By Raynard Jackson
While there is no denying that Donald Trump has had a terrible past couple of weeks with his dogged focus on some obscure federal judge in San Diego, I think Trump can right the ship, but he has an extremely narrow window to do so.
I will deal with that in a future column.
This controversy with Trump and the judge has revealed yet again how unprepared the Republican Party is, in the 21st century, in dealing with the issue of race, especially, relative to the Black community.
I have advised some of the biggest names in politics, business, sports, and entertainment on racial and other career threatening crises.
The first thing I have noticed with Republicans dealing with the issue of race is that they deny that whatever happened was racist. Why does this happen? Well, that’s an easy question to answer. Republicans are surrounded by White staffers, who think they know more about the Black community than Black people do. And I’m speaking from personal experience, as recently as last month.
Memo to Republicans # 1: Never, I mean never say to the media, “I am not a racist.” That means you are losing the argument. Remember former President Nixon’s famous rejoinder, “I am not a crook?”
Again, for purposes of this column, I am not specifically talking about Trump and the judge, but rather the Republican Party in general when it comes to issues that have a racial component.
There are absolutely no Blacks in positions of power or influence anywhere within the Republican Party. There are none within the Republican National Committee (RNC), National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), nor any of the presidential campaigns.
Republicans have all White advisors and consultants trying to advise them on racial matters impacting the Black community, and they can’t understand why things keep blowing up in their faces. Duhhhhh!
Memo to Republicans # 2: Don’t just go out and grab the first Black person you see and come back to me and say, “Now we have a Black, so please shut up.”
Many Black Republicans are whiter than their White counterparts, and this is by design. Many Black Republicans have absolutely no connection to the Black community; nor any skill set to put them in a position of advising the party on racial matters.
The Republican Party wants Blacks around them who they are “comfortable” with, not Blacks who will speak their mind and who know what the hell they are talking about.
You have Black Republicans being pimped by the media to constantly denounce Donald Trump, because they are media whores who are looking for the proverbial pat on the head from “massa,” but these same Black Republicans have laryngitis when it comes to the lack of “real” Black staffers, consultants, and advisors within the party.
I have no record of these same Blacks speaking about how White our upcoming national convention is going to be, how there has been little, if any, opportunities for Black Republicans to do business with the upcoming convention. Seems like you have more opportunity to do business with the convention if you are a Black Democrat—go figure.
How can you have a White twenty-something writing a speech about civil rights or voting rights for a Republican leader to give? I am not exaggerating, this is actually happening.
The party needs a plethora of “real” Blacks who have a connection to the Black community, who understand messaging in terms of communications; and who have personal relationships with the media, and understand how to connect all of these into a coherent strategy.
The party has virtually no Black surrogates who can push back in the media against all the Black liberals on MSNBC and CNN, so a lie that is repeated enough, becomes the truth.
So, while many in the party are speaking out against Trump (some of it is well deserved and warranted), I wish these same people would be just as vehement in fighting against the radical liberal agenda that President Obama and Hillary Clinton have been promoting.
And to my Black Republican friends, I don’t think all of your denunciations of some of Trump’s comments are not legitimate, but where are your voices on other issues that impact the Black community relative to the party?
What have you done to get more Black students internships with our congressional members? What have you done to promote legislative solutions to address issues of particular concern to Blacks (access to capital for Black entrepreneurs, aide to HBCUs, promotion of school choice, etc.)?
And finally, Memo # 3: To my Black Republicans, always remember, when all is said and done, there is more said than done.