Black InterestsPolitics

The Republican Party’s Brand Problem by Raynard Jackson


Can you imagine anyone using basketball legend Michael Jordan to promote the sport of Cricket?  Can you imagine anyone using the face of a famous vegan to advertise McDonald Hamburgers?  Can you imagine inviting a board member of Planned Parenthood, an extreme pro-abortion group to give a keynote speech to the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life organization?

The answer is an unequivocal NO.

Can you imagine the Republican Party hiring an all-white band to perform at a Black History Month eventCan you imagine a presidential campaign sending a Black millennium, military veteran who is homosexual into the Black community to represent them with the intent of trying to get Blacks to vote Republican?  Can you imagine a non-registered Republican who has never voted for a Republican being used to get Blacks to join the Republican Party?

The answer, again, is an unequivocal NO because we don’t have to imagine it; this, unfortunately, is actually happening right now.

Republicans are supposed to have some of the brightest minds in politics working with them and I believe they do; but somehow these same smart people are very ignorant when it comes to the Black community.

I have said many, many times before and I will continue to say it; having a Black on your staff is not the same as having the right Black person on your staff!

When my party engages with the Black community in the manner described above, it is typically because they are not serious about moving the needle within the Black community.  They are most likely looking for “race” insurance.

We can’t be racist because we have “a” Black on our staff, or we can’t be racist because the one Black person they talked to told them that it was a good idea.

The few Blacks this party talks to measure success by likes, tweets, and followers; people like me measure success by victory.

As someone who makes his living from strategic communications and messaging, I think I know a little something about this subject matter.

I have been telling anyone and everyone in this party who will listen that until we “rehabilitate” the Republican brand within the Black community; there is absolutely no messaging that will resonate within the Black community.

Or as grandma used to say, “Boy, your actions speak so loud, I can’t hear a damn thing you are saying.”

How many people do you think are going to fly on the infamous Boeing 737 Max jet whenever they are cleared to fly again by the FAA? 

After two of their planes fell from the sky within six months of each other, Boeing recognizes that they have a brand problem.  They realize that once these planes are cleared to fly again, the public will be extremely hesitant to fly on them, and rightfully so.

Boeing is planning on spending multiple millions of dollars in advertising to convince a skeptical public that their planes are safe to fly.

I most assuredly guarantee you that on the first flight of the newly certified planes, the CEO of Boeing along with other executives will be on the flight; along with all sorts of media.

In a similar manner, the Republican Party has been “accused” of hating Blacks, promoting policies that are leading to the death of Blacks, and having absolutely no interest in the issues that are of particular concern to the Black community.

The party needs to be “re-certified,” not by the FAA; but by Black Republicans who have credibility within the Black community as well as the party.

Who should be part of this “re-certification” process?  People like Bob Brown, Herman Cain, Jennifer Carroll, Shannon Reeves, John Burnett, Ron Langston, Allegra McCullough, Curtis Hill, Lynn Hutchings, Dave Steward, and John Sibley Butler just to name a few.

If you “claim” to be a Black Republican and don’t know who these people are, then you should have your Republican card revoked!

None of these individuals have lots of tweets, followers, or likes; but they know how to win elections by moving the Black vote by way of their stature within the Black community and within the party.

The Republican Party must decide if their goal is to get tweets, followers, or likes in the Black community; or is their goal to get votes so that we can win elections.

In the short term, you can’t have both; in the long term you need both.

Raynard Jackson is a Pulitzer Award nominated columnist and founder and chairman of Black Americans for a Better Future (BAFBF), a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party.  BAFBF focuses on the Black entrepreneur. For more information about BAFBF, visit You can follow Raynard on Twitter @Raynard1223.


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