Mitt Romney and the NAACP: A Missed Opportunity. : ThyBlackMan

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Mitt Romney and the NAACP: A Missed Opportunity.

July 12, 2012 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( As anyone who has followed me knows, I have been extremely critical of President Obama’s non-engagement with the Black community. Obama has deliberately ignored the plight of the Black community while giving preferential treatment to the homosexual and Hispanic communities.

But I can’t in good conscious criticize Obama and then give the Republicans a pass when they display similar behavior towards the Black community.  I can’t excoriate Black Democrats for following Obama blindly and then remain silent when Black Republicans do the same towards Romney.

Yesterday, as I watched Mitt Romney address the NAACP, I tried to force myself to be optimistic about what he would say. But my years of being an avid Republican prepared me for the worst.  And that’s exactly what I saw.

Mitt Romney had a golden opportunity to make a credible argument for Blacks to support him. But because he doesn’t have experienced Blacks in his inner circle, he thoroughly embarrassed himself and deserved to be roundly booed.  For Romney to speak before a Black audience and not talk about the Black entrepreneur is like going to church and not mentioning God.

This is what happens when you don’t have the right people around you, people who understand communications, messaging and the nuances of the audience being addressed. That’s the elephant in the room.

Contrary to what the White media thinks, the preachers and politicians are not the leaders in the Black community – businessmen and businesswomen are. That Black business person is typically head of the board of trustees or the deacon board of the church.  So, if you get the business leader on your side, he or she will bring along the minister and the congregation.

Business leaders have a vested interest in having an educated Black community because they have to hire people in order to grow their business. Like everyone else, those leaders care about crime and don’t want employees to be victims as they travel to and from work. More than anyone else, business leaders understand the cost of capital issues and therefore are more likely to support a reduction or total abolition of the capital gains tax. He or she is more likely to support school choice and vouchers, all topics the NAACP members can relate to.

 So, the point is, the Black business leaders are the most important entry point to the Black community and Republicans, of all people,  are totally ignorant of this fact. And they will remain ignorant of what’s important to the Black community until they have campaign staffs that look like America.

Like Jeremiah of the Bible, I have been labeled as one crying in the wilderness. And I am not about to surrender that label now. Am I the only one who is offended that Mitt Romney has fewer than five Blacks on his national campaign staff and none in top decision-making positions?  I am talking about someone who controls a budget, has the final say on hiring, and has the ability to put an event on the candidate’s calendar or arrange a private meeting with the candidate.

Am I the only one who noticed the optics of Mitt Romney not having photos of any Black Republicans on his campaign web site?  Am I the only one who is puzzled as to why Mitt Romney has never met with a group of Black entrepreneurs?

I was stunned to learn that Romney had chosen a recently converted Republican, Ashley Bell, to be one of his surrogates and to help him craft his speech to the NAACP. Bell is a decent guy, but am I to believe that Mitt Romney couldn’t find any veteran Black Republicans who have both party credentials and relevant presidential campaign experience to help him craft the speech that would define his relationship with Black America?

Does his staff know people such as Shannon Reeves, Allegra McCullough, David Byrd, Aaron Manaigo, Francis Johnson, Ada Fisher or James House?  If they don’t, I will be happy to put Romney’s staff in touch with them and many other able Blacks. For Mitt Romney to pick a Republican-come-lately over Party vets who have taken all kind of criticism for supporting the Grand Old Party is a grand old insult to those Black Republicans who have toiled for years in the fields of Republican politics. 

Where are the voices of Black Republicans who know better? Their silence is deafening. In this respect, they are just as bad as the Black Democrats I have been criticizing.

With Mitt Romney’s speech to the NAACP and making Bell one of his surrogates, the candidate has spent more time with Black Democrats than he has with Black Republicans.  Where is the outrage from Black Republicans?  Oh, they can criticize Obama for his treatment of Blacks, but when Romney does the same thing they get laryngitis. As I often say, “the best way to get attention from the Republican Party as a Black Republican is to be a Black Democrat.” 

Staff Writer; Raynard Jackson

Mr. Jackson is also founder of a political and industrial consultant firm which is based in Washington, DC; Raynard Jackson & Associates.



8 Responses to “Mitt Romney and the NAACP: A Missed Opportunity.”
  1. Ron Wagner says:

    Give Romney a chance. A rising tide floats all boats. A sinking tide leaves them stuck in the mud. Sometimes forever.

  2. hoodgirl says:

    Equipping our children with the wherewithal to build and protect wealth to change family trees is WEAK compared to Obamacare “biggest tax hike on the middle class” that forces Americans into inefficiently run Medicaid prgrams to bailout Unions that promised Cadillac plans to retirees but couldn’t deliver and ensure increased profits for BigPharma instead of addressing the skyrocketing costs of healthcare due to the lack of interstate competition, fraud, waste and abuse?

    Simply put, we should not be going into debt to start a business. Black Business Professionals should invest their talents in communities to lower the black unemployment devasted by Obama’s Presidency instead of begging Corporate America to do what we have the ability to do ourselves.

    Romney knows that teaching a man to fish so that he can feed his family for a lifetime instead of giving him fish to feed his family for a day is the answer not more of Big Brother Government!

  3. Realman says:


    School Vouchers in no way compares to the new Healthcare Plan that would benefit millions of Americans. Your argument for Ronmey is very weak and I’m not even a loyal democrat or Obama supporter. The fact remains that both parties neglect black voters but the GOP takes it a step further and is more hostile to the needs of black America.

    If Romney or the GOP really wanted to get black support he would have put forth an enterprise zone plan for the inner city that targeted black business people. A real plan that would give blacks access to guaranteed business loans and exempt from paying taxes for a few years while the business is growing. This would help reduce black unemployment.

  4. hoodgirl says:

    Terrance Amen…indeed…Independent “individual autonomy” pays higher dividends!

  5. hoodgirl says:

    For start, Romney supports the same DC school voucher program that Obama struck down during his first month in office denying parents the choice to send their children to private schools when public schools failed them even though Obama chose to send his children to a private school instead of placing them in the failed DC public school system.

    Thanks to Republicans in the House reinstating the DC school voucher program that Obama struck down during his first month in office, more BLACK children can receive their education in a safe and academic environment just as Obama chose for his children.

  6. I don’t know how any Black person would want to be a republican. It’s hard enough being a democrat. What has the republican party done for Black people, ever, except for maybe the wealthy? Don’t talk about Lincoln freeing our ancestors because he really only did it because the south wouldn’t stay in the union. Our future lies as independents, so we can at least play both sides against each other, in order to get what we want. The democrats have taken advantage of us for far too long. What is the incentive for them to do anything for us if we keep voting for then blindly? Time to change our strategy. But I do realize that before we can do this, we need to come together and build a strong economic base because that’s who controls this country anyway, big business.

    Black Unity

  7. Realman says:

    Exactly what did Romney “acknowledge” the black about? Besides telling them he will cut all of the President’s programs?

  8. hoodgirl says:

    Romney acknowledges the black community and Obama sends Jo Biden who has nothing but racial slurs in his background….in the words of Bill Clinton “give me a break”!.

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