Sunday, March 16, 2008

How Come Republicans Will Not Go After The African Diaspora by Akindele Akinyemi

I wrote an article a while ago on how urban conservatives must be in the business of working with Nigerians and other African people to build our community. The post can be found here at

I still stand on this principle because it ties in with my theory of building urban regional networks.

While the Republican National Committee are perplexed about why African Americans will not vote Republican they totally ignore the Afro-Carribean population in this country that want to vote. This is why you need someone like myself working with the RNC. But I know that will never happen.

Urban conservatives cannot understand the fact that we have been wasting our time on trying to remove the ghetto culture from our children and adults with family values. We have lost this generation. As we move into globalization we need to figure out why it is important to connect with African people across the Diaspora.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Nigerians are the most educated ethnic group in the United States. Therefore, our leaders here can seek technical assistance from Nigerians living in the United States. Sixty-four percent of Nigerians in this country has one or more university degrees. There are about 250,000 Nigerians living in the United States. 80,000 of these Nigerians live in Houston, Texas. That number is expected to grow by 2010. Over 700,000 Africans live in the continental United States.

And the Republican Party do not want to jump on top of this?

Most Nigerians alone have masters and doctorate degrees. That is a reservoir of talents that Republican leaders are taking for granted. They are so hell bent on trying to reach Black people who will never turn to the party that every principle the Republican Party stands for can be found in Nigerian and other African people living and raising their families in America.

One third of the African education budget is a supplement to the American education budget. In effect, Africa is giving developmental assistance to the United States. There are more Sierra Leonean medical doctors in Chicago than in Sierra Leone.

Put simply, Africa is exporting both natural and human resources. Therefore, how come Republicans (both Black and White) are not taking advantage of this?

Education is a cornerstone to a strong, viable country. America has become an average to poor performer on the international education scene. The U.S.A. ranks 18th in reading, 22nd in math, and 28th in science by the prestigious Program for International Student Assessment, which includes 40 industrialized countries.

As America falls behind, African Americans fall behind even more. Nationally, 55% of African American males do not receive a diploma with their cohort. In most major cities, the school drop-out rates for African Americans range from the high 40% - 70%. New York City has a black male drop out rate of 74%; Chicago has a 65% rate, and Indianapolis, 79%.

The federal budget on education in this country is $55.99 billion or 2% of federal budget. If you look at K-12 it's $30.7 billion and Higher Education is $23.8 billion. Historically Black Colleges and Universities generate around $299 million but Howard University generates $234 million annually.

Yet, our children cannot compete in the top universities around the world. However, more than 48.9 percent of African have college degrees, which is higher than the U.S. average. But the Republican Party is going after the Blacks in the hood.

New York State draws the most; Nigeria and Ghana are among the top 20 sources of immigrants to New York City. But many have moved to metropolitan Washington, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston and Houston. Pockets of refugees, especially Somalis, have found havens in Minnesota, Maine and Oregon.

Of African immigrants,19.4 percent of all adult African immigrants in the United States held a graduate degree, compared to 8.1 percent of adult Whites and 3.8 percent of adult Blacks in the United States, respectively.

Of the African-born population in the United States age 25 and older 86.4% reported having a high school degree or higher, compared with 78. 9% of Asian born immigrants and 76.5% of European born immigrants, respectively. These figures contrast with 61.8% percent of the total foreign-born population. Immigrants groups in general tend to have higher high school graduation rates than the native-born general American population.

Africans have the highest educational attainment rates of any immigrant group in the United States with higher levels of completion than the stereotyped Asian American model minority. It is not only the first generation that does well, as estimates indicate that a highly disproportionate percentage of black students at elite universities are African or the children of African immigrants. Harvard University, for example, has estimated that two-thirds of their black population is not comprised of traditional African Americans. This is true for other universities such as Yale, Princeton, Penn, Columbia, Duke and Berkeley.

African immigrants to the United States were found more likely to be college educated than any other immigrant group. African immigrants to the U.S. are also more highly educated than any other native-born ethnic group including White Americans.

Those Africans born from Zimbabwe (96.7 percent), Botswana (95.5 percent), and Malawi (95 percent) were the most likely to report having a high school degree or higher.

Immigrants from predominantly black nations in Africa and South America are generally healthier than black immigrants from predominantly white nations in Europe. A study conducted by Jen’nan Ghazal Read, a sociology professor at the UC Irvine and Michael O. Emerson, a sociology professor at Rice University, closely studied the health of more than 2,900 black immigrants from top regions of emigration: the West Indies, Africa, South America and Europe. Blacks born in Africa and South America where whites are a minority are much healthier than American born Blacks.

In 2005, two-thirds of the 2.8 million foreign-born Africans were born in the Caribbean or another Latin America country and nearly one-third were born in Africa. Another 4 percent (about 113,000) were born in Europe, Canada, or elsewhere. Most of these foreign-born will settle in the United States, raise families, and become part of the U.S. society. Others are here temporarily to work, study, or visit.

Ten countries account for about 70 percent of black African immigrants. The two giants are Nigeria and Ethiopia, which together account for a quarter-million foreign-born blacks. The number of foreign-born (of any race) from Ethiopia rose from less than 8,000 in 1980 to nearly 35,000 in 1990, and 105,000 in 2005. The neighboring eastern and northern Africa countries of Somalia and Sudan have also become leading sending countries because of refugees.

How can ANY political party not take heed to the growing number of African people here in this country that practice the principles of the Republican Party a hell of a lot more than we do here in America? Traditional family values, education, vouchers, and economics are all African issues and more. Not to mention that African-born residents of the United States are sharing their relative prosperity here by sending more than $1 billion annually back to their families and friends.

The movement is still a trickle compared with the number of newcomers from Latin America and Asia, but it is already redefining what it means to be African-American. It is a constituency that we, as urban conservatives, must jump on board with right away.

We are going after the wrong constituency here in this country. We should embrace those Nigerians and other African in this country who share the same hard working values as us.


Man of principles said...

Good point. But I think that would be time wasted. "700,000 Africans live in the continental United States" ok, if that is your figure, but in reality how many are eligible to vote? And of that amount, how many would vote? And to what extent do they base their beliefs? Certainly independance and private property, but many are loyal to sympathizers of continental Africa issues. Candidates like the Dems constantly pander to this sub-clique. Even then, which is now like 10% of the 700,000 that would cross over to republican, why spend the money? In all reality, and this hurts to say, Pat Buchanan was right on Meet The Press a few months back when he mentioned why spen the money on the black primary vote when it makes up less than 5% of GOP primary voting. Tavis Smiley replied in the All AMerican get every voter, which is admirable, but not realistic. You saw how much money (besides payroll) was spent to elect DeVos. It is just not worth it. I think the best approach is just to go negative. It works and appeals to all voters.

Akindele F. Akinyemi said...

You bring up good vaild points also. But you must understand that the Republican Party have to stop making excuses on why they will not invest in the Black vote. You have so many people in the State and national Republican Party that is disconnected on how the party was founded in the first place that it is not funny.

The excuse is why spend so much money on the black vote? Even if this was a general election they would only spend $2 million total on us. That is appalling.

You need strategists like myself who can bring in a hip-hop street level form of politics to attract voters. The majority of people who read my blog are not Republicans but liberals. Most of them agree with my stances. So how am I able to do that? The content of my message and I am telling you I can do the same with Africans living in America.

DeVos had bad advisors. He was not ready for that election. His advisors had no clue on how to get 6% of the vote in Detroit. said...

Quick note, folks like Congressman Tim Walberg in Michigan's 7th Congressional District have been doing some amazing work with African immigrants here in the States.