Democrats take minority support 'for granted,' say GOP blacks
Washington — Economic rights or civil rights? ''That's the question black voters will consider when they vote for president Nov. 6,'' says Arthur E. Teele, a black lawyer and businessman who is a paid consultant for the 1984 Reagan-Bush campaign.
Other prominent blacks in the Reagan entourage echo that theme.
''Consider what's really in the best interest of black people - to continue to vote year after year for Democratic Party nominees and be taken for granted, or to test the Republicans,'' urges Melvin H. Bradley, who worked with Ronald Reagan when he was governor of California and now advises President Reagan on race relations.
And LeGree Daniels, chairman of Black Voters for Reagan-Bush, stresses that the President is business-oriented - a leader who supports minority enterprise and black colleges.
Mr. Teele, Mr. Bradley, and Mrs. Daniels are among a growing number of black Republicans who say they believe that President Reagan can attract more black voters in the Nov. 6 presidential election than he did in 1980. They say they sense ''a growing dissatisfaction'' among black Democrats with their party's candidates, Walter F. Mondale and Geraldine A. Ferraro.
President Reagan offers black voters ''no sexy, headline-grabbing policy,'' says Bradley, top-ranking black on the White House staff. ''His policy helps blacks to get real jobs, earn money, and take care of their own. That's what the President's all about.
''The administration encourages growth of business in the black community, thus stabilizing the black economy, and training young people for the world of work,'' Teele explains. ''In education it's back to basics, striving for excellence. This also stabilizes the family and the community.''
The potential for the Reagan-Bush team to siphon black votes from the Democratic Party is good, says Bradley.
At the same time, no massive switch of black voters from the Democratic Party to the GOP is expected. If Reagan gets 15 percent of the black vote Nov. 6, it will be a 50 percent increase over the Republicans' share in 1980.
Teele, Mrs. Daniels, Bradley, and others who back the President admit that it's not easy to convince blacks that Reagan administration policies are in their interest. ''Blacks feel the administration has set no place for them,'' says Teele, who in 1980 headed a committee to lure black voters into the Republican fold.
Americans want less government, and blacks would be more likely to vote Republican if they understood this, he adds.
''I grew up in the post-World War II era when government did everything,'' Teele says. ''As a black I saw government as the way out. Government gave jobs, regulated everything, provided help.
''America, not Ronald Reagan, needs to understand that civil rights are basic to black Americans. The nation has to deal with fundamental rights,'' Teele continues. ''Some people mix civil rights with job programs, government projects , and grants. Civil rights is really freedom from the wrongs of the past, slavery, lynching, dogs, water hoses, and racial discrimi-nation.''
Bradley and Samuel Pierce, US secretary of Housing and Urban Development and the administration's only black Cabinet member, ''are as diligent in their concerns for black people as any two men in any previous Democratic administration,'' asserts Teele.
As chairwoman of the National Black Republican Council, Mrs. Daniels touches base with more black Republicans than most people. She has set up operations at most conventions of black organizations this year. She talks with GOP blacks informally and addresses them in workshops or at meetings.
Her basic message is that Reagan ''offers action, not promises.''