Black Republicans running from reality of race
By Raynard Jackson, columnist for USAfricaonline.com
Special to USAfrica, CLASSmagazine, Houston & USAfricaonline.com
USAfrica, October 15, 2009: Black Republicans running for various offices this election cycle seem to be running from race while running their race. This is one of the most asinine things I have every seen, but not unexpected. This is why Black Republicans have no credibility within their own community.
Last week I was interviewed by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos of FOXNews.com. The story was published this past Monday (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/10/12/carter-obama-allen-west-race-card/).
I was appalled at the comments of these Black office seekers and their obvious lack of understanding of how their words would be interpreted by those in the Black community. Allen West, a retired Army colonel running against Democratic Congressman Ron Klein (FL-22nd), said, “Since (Democrats) have thrown out the race card, it has made me more appealing….because it shows the contrast of our principles—how different we are even though we both have permanent tans (referring to President Obama).” West continued, “A lot of people who don’t want to be part of Obama’s policies are being called racist….Then they say, Hey, this guy, Colonel West—he’s Black and I support him…. It has nothing to do with race…People don’t care about your color, they care about your character.”
But, Colonel West, WAIT! You said it was not about race, then you say you’re Black, therefore people in your district are supporting you (because you are Black). Which is it? So, let me make sure I understand you. White people are supporting you because you are Black so that you can speak out against the Black president, so the white people won’t have to (because they can’t call you a racist since you are Black). Oh, I get it now. You know we have a term for people like that and it begins with the word UNCLE!
Ryan Frazier is a 31 year old city councilman in Colorado and is running for the U.S. Senate in the Republican primary. Frazier said that being Black is an asset. So when he opposes the president’s policies, no one can call him a racist. According to Frazier, “I don’t think they will be able to use that argument against me or engage in those tactics against me.” So, let me interpret this. Because of the skin color that you say doesn’t matter, you are able to criticize the president because of the very skin color that you say doesn’t matter? Ok, now I understand.
Michael Williams has served several terms as Texas Railroad Commissioner and is currently running for the U.S. Senate seat that current senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson is vacating to run for governor. He states that his Blackness will be an asset.
According to the article, “one of the things it allows me to do….it allows me to speak very, very frankly about what I believe, and what I feel, and nobody is going to call me a racist.” Again, I am confused. His Blackness is only an asset when it comes to denigrating a Black president and his policies. According to Williams, other than giving him cover in criticizing the president, his race doesn’t exist. Wow, either he is color blind or just blind to people of color.
Do these guys hear themselves and how ridiculous they sound? Have you ever heard of a Jewish candidate denying or distancing themselves from their own heritage? Or a Latino or Asian? These groups use their ethnicity to endear themselves to voters from their group while at the same time building coalitions to expand their base of support.
Can you be against the president’s policies and not be a racist? Without question. But, I challenge these candidates to answer a few questions for me.
What does describing Obama as a Nazi have to do with healthcare? What does calling him a liar during a joint session of Congress have to do with healthcare? How does calling him a socialist, fascist, or communist, further the healthcare debate? So, you would think that if this debate was about healthcare, the signs at town hall meetings and rallies would read, “how will you pay for your plan, Mr. President, how will it be implemented, or what if I don’t want your plan?” Those would be legitimate questions.
Another question for the candidates, are there any public statements by them speaking out against the actions of Congressman Joe Wilson during the president’s speech before a joint session of Congress?
Are there any public statements by them chastising individuals and party officials for some of the incendiary rhetoric coming from Republicans (Barack the Magic Negro, calling Michelle Obama a monkey, or the celebration by many conservatives that Chicago was eliminated from Olympic consideration)?
Just wondering because I know they all claim to be candidates of great principles and I know they would stand up for right because they are the voice of the people, right?
Finally, can you tell me if you have any Blacks on your paid campaign staffs with hiring or decision making authority? Are you spending any campaign money with Black vendors (office supplies, computer services, restaurants, caterers, etc)? Are there any Black banks in your area that you are utilizing?
I would be stunned if any of the campaigns could answer yes to these questions. But, this is my offer to them. I am inviting them to my radio show to address these issues.
So, while you are running your race, please don’t continue to forget your race!
•Raynard Jackson, contributing writer for USAfricaonline.com, is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-based political consulting/government affairs firm and radio talk show host on www.ustalknetwork.com. Published on USAfricaonline.com on October 15, 2009
Why the Republican Party, conservative values are dying
By Rev. Wayne Perryman
Special to USAfricaonline.com, CLASSmagazine, and The Black Business Journal, Houston
After returning from a recent Republican Conference where I was the keynote speaker, I couldn’t help but to notice that the average age of most of the attendees was 60 plus. When I went to the College Republican website to look at the future of the party, I was disheartened to learn that of 20 million college students in America only 200,000 claimed that they were affiliated with the College Republicans.
Today, we have more liberal college professors teaching our young people than we have membership in the College Republicans. This problem is further exacerbated by the fact that many conservative parents and grandparents confess that their children and grandchildren are liberal and want nothing to do with the party of their parents.
Given the fact that the future strength of any organization can be determined by the number of young people committed to it causes grave concern for the future of the Republican Party.
Why aren’t young people attracted to the Republican Party, and what must the Party do to attract more young people? The problem is two-fold.
- Conservative baby-boomers (as a whole) no longer feel the need to invest and train future generations to follow in their footsteps. Unlike past generations of parents, far too many baby-boomers (as they were as teens) are only interested in themselves and their current welfare which now consist of retirement and comfortable living in their remaining years. Understandingly so, most of the people that they associate with are elderly and most of the people they vote for are older candidates. Their investments are not in young people – but in IRA’s and other retirement plans.
- Unlike liberals, conservatives seldom ever talk about caring for the poor or improving race relations; two things that appeal to the modern-day college student. When it comes to conservatism, the perception that most young people have of Republicans is that they are a group of old white people who lost their capacity to care for others, particularly for the poor and people of color. In short, young people believe Republicans are insensitive, selfish and racist.
Are their perceptions true? No. But Republicans are doing very little to destroy these stereotypes, stereotypes that are being taught by college professors and re-enforced by the Republican’s own silence.
Behind closed doors, Republicans will often say, “we have done a lot for minorities and the poor, but unlike the Democrats, we just don’t brag about it.” This is also true, but their unwillingness to talk about it openly leaves the door open to speculation and their contributions in helping others, becomes the best kept secret in our society. In order to attract the other 18,800,000 liberal college students, Republicans must do the follo wing:
- They must convince young people that they always have – an d always will be the party of compassion, a party that cares about all Americans, particularly for the poor and the outcast.
- They must educate an uninformed generation of young people of the Republican’s impressive Civil Rights History and the social programs that the Party developed to assure equality for all.
- And they must invest hundreds of millions of dollars to train and develop conservative young leaders to prepare them for elective office while using books, films and other educational materials to challenge the liberal lies taught by liberal college professors.
This is a do or die mission. If they fail to do this, the Republican Party will eventually die along with their current aging baby-boomer population and that would be a tragedy.
•Rev. Perryman, Minister in Charge of Church Administration for Mt. Calvary Christian Center Church of God in Christ, is a former newspaper publisher, radio talk-show host, and corporate employment relations consultant. This is his first commentary for USAfricaonline.com and CLASSmagazine, Houston. October 8, 2009
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