Archive for September, 2013

RNC Luncheon

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Men, Black Men In America, Politics with tags , , , , on September 24, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Purnell Headshot

By Purnell, Black Men In Guest Columnist


It opened with the “Pledge of Allegiance” followed by the singing of the “National Anthem” and “Lift Every Voice and Sing.” This was powerful patriotic material tastefully presented, well received and resulted in an electrifying effect upon the audience. There was even a sprinkling of “Amens” heard at the end of James Weldon Johnson’s famous song!

Formal luncheons are usually mundane affairs on the Capital Hill circuit, but a Commemorative Luncheon on August 26, 2013 dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the historic March On Washington in 1963 sponsored by the RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and hosted by Kristol Quarker, the African American Liaison Chairperson…proved to be an exception. It was a delightful, cordial affair attended by an over-flow audience of local as well as national Republican personalities. Present was a representative blend of age and racial groups connected by a belief in and a dedication to, the tenets of Republican philosophy.  Some invitees were seemingly longtime local members of the party, others were well known national Republicans, while quite a few appeared to be recent political converts eager to hear the ideas of those steeped in a political philosophy they were now being invited to explore. The new folks were highly pleased by what they heard and favorably impressed by the sincerity of the speeches delivered by the honored guests. If not there to adopt a more conservative alternative political philosophy, the guests had at least expressed enough interest in the GOP for the Republican hierarchy to extend an invite. This event was special in several ways and for several reasons, but what made the affair unusually important was that a cohesive African American group was willingly and publicly edging closer toward Republicanism.

The irony in all of this is that it was white abolitionists who founded the Republican Party in 1854…to end slavery. By 1860 the first Republican President of the United States had been elected: Abraham Lincoln, “The Great Emancipator.” True to their credo, the first Republican president issued the “Emancipation Proclamation” to free all slaves on January 1, 1865. Radical Republicans of the 39th, 40th and 41st U.S. Congresses finished the job of making former slaves full citizens of these United States by passing the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments between 1865 and 1870. Later in the South, following the “Compromise of 1876,” southern black men were the mainstay of the Republican Party at great personal risk. They maintained their allegiance to the GOP well into the 20th century despite the murderous onslaught of white racist extremists in Dixie and the crippling effects of prejudice in the North. American politics is uniformly silent on this heroic legacy, to the detriment of African Americans and to the regret of White Republicans of goodwill.

Interestingly enough, in the course of the observance held at the Republican National Committee’s headquarters on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., a common theme seemed to reoccur. This repeated message found expression in various ways coming from dissimilar speakers recounting experiences from different time periods and within the context of a variety of professional situations. The crux of the matter is the seeming inability of the GOP to attract and retain a significant number of African Americans. It seemed to defy logic that an obvious political oversight had been ignored for so long that it has become a glaring embarrassment to the GOP and regrettably generates the grounds for accusations of racism from GOP detractors. A nagging embarrassment for Republicans, the problem is continually bewildering for many black Republicans and exerts an especially inhibitory circumstance for the growing number of African Americans who are reconsidering their blind allegiance to the Democrats. The difficulty as articulated repeatedly was this: “How can the GOP gain traction in African American communities in the United States following decades of neglect and what is the most promising approach to accomplishing that task?” Each time that the concern was elaborated upon, the audience responded with generous applause followed by thoughtful silence. That pattern between the speakers and the luncheon guests…agree that there is a problem and call for a prompt, rational solution…characterized attempts to address a sensitive, seemingly incongruent truism in contemporary Republican Party affairs.

               However, it seems that the means to solve the GOP’s dilemma with regard to black voters in America is inherent in the general description of the problem itself: a dormant mutual political HISTORY of long standing. It is incumbent upon the Republicans to establish that within the shared history of blacks and “The Party of Lincoln” can be found common values, ideals and a conservative ethic. Despite all the appeals to reason and sentiment served up as rationales for reconnecting blacks with Republicans, the element of motivation is apparently lost. So how best can the African American community be convinced to re-embrace Republican political thought and initiatives? Perhaps the historical approach combined with a substantial dose of conservative philosophy would work. This idea seems to hold the most promise for a political reconciliation. But why use an historical approach?

Carved in stone above the entrance to the U.S. Archive, America’s repository for its national narrative, are the words, “What Is Past, Is Prologue,” meaning…what is past, is “first.” Not many Americans look up as they walk into the imposing entrance to this building, but the words are there. For the GOP, the words above the entrance to the Archive could be instructive. It’s a relatively simple proposition for the Republican Party…they have to tout the finest aspects of their past relationship with blacks with emphasis on areas of shared agreement and then proceed to point out areas of political and value-based commonality. Extend an invitation to blacks to join the GOP mid-term and 2016 efforts to regain the White House and the Senate. There will be vigorous opposition to that partnership by the Left and the secular liberals who dominate the media…that’s their job. Their wailing will have to simply be ignored.

