State Senate Education Committee member Conrad Appel, R-Metairie

Republican State Sen. Conrad Appel of Metairie seems to have stirred up a hornet nest, politically speaking, with a recent Facebook post.

“The last few decades have seen black success dramatically outperform the 13% of the population that African Americans represent,” Appel wrote on Facebook July 9.

Appel also argued open border policies favored by Democrats could diminish that success by leading to an influx of nonwhite illegal immigrants.

“As these other races become more and more numerous, they will demand the leadership roles that are currently disproportionately held by black American citizens. So in 25 years, the current level of black success may well be diminished due to pressure from far more numerous non-white populations,” wrote Appel.

Appel then questioned why black people support Democrats.

“I am left to wonder why any black American would want to see acceleration to the inevitable time when other non-white citizens have the voting power to overwhelm and displace African Americans,” Appel wrote.

But Appel’s logic seems flawed. If African Americans achieved greater success than the percent of population they represent, they should be able continue to do so, regardless of the percent of population they represent.

Appel would have been better off arguing against open border policies based on economics. The influx of illegal immigrants, recently estimated by a Yale University study to be twice as high as originally thought — now 22 million and counting — drive down wages for all Americans, including African Americans. It’s not just nonwhite illegal immigrants suppressing wages — all immigrants entering our country illegally do so. Appel’s emphasis on nonwhite illegal immigrants seems odd. It has an unhealthy our-race-against-their-race feel to it.

Stanford professor and historian Victor Davis Hanson wrote this week in National Review that Democrats used to oppose open borders because of their impact on the working class. “Until recently, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton called for strict border enforcement, worried that the wages of illegal workers were driving down those of the inner-city American youth,” Hanson wrote.

Hanson also argues the labor movement closely tied to Democrats traditionally led the fight against illegal immigration. “Democrats once were exclusionists — largely because they feared that illegal immigration eroded unionization. Cesar Chavez, for example, sent his thugs to the border to club illegal aliens and drive them back into Mexico, as if they were future strikebreakers,” Hanson wrote.

Appel would have saved himself a firestorm of criticism if he had focused on the negative impact open borders have on all Americans workers, not just black people.

U.S. Congressman Cedric Richmond, a New Orleans Democrat, was quick to jump on Appel’s Facebook post, calling it racist. “Unlike Appel, who clearly wishes to invoke the language of white nationalists who regularly chant different racial, ethnic, and religious groups ‘won’t replace’ them, I prefer to extend the hand for people to join us,” wrote Richmond.

This is not the first time Richmond has accused someone of racism. “The leader of the free world is a racist, and Donald Trump's history of prejudice against minorities dates back long before he became president,” Richmond said in 2018.

Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, also criticized Appel’s Facebook post. "These sorts of comments from Sen. Appel are outrageous and disrespectful,” tweeted the governor.

The majority of those commenting on Appel’s facebook post also criticized him. “You are the embodiment of the KKK”, one person wrote.

“The most blatant racist statement that I have seen from an elected official,” another posted.

“Wow. Could you be more blatantly racist,” another asked.

Appel clumsily asking why African Americans remain loyal to a party favoring open borders doesn’t make him a racist.

America currently has the highest number of foreign-born citizens, with close to 50 million. That’s five times higher than any other country. We continue to take in more than 1 million legal immigrants a year. But unlimited migration with open borders will devastate our working class.

Democrats traditionally fought for America’s working class. Now, party leaders seem more concerned about illegal immigrants than U.S. citizens. Appel should have focused on the economics of open borders in trying to convince blacks to abandon the Democrat Party.

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