Problems will emerge because Black Republicans are predictably paraded as shiny examples of a brand-new day in GOP outreach. Modern, post-Reconstruction history has not been kind to their lot—unless, of course, you’ve hit the jackpot like the spectacularly crafty Scott. No Black Republican in the 20th-century House has served more than four terms, and there’s only been one instance in the 21st century when there were two serving at the same time: the one-terming West and the one-term Scott, who ended up with a Senate promotion.
While, theoretically, it’s simply smart politics to have some level of Black influence leveraged in both the Democratic and Republican parties (since the all-eggs-in-one-basket approach isn’t working out all that well at the moment), there is no instance—yet—of a modern Black Republican candidate being elected by a majority-Black congressional district. No one can claim a serious pivot until that happens. Cognitive dissonance remains between Black Republican dreams and Black American reality, a discussion that continues to slide into nasty family exchanges over group identity and direction. This should be fun to watch.