In 2020, North Carolina elected its first black Lieutenant Governor in history Mark Robinson. A man of humble upbringings, the Greensboro native served in the Army Reserve and later earned a living working in a furniture store. Having never held a political position before, Robinson — a Republican — decided he would run for the Lt. Governor seat and won.
So when a political cartoon surfaced on a publication’s website depicting the North Carolina GOP as Ku Klux Klan members, the outspoken Robinson had more than a few stern words to share.
In a video published on The News & Observer, he said that it wasn’t so much the cartoon that bothered him but its underlying hypocrisy.
“That’s what bothers me,” Robinson said. “That you would portray a black man, just because he’s in the GOP, as a Klansman.”
The cartoon is a dismal jab at the party, which has embraced diversity since its founding and in modern times. Not only did President Donald Trump gain more more votes than any Republican candidate since the ’60s, the Republican party was the party of Abraham Lincoln — the same party responsible for the emancipation of black Americans.
During a press conference, Robinson went on to mention other minority members of the GOP, including one that he says has had run-ins with the KKK. He says he intends to call out this hypocrisy “every time.”
Robinson’s bold approach is one used by far too few Republican politicians. Many conservatives have strong criticism of the party, suggesting that its old-school members are weak and spineless. Thankfully, this new school of rising lawmakers and politicians — like newly-elected Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) — aren’t afraid to be a loud voice in a political atmosphere where the mainstream conversation has often been one-sided.
Democrats regularly express their outrage and even encourage the public to join in and further stoke the fires. Liberals and progressives have mastered the squeaky wheel adage, beating conservatives for the oil. Republicans might speak out, but have a tendency to fold after backlash. All someone has to do is call them a racist and the discussion is over. It’s true that the mainstream media has been unfair to those possessing conservative views. But what Robinson and Cawthorn understand very well is that speaking the truth is worth the consequence. These are the kinds of patriots the GOP needs if it intends to survive an ideological war.