Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Young Black Republicans who deny their Blackness.

December 18, 2013 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Last week, Joyce Jones, a columnist for BET.com wrote an article titled, “The Loneliness of the Black Republican: What attracts young African-Americans to the GOP?”  Although the article was off-base on so many points – No I won’t waste my time listing them here – it got me reflecting on this younger generation of Black Republicans.

Undoubtedly, young Blacks are attracted to the GOP brand more than older Blacks. If Jones could have tapped into that phenomenon, it could have been an enlightening article. But, not surprisingly, her column ended up being your typical Black Republican-bashing.

How would she know “it’s not easy to be a young, Black Republican?”  She talks about conservatism, but fails to define the term.  She refers to “rising stars,” but fails to identify those stars or what makes them rising stars.

As for Black Republicans being lonely, a deeper explanation is in order.  Many Black Republicans who are of the millennial demographic have made a conscious decision to self-isolate. Translation: They can’t possibleblackrepublicans go behind the Democratic stranglehold on Blacks and not expect to be isolated.  Millennials are generally defined as those born between 1980-2000.

Tina Wells, a 30-year old and CEO of Buzz Marketing Group, a youth marketing company, was interviewed by Black Enterprise and had this to say, “The sense of entitlement that Millennials exhibit can be performance prohibitive.  Their idea of paying dues is different from their parents…they have grown up in a very instant world, so how do you tell them that a job they want in six or seven months is a job they have to wait usually six or seven years to get?”

This sense of entitlement has caused many millennials to think that simply showing up is all they need to do in life. All too often, these millennials have no political curiosity about those who paved the way for them.  There are about 30-40 Black Republican staffers who work for members of the House and Senate; but they have not formed an organization of like-minded people. They have shown no interest in building relations with Black operatives such as Michael Steele, Shannon Reeves, or Greg Simpkins.

How can you call yourself a Black Republican and have no knowledge of Bob Brown, Arthur Fletcher, Bill Coleman, or Kay James, to name a few?  These three are living legends within the Republican Party and important trailblazers. Also, in every instance, those pioneers did not run from their community. They were staunch Republicans, but they never forgot their Black roots or to fight for the Black middle class. In other words, they knew who they were.

This year alone, I have been called by no fewer than 10 members of Congress or other political operatives about these phenomena with Black Republicans.  I am asked why Black staffers are emphatic that they don’t want to be the point person for the Black community – they just want to be a staffer; as though they are mutually exclusive.  It can be both and!

I would go so far as to say these Blacks thrive off of being anonymous to other Blacks.  They seemingly get more satisfaction out of being known within White circles.  I don’t expect a lot of my White readers to understand this dynamic; this is a dirty little secret that Blacks refuse to discuss publically.

Many of these Black Republicans will deny what I am saying, but I know them by name and from direct experience.  Maybe I will write a book about my experiences with these Blacks in our party.

These are the type of Blacks that many Republicans are most comfortable with.  They never raise any objections to anything thrown at them in private meetings relative to the Black community.  They never raise a voice when some of our more extreme elements make incendiary statements towards members of our community.  They never stretch out their hands to help others move up within the party.  Many are devoid of any real connection to our community.

On a personal level, I have reached out to many of these millennials and find their sense of entitlement and arrogance repugnant.  They have accomplished very little, but yet think they have arrived.  Being a low level staffer is not an accomplishment, it is a foot in the door.

Whether Joyce Jones knows it or not, by definition, you can’t be lonely if it is by choice; you can be alone, but not lonely.

So, to all my millennial Black Republicans, stop making it an either or proposition.  Embrace your party, embrace your community, and embrace your obligation to those coming behind you; but also, pay homage to those who paved the way for you. 

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.



3 Responses to “Young Black Republicans who deny their Blackness.”
  1. CD Smith says:

    Blackness as defined by Black Liberals – Always willing to stick it to white man. A person that never let whitey off the hook.

    That is all it takes in a nutshell to keep your “Black” card. This is why it is possible for a white liberal to achieve “Blackness”. How stupid is that??

    As a Black conservative, I am tired of that strategy and philosophy. It will never work. It is not a motivator. It is another level of control inflicted upon Blacks by other Blacks. Maybe this is why the black people referred to in the article are to themselves, to have some peace.

    Listen Malcom X’s speech, “The Bullet or the Ballet” to hear why he considered blacks who mindlessly vote “Democrat” as traders to their race.

  2. Marcus Vessey says:

    Raynard, great article. I think a large part of the lack of collaborative networking amongst Black Republicans is in large part because of the premise of the Black conservative movement. This makes that form of association a catch 22.

    Because they want to neuter race as an adjective (they in many cases should be called conservative Blacks instead of Black conservatives the location of the adjective and verb is important) to then associate as a group of “Blacks” diminishes their platform of race neutrality (which is only a surface belief anyway).

    I know a few brothers and sisters who are Black conservatives and they are all good people and they all really believe that key ideological positions that they take are what will work best for Black folks in American over the long run.

    To a degree I can’t even really blame them. The promise of the Democratic party has yielded little fruit over the last 40 years.

  3. Thank you Brother Jackson for your honest talk about young Black republicans. Although I’m not a republican and probably will never be for the same reasons you point out in your article and the many others you didn’t. I do appreciate your honesty. I believe before we can get what we need from politics, we need to become more organized in controlling the education, and economics in our community. Then and only then will we be able to work together for the good of our community.

    Black Unity means financial independence and happiness

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