which hearken to the party's long history of discrimination. It comes at a time that a significant number of voters stand to be harmed by that discrimination: President-elect Trump won a stunning number of African-American voters, to say nothing of Hispanics and Asian Americans.

In the wake of those attacks, Republicans have a duty to stand up for minority voters now more than ever.

Preya Samsundar (@Psamsundar) is a senior editor for Alpha News.


The views expressed by contributors are their own and are not the views of The Hill.