Let me give some advice to my fellow Black Republicans. First, STOP letting the party parade you out in front of cameras when they need someone Black to talk about the ignorant notion of “reverse discrimination!”
By Raynard Jackson
Talking with Black Republicans is a moving experience---the more I talk to them, the more I want to move away! The caricature of most Black Republicans is that they are not connected with the Black community and are constantly seeking the approval of the powers that be within the party.
Well, I have been Black most of my life and would posit this question: “if Black Republicans were taken to a court of law and accused of being connected, involved and making a difference in the Black community, would there be enough evidence to convict them?”
I think the obvious answer is a resounding NO! The only time you see or hear Black Republicans is when they are paraded in front of the media to oppose affirmative action, oppose abortion, or oppose minority set-asides for small business. You never see or hear them talking about the problems facing Blacks in being under represented in various facets of American life or the problems entrepreneurs have doing business with the federal government or the private sector.
Let Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton make an inflammatory statement and they run over each other to get to a microphone. But, when white Republicans make similar statements, you can hear a pin drop.
Of the few Blacks on Republicans staffs in the house and senate, how many interns have they given jobs to? How many Blacks have they found jobs for back in their districts or states? Can you even name any Black staffers? Do you ever see them giving speeches in the community or attending national conferences of prominent Black organizations (journalists, accountants, lawyers, MBAs, etc)?
Why is it that Blacks like Lynn Swann (ran for governor of PA) and Michael Williams (a U.S. senate candidate and Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission that regulates the energy industry and is one of the most powerful positions in state government) won’t hire Blacks on their campaign staffs (with hiring or budgetary authority) nor spend money with Black vendors?
Let me give some advice to my fellow Black Republicans. First, STOP letting the party parade you out in front of cameras when they need someone Black to talk about the ignorant notion of “reverse discrimination!” There is no such thing. People like Ward Connerly made all of their money through affirmative action programs (under then California governor Pete Wilson), then after he cashed the checks he realized that he was now against the very program that made him wealthy. Well, Mr. Connerly, if you want to speak out against affirmative action, why not return the money you made from it, then oppose the program.
If Black Republicans want to have credibility within their community, try to help re-integrate prisoners who have served their time adjust back into society. Work in your state to restore their voting rights (after all, they have paid their dues to society and they deserve a second chance). While attending school at Oral Roberts University, Oral would always tell me, “Go into every man’s world and meet them at the point of their need.” This would be a great way for Black Republicans to build credibility within their community.
Another tangible way to build credibility is to help high school students get sponsored to become congressional pages in Washington, DC. Students have to be sponsored by their congressman or senator. How many Black Republicans have every done or even attempted to do this?
Organize Black churches to have town hall meetings with their elected officials to address issues of concern to senior citizens or veterans in the community.
Why do they not say anything about the lack of Black congressional staffers in congress, the lack of Black congressional pages in congress, or the lack of an agenda that’s of particular concern to the Black community (lack of health care in the inner cities, the high unemployment rate within their community, the decrease in Black males going to college).
How many Black Republicans have the personal telephone numbers (cell, home, office) to their senators, congressmen, or governors? If the public doesn’t see you as having access to these decision-makers, why would they think to come to you when they need help? This is more of the fault of the Republican Party—for not publically validating Blacks who have their ear and the requisite relationship to help solve problems within their community.
The problems facing the Black community are very serious and demand more than robotic mantras that are oft repeated by Republicans---the party of Abraham Lincoln, freed the slaves, lower taxes, color-blind, etc.
As long as these Black Republicans continue to constantly tell their community what they are against (abortion, affirmative action, minority set-asides, etc.) and never speak what they are for that’s relevant for their lives, then they will continue to have a “moving experience” within their community.
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-based political consulting/government affairs firm. You can listen to his radio show every Saturday evening from 7-9:00 p.m. Go to www.ustalknetwork.com to register and then click on host, and then click on his photo to join his group.