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The Republican Party has abandoned me

By Raynard Jackson
On November 12, 2012

  • Raynard Jackson

During the past year, as my columns have been syndicated to more outlets throughout the world, I have been asked by many leaders in the Republican Party why I am so critical of our party. The short answer is that I am very concerned about the direction my party is taking. It has increasingly become the party of old, White, balding males.
 To those I have had these conversations with, my response was quite pointed, "Stop questioning my motives and address the issues that I write about."
 Last week, John Sununu made another racially incendiary comment towards a prominent Black. First, he called President Obama "lazy" and now accuses Colin Powell of supporting Obama only because Obama is Black. Sununu is national co-chair for Romney's presidential campaign. What has been Romney's response to Sununu's rhetoric? Absolutely nothing. Whether Obama and Powell are Black is not the issue; Sununu's use of race-baiting language is unacceptable.
 Romney's refusal to distance himself from the likes of Sununu, Richard Mourdock, Todd Akin, or Sarah Palin is repulsive to me. We are supposed to be a party of principles. Does Romney want to be president so bad that he is willing to forfeit these principles in order to win an election?
 Fortunately, there are a few White Republicans willing to stand up to Sununu. Retired Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson told Ed Schultz on MSNBC, "Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists, and the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as Commander in Chief and President, and everything to do with the color of his skin, and that's despicable."
 It's too bad that Romney does not exemplify that same courage.
 I am a child of God first, then an American, and then a Republican. I will not check my Blackness at the door because I am a Republican. The language coming from Sununu and my party is counter to the founding principles of the party that I am a proud member of.
 For many years, I have approached the party and its supporters about underwriting programs to bring together Blacks who are Republican or lean Republican so we can weave them into every facet of the party structure. The answer is always, no, But, twice this year, some of these same people have approached me about funding for some election year tricks that they (White Republicans) have conjured up and simply need a Black face to execute the plan. So, the party and its funders will spend millions on negative initiatives within the Black community, but are not willing to spend a fraction of that amount on something substantive and positive. Interesting, to say the least.
 I joined the Republican Party upon graduating from Oral Roberts University because I believed in the principles the party espoused: lower taxes, especially for job creation for small businesses; equality of opportunity for all; a party based on Christian principles, to name a few.
 I was brought into the Republican Party by legendary Black Republicans who are responsible for me being where I am today. Some are still with us and some have moved on. These people are part of my political DNA and explain why I am the type of Republican that I am.
 Romney and all the other leaders of the party are too afraid of taking principled stands when it comes to Blacks and issues of race. They are too afraid of alienating the right wing of the party.
 I will not vote for Obama because he has totally insulted the Black community at every opportunity (I refer you to his speech before the Congressional Black Caucus last year as exhibit A); and I cannot vote for Romney because he has basically, with his silence, endorsed the behavior of the likes of Sununu, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock.
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his Web site, www.raynardjackson.com.


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