Notice that as blacks became estranged from the GOP, America drifted into a wonderland existence where there is no right or wrong and where dissent is vilified. Take for instance education; it is well known that secondary and higher education has been dumbed-down to pathetic levels by the adoption of secularist’s educational philosophies. And further, how can it be that 2 or 3 dozen colleges and universities out of a total of some 4,100 in America are managing through research and development to maintain US technological superiority in the world. Even worse, among the 30 top industrialized nations in the world, the US educational attainment now ranks 25th or lower on virtually all measures. These circumstances highlight a pathetic national reality. Ironically though, there is an opening here for the GOP.

               Republicans must respectfully elevate American political discourse with reliable, verifiable information, presented in novel ways, intended to capture the attention of African Americans long enough to loosen the grip of the other party and begin to neutralize the bandwagon-effect of using super liberal celebrities as instruments of political persuasion. A value system to live by has to be clearly articulated. A common-sense approach to the national problems of today and a move toward God, family and country needs to be formulated. An overpowering government needs restraint. Moreover, a clarification of the Republican ideology for the black community is long overdue. The list of essential actions obviously goes on, but the idea of active engagement has relative merit and the GOP must decide upon a course of action aimed at embracing its African American brethren.

               Clearly, today’s GOP is not the “Party of Lincoln” as its detractors self-righteously take every opportunity to point out. Republicans have to counter that criticism by simply establishing that the GOP is a body of guiding principles which transcend individual personalities…and that those principles have remained viable and intact. Republicans have to proudly claim and advocate for the ideals and values that carried African Americans through their epic struggle for freedom from American chattel slavery. They have to rally around their philosophical body of thought and make it clear that they are as legitimate today as they were in 1854. Surely those cherished traditional ideals deserve to be revisited by old friends seeking common grounds.

Republicans Goin’ Black

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black Interests, Black Men, Politics, President Barack Obama with tags , , , , , on September 2, 2013 by Gary Johnson

William Reed

Business Exchange By William Reed

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus inherited a simple mission: stop inflaming racism and expand the voter base beyond White, male America. Like so many Republicans before him, Priebus repeatedly gets in his own way in his attempts to appeal to Blacks and other minority groups.

Over the months since the Democrats’ decisive electoral victories among Blacks, Hispanics and Asian Americans, officials at the RNC have talked a lot about engaging the country’s different and more diverse communities. At their Boston summer meeting session the Republicans declared that “engaging youth and building the party at the grassroots level is key” to the party’s successes toward 2016. The RNC’s latest effort to sell itself is a plan to showcase the diversity in the GOP ranks. The Rising Stars initiative highlights the next generation of Republicans: a group of activists, authors, elected officials and candidates who combat the GOP’s “old boy” image.

In its initiative, the RNC’s publicity professionals will be shining a spotlight on its younger, minority up-and-comers every three months. The first batch of Rising Stars includes T.W. Shannon, Oklahoma’s first African-American Speaker of the House and a protégé of former Rep. J.C. Watts. The RNC plans to thrust Black Republicans like Shannon into the limelight.

To grow and expand the party among Blacks, the GOP should remember that “it’s all about the economy.”  Despite woeful, to no, economic gains under Democratic political leadership, African Americans have allowed themselves, and their issues, to be dumbed down to accept mediocre governance. The last 40 years, the Black vote has gone so overwhelmingly for Democrats that the GOP has never invested much effort in trying to capture it. In what Priebus says is “an unprecedented effort”, the RNC is putting money and muscle into getting more African Americans to vote Republican. The RNC just hired 150 field staffers “to help court new voters.”

Throughout the spring and summer of 2013, Priebus and a core group of Republicans, lurched from convention-to-convention in a kind of “rock star” procession seeking “grip-and-grin” photo-ops with notable Blacks. What he needs to do now is move out of the picture, replacing himself with strategic “outreach” professionals and techniques “to effectively spread the word” specifically, among African Americans.

Some say Preibus should spend his money elsewhere and think that the Republican Party faces an impossible task adding Blacks to their ranks. With targeted efforts, the RNC can easily capture 30 percent of the Black vote by 2016. Party leaders can’t second guess themselves and they must continue to provide the resources necessary for the outreach to be successful. The Republicans have to deliver messages among African Americans that explain to them why the GOP’s world view is in their best interest.

