By Raynard Jackson
I have been asking and will continue to ask, where are the Black Republicans? Race will be one of the top issues in the 2016 elections and none of our presidential campaigns have any Blacks in the media representing their respective campaigns.
Why in the hell do Republicans continue to have white staffers try to address racial issues within the Black community? Are these campaigns really that stupid?
Black Republicans have absolutely no presence in the media when it comes to representing any official Republican entity: RNC, House Campaign Committee, Senatorial Committee, presidential campaigns, Republican Governor’s Association, etc.
The response I constantly get is that “they” can only “pitch” Blacks to various media outlets; but they can’t make a CNN or MSNBC put Black Republicans on the air. Factually, this is a true statement; they can’t make a news network do anything.
My response is very simple, if these Republican communications staffers can’t get the job done; then they should be fired. Each of these entities has their own internal PR/communications staff and has proven to be totally incompetent when it comes to Black surrogates.
Can you imagine a private sector company retaining a PR firm to place their employees in various media outlets and they came to you and told you they couldn’t get your employees placed? You would fire them immediately and get a new firm who will get the job done.
Where are people like Sean Moss? He served as regional administrator for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) under George W. Bush. He should be all over the media discussing the disastrous decline of Black home ownership under the Obama administration.
Where is Allegra McCullough? She served as regional administration for the Small Business Administration (SBA) under George W. Bush. She should be all over the media highlighting how loans to Black business went from 8% under Bush to 1.8% under Obama.
Where is Bob Brown? He was the highest serving Black in the Nixon administration and a personal confidant of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and former South African president Nelson Mandela. He should be all over the media discussing civil and voting rights; after all, he was at the table during these discussions in the 1960s.
Where is Bob Woodson? He worked with former congressman Jack Kemp when he was secretary of HUD for former president George H.W. Bush. He should be all over the media talking about Ferguson and Baltimore since he works in inner city communities all across the country with stunning success.
Where is Shannon Reeves? He’s a former RNC staffer, former congressional candidate, lifetime member of the NAACP and a former board member, and finishing his PhD in political statistics. He should be all over the media talking about voting and civil rights. He also should be working within the party on data metrics for the Black community.
These are just a few people that come to mind immediately. So to my Republican friends, I am quite tired of you telling me that you can’t find or don’t know any Blacks you can hire.
To Republicans who are paid to do communications within various party entities listed above, if you can’t get “real” Black surrogates in various media forums; simply man-up and resign because you are not up to the job.
Republicans will not win next year’s presidential election without getting more than the usual 9% of the Black vote. Blacks are totally disillusioned with Obama and the Democrats; but unfortunately Republicans have continued to ignore the Black community.
I have presented Republicans many opportunities to speak directly to the Black community via radio, TV, and newspapers; but their all white staffers continue to see no value in engaging with the Black community; and unfortunately, many of the few Black staffers feel the same way.
Do Republicans not understand how out of touch they look showing up at a Black church with an all-white staff or showing up at the National Urban League’s annual conference with not one Black on staff?
I’ve said it once and I will say it a thousand times, how can you seek to be president of the United States and not have any Blacks on your staff? How is it even remotely fathomable in the 21st century for me to have to continue to write about the lack of diversity within the Republican Party?
But just as distressing is the silence of Black Republicans who are too afraid to voice publically what they constantly voice to me privately. What exactly are they afraid of? Losing their low level job? Or not being patted on the head and told “that’er boy?”
I want to win the elections next year and if I have to continue to criticize my party until they heed my advice; then look for more columns like this. When will Republicans learn that they can’t win elections by only appealing to white voters? Mathematically it is not possible.
But at the same time, don’t just go out there and hire a couple of Black twenty year olds who don’t have the necessary experience or institutional knowledge to know who the relevant Black Republicans are. Most party leaders and Black staffer have no idea who the people I listed above are.
Republicans should be embarrassed that they have to be chided into doing what’s in their own best interest. But Black Republicans should also be embarrassed for being so silent and invisible on this issue.
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. Visit his website at: www.raynardjackson.com.