The GOP loves emphasizing the fact that the party was founded by Lincoln who freed the slaves. However, between the social economic issues and racism that we have today, up to 95 percent of African-American voters are aligned with the Democratic Party. Needless to say it's pretty rare to find a black Republican. But that's not to say they don't exist. In fact, some our favorite Hollywood stars have publicly identified as a Republican or lean towards the conservatives. Here are a few that might surprise you:
Between Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson' movies and SNL skits where he often portrays Barack Obama, it may surprise many to know that the wrestler-turned-actor is a registered Republican and even spoke at the Republican National Convention in 2000. Recently Governor Chris Christie attempted to align himself with the movie star by creating a fake trailer playing on The Rock's Pain & Gain. In response The Rock distanced himself from Christie’s video, saying he is “more patriotic than political and that he has "good friends who are politicians on both sides".
Despite taking jabs at the GOP here and there, former boxer Mike Tyson is a Republican. He even campaigned on behalf of Maryland Republican Senate candidate Lt. Governor Michael Steele. Tyson's expressed a few conservative views over the years including that he believes that welfare is bad and private education is better than public. With his pigeon racing events/PETA upset, it should be no surprise that Tyson is not part of the liberal camp.
Former NBA star Shaquille O'Neal is a Republican who happened to throw his support in for Obama in 2012. Shaq has publicly supported Christie in his landslide 2013 re-election win. "I don’t endorse many politicians. But Chris Christie is different," O'Neal said in a campaign ad. "He’s working with me to bring jobs back to our cities and on a new program to help kids in tough neighborhoods get ahead. He’s a good man. Excuse me, he’s a great man. Please join me in supporting Chris Christie – the Governor." Christie ended up with 21 percent of the black vote and 51 percent of the Hispanic vote - astounding numbers for a GOP candidate.
50 Cent has been reported to be "fundamentally conservative"despite never announcing ties with either party. In a 2005 interview with GQ, the rapper said President Bush is "incredible…a gangsta. I wanna meet George Bush, just shake his hand and tell him how much of me I see in him." Then 50 confused the world endorsing Hillary Clinton for president in 2008 against Barack Obama. Is he really that confused? Or does he just see past the political parties and ideologies to draw his own conclusions?
Divorce Court's Judge Lynn Toler has the longest running court show on television. Looking back on her time campaigning for the job in municipal court, Toler recalled that the odds were stacked against her as she was young and a black Republican in a Democratic district.
Comedienne Sheryl Underwood is a self-proclaimed and registered Republican. She has officially stated her political preference on The Talk: “I would call myself a sexually progressive, God-fearing, black Republican.” But the proud conservative admitted to have voted for Obama in the 2012 elections over Romney because "he's done more with less".
NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain has been a registered Republican throughout his adult life. He notably supported Richard Nixon in the 1968 and 1972 presidential elections, an endorsement that sparked a feud with then-teammate Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, a member of the Nation of Islam and supporter of the Black nationalist movement. Then in 1992, Chamberlain published a book about his life, “A View From Above,” that went deep into his life and his views as a supporter of Republican politics.
After playing three seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers and San Francisco 49ers, Tony Dungy transitioned into an NFL coaching career. Between coaching Tampa Bay to the Indianapolis Colts, Dungy is also an active Republican. Dungy is famous for being an Evangelical Christian and an outspoken opponent of gay marriage. It's no wonder people were upset when President Obama asked him to join the advisory council for the Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
James Todd Smith, better known as LL Cool J (abbreviation for Ladies Love Cool James), is an American rapper, entrepreneur, and actor. Although he never come out to state his political preference, he's typically right leaning. Back in 2004, LL Cool J attended the National Republican Convention in support of Senator John McCain and has also been a supporter of Republican New York Governor George Pataki for quite some time.
Nicknamed “The Mailman,” Karl Malone is a retired American professional basketball power forward and current assistant coach for the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs college basketball team. The NBA legend has always been a loud and proud Republican, reportedly donating $4,000 to Bush's re-election campaign in 2004 and $2,000 to support Lisa Murkowski, a Republican senatorial candidate from Alaska, in 2004. Malone is also a member of the NRA.
Charles Wade Barkley, a former American professional basketball player, nicknamed “Sir Charles” and “The Round Mound of Rebound,” is no doubt an NBA legend. Turns out, he's Republican too. Barkley spoke for many years of his Republican Party affiliation and in 1995, he even considered running as a Republican candidate for Governor of Alabama in the 1998 election. Although he didn't end up running, in September 2006, Barkley once again reiterated his desire to run for Governor as a Republican.
"Who is Stacey Dash?" was the question that everyone was asking at the 2016 Academy Awards. It seems that Chris Rock's joke flew right over everyone's heads as people didn't realize that the former Clueless actress is a raging conservative. Dash has contributed to Fox News and openly criticized President Obama. After publicly endorsing the Romney-Ryan presidential ticket in 2012, Dash has also criticized women who highlight wage disparity, defended Paula Deen against accusations of racism, suggested campus rape accusers are often “bad girls” acting “naughty” and claimed African-Americans who support Obama are getting “money for free.”
In 2005, bishop and megachurch leader T.D. Jakes joined then-president Bush on his tour of areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina. In Bush's 2010 memoir, the former president described Jakes as "a kind of man who puts faith into action."
Best known for his role in the long-running sitcom The Bill Cosby Show actor Joseph Phillips is now a conservative Christian commentator. The Republican is known for being a harsh critic of same-sex marriage. He was also National Co-Chair of the African American Steering committee for the Bush Cheney campaign in 2004, and was named a member of the Republican National Committee’s African American Advisory Board.
If it surprises you to know that gay Gospel singer Donnie McClurkin is a registered Republican, don't worry, you're not alone. The right-leaning pastor has detailed his struggle with gay tendencies and controversially sung out about "the curse of homosexuality" in addition to performing at the Republican National Convention. McClurkin has also sung for Presidents Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush and blames "the hatred of a few activists, not the gay community," for the flap.