The Republicans need to project images and an agenda that Blacks can relate to. In order to be effective, the party needs to provide the Black outreach team the budget and autonomy they to need to set up networks that allow them to consistently engage African Americans through their media, about their issues. In addition to the field representatives Priebus announced in Boston, the RNC headquarters outreach team includes Amani Council, director of the RNC’s African-American Communications, Kristal Quarker-Hartsfield, who heads up the political arm; and Raffi Williams, whose focus is the youth vote.

Priebus says the RNC expects the staffers they recently hired to live and work in minority communities and pitch Republican values. Between the headquarters’ crew and field representatives, Republicans should be putting forth issues that Blacks truly care about, and through new technology and local news outlets to “meet them [Blacks] where they are.”

Republicans can take a page from companies that target and develop the African-American consumer market. It’s time Priebus & Company allow their “Black outreach” team the full reign they need to effectively sell the Republican message, convene conferences, and be a resource on Republican ideals, and assemble and conduct political education among African Americans that touts: strong families, faith in God, personal responsibility and equal economic opportunities.

William Reed is publisher of “Who’s Who in Black Corporate America” and available for projects via the


Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Ramey Commentaries with tags , on September 1, 2013 by Gary Johnson


By Mike Ramey

If you kill him in the womb, you won’t have to bother at all.

But, bring him into the world to do the ‘real’ job;

Put him in braids and pigtails by two or three;

IF not married Teach him nothing about Mama’s or Daddy’s lack of sexual responsibility,

IF divorced Tell him his Daddy ain’t nothing (cause Mama will NOT allow him around)–for “You can get your Child Support girl”; Let the courts keep Daddy away, while Mama lies…and ‘hangs’ with her friends and blames…

THIS is the way to destroy–a Black Boy.

If the TV commercials, iPods and iPhones, don’t warp his brain;

Fear not, for some…Mama and Boyfriend are seldom at home; let ESPN raise him!

By third or fourth grade, the system has it made–off him in the shade,

Pumping him full of Ritalin: ADHD, Bipolar, ‘crazy checks’ and mental slavery;

Misteach him about his worth–rewrite Black history: and the ‘superiority’ myth of Black girls…while Pastors are too busy planning ‘yet’ another ‘church’ holiday, doing nothing for Fathers to come home…THIS is the way to destroy–a Black Boy.

Of course…You can and do keep him from church or Bible, Jesus Christ is a ‘white man’s’ tool…don’t need it; Tell him about JW’s, Islam, Mormonism, Hinduism, TM and Yoga! Don’t teach him about right and wrong, or the cop on the beat;

When he’s hauled to juvenile, let him frown and ‘mean mug’; look down and blame

To your guilt…someone else? The social worker, the cop, the court…never you?

Oprah, 50, your soros or fraternity…or the Lodge, your boat trips?

THIS is the way to destroy–a Black Boy.

The preacher can preach, but can’t teach…what Mama and/or Daddy

Should have done at home, by getting married FIRST and cohabiting fast;

But now the committal is past, the shovel of dirt is the last.

Face down in the street…drugs and gun in hand.

And on the East side of town…another male child is born.

The cycle starts again…full of worldliness and sin…instead of joy;

Much to the Devil’s grin.

THIS is the way to destroy–a Black Boy.

AND…look how successful ‘the plan’ has worked!

–©Mike Ramey

Labor Day Weekend, 2013


Cornel West: MLK 50 Was ‘Coronation of Bonafide House Negro of Obama Plantation

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men In America with tags , , , on September 1, 2013 by Gary Johnson

Cornel West 2

On the “Smiley and West” radio show on August 30, 2013, Dr. Cornel West issued a blistering commentary about the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington along with harsh criticism for Rev. Al Sharpton and Dr. Michael Eric Dyson.   Dr. West said:

“Brother Martin himself, I think, would’ve been turning over in his grave,” West said of the event. “[King would have wanted] people to talk about Wall Street criminality, he wants people to talk about war crimes, or drones dropping bombs on innocent people,” he asserted.

“Instead,” he lamented, “we saw the coronation of the bonafide house negro of the Barack Obama plantation, our dear brother Al Sharpton.” West then declared that Sharpton’s decline was “supported by [MSNBC analyst] Michael Dyson and others who’ve prostituted themselves in a very ugly and vicious way.”

Further, West said, the event was unremarkable because black leaders are too fearful to speak out against the nation’s first black president. “Our leadership now is so sold out,” he said. “It’s so bought out. It’s so deferential. It is so subservient that I think Martin Luther King Jr. would just shed tears and turn over in his grave.”


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