By Raynard Jackson
Republicans are often criticized, many times unfairly so, for using the “race card” when it comes to the Black community. Liberals postulate that if Republicans treated the Black voter like any other voter; or treated Black groups like White groups; then the Black community would vote in their own self-interest.
Well, let me shock all my liberal friends by saying I agree 100%. Let’s now apply this to the real world.
With the onset of summer, this marks the beginning of all the major Black national organizations annual conferences throughout the country. Groups like the NAACP, the National Urban League (NUL), the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), and the National Newspapers Publishers Association (NNPA), just to name a few.
All these groups “claim” to be nonpartisan, but the reality is that they and their membership are mostly hardcore Democrats. But what these groups have been masterful at is taking advantage of the Republican’s irrational “fear” of being called racist by the left. A Republican being labelled a racist is akin to kryptonite to Superman, a cross to Dracula, or water to the bad witch, Evileen.
To my utter amazement, many Black Republican operatives and staffers have bought into this idiotic nonsense. Most Black staffers throughout the party have the attitude that “we need these groups, so we can’t negotiate with them. We should be glad that they at least invited a Republican to speak.”
Newsflash, you rarely ever win when you negotiate from a position of weakness.
Last week I received a press release from the National Urban League indicating they had invited all declared presidential candidates to address their upcoming convention this summer.
No Republican should agree to speak at any Black convention unless certain conditions are met. The biggest, most non-negotiable condition that must be met is that these groups must have Black Republicans on various panels throughout the week of their conventions.
Reince Priebus, as head of our party, should encourage all of our presidential candidates and other party leaders to abide by this recommendation. As chairman of the party, Priebus cannot force anyone to abide by this; but his recommendation would carry significant clout.
For each convention that our party leaders are asked to participate in, Priebus should put together a list of recommended panelists based on the mission of the particular group in question.
For example, I know for a fact certain that Priebus knows plenty of Blacks who could represent the party before the NAACP and Urban League; people who have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the role and history of the Republican Party in Civil Rights.
Again, Priebus cannot force a group to accept his recommendation; but as in all negotiations, you must always be ready and willing to walk away if you don’t get what you want.
What is the logic behind having one of our presidential candidates or the chairman of our party address these groups only to have the rest of the week being devoted to panelists who are going to do the bidding of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) with no one from our side to present a countervailing view?
If these groups refuse to accept the party’s terms, then there must be an unequivocal rejection of their invitation to speak to at their conference.
For example, the Urban League’s convention is in Ft. Lauderdale, FL this summer. If they don’t agree to the party’s terms, then there should be no Republican leaders to address their convention. Then the RNC or some other Black Republican group should convene a one day conference to provide a “friendly” platform for Republicans to speak directly to the Black community. The event should be in the same city as the group who refused to accept the party’s terms, in this case Ft. Lauderdale.
I would take this fight directly to the media and force these groups to answer the question as to why they have no Black Republicans on their various panels; but yet claim to be nonpartisan.
When it comes to the Black community, we must stop being afraid to say no to everything these liberal groups want. And if we are going to give them something they want, then it must be on our terms.
These Black groups claim they are fighting for equality and diversity, then should we not expect them to practice what they preach? Why is this equality of opportunity and diversity of thought within the Black community not on display at any of these national conventions?
In life, some things are urgent and some things are important. It’s urgent that Republicans speak directly to the Black community; but it is important that it be on the party’s terms.
Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC is an internationally recognized political consulting, government affairs, and PR firm based in Washington, DC. Jackson is an internationally recognized radio talk show host and TV commentator. He has coined the phrase “straticist.” As a straticist, he has merged strategic planning with public relations. Call RJA to discuss how they can get you to the next level of your career.