Archive for Civil Rights

Republicans Should Be Gay

Posted in Black America, Black Links, Black Men with tags , , , on May 13, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Raynard Jackson

Now that I have your attention, let’s talk.  Say what you will about the gay community, but this one thing is clear, “they are masters at communications!”

I make my living doing Public Relations, Crises Management, and Strategic Planning, so I know good public manipulation when I see it and the gay community, in this regards, should be emulated by the Republican Party.

Growing up in St. Louis, there was no such thing or word as being gay (yes, I am sure they existed, but they definitely were not known).  So, the gay community studied Blacks and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s and made a conscious decision to adopt—some would say hijack—the language of the Civil Rights community.

They went from gay rights to Civil Rights; from gay marriage to marriage equality.  Anyone that knows anything about PR, knows that marketing is all about language and communications.  Politics is the ultimate form of marketing.

You can ask a girl to have sex with you or you can ask her to make love to you.  Both ask the same thing; but the latter uses a more effective way to communicate your desires than the former.

Early on, gays knew that America was not going to support “gay” rights, but in light of the experience of the Black community; who could be against “Civil Rights” for gays?

But yet, gays never explained and the media never asked were their assertion of “rights” stemmed from.

A “right” indicates something you are entitled to—by birth, by God, by law, by social norms, etc.  Therefore, I would like my gay friends to explain to me the origin of their rights?  They have rights as an American citizen, but not because they are gay.  This is what you will not hear the gay community talk about because equal rights is not their real objective—that is a byproduct of their real goal.

Their real goal is to force society to “accept” their personal lifestyle choices—i.e., being gay, bisexual, transgendered, etc.  Civil Rights for Blacks was never about acceptance, but rather enforcement of the U.S. Constitution.  The Constitution had already guaranteed us the very rights we were fighting for—right to vote, right to live anywhere, right to due process, etc.  We were not seeking to create a special class of rights based on “choices” we volunteerarily made (we were born Black—we did not choose to be Black).  We did not choose to come to America nor did we choose to be slaves.

So, our Civil Rights movement was about enforcement of the rights we were already guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.  Therefore there can be no equating Blacks and Civil Rights with gays and special rights!

So, for Obama, Sharpton, the N.A.A.C.P, the Congressional Black Caucus to equate gay rights with Civil Rights should be an insult not only to the Black community; but to all who sacrificed for Blacks to gain the Civil Rights that Blacks were already due.

Former California U.S. Senator and linguist, S.I. Hayakawa once said, “meanings are in people, not in words.”  Republicans typically think simply because they are right on the issues, somehow the public will understand their positions.  They should learn to be more like the gay community—to understand how words can change the perception the public has on controversial issues.  Gays understood that Americans would not support gay marriage, but who can be against “marriage equality?”  What a brilliant PR move!

Republicans need to do a better job of educating the American people that they are not against gay people; they are against “special rights” for gays.

If Obama and the Democrats think gay rights is a Civil Right, then how can they at the same time say they will leave it up to the states to decide the issue?  Huh?  When are they going to introduce legislation in Congress that codifies gay rights as a Civil Right?

Everyone knows that the Democrats have no intention of introducing legislation because this is all an election year ploy!

Let me also help you with the media’s obsessive use of supposed polls that show that a majority of Americans “support” gay rights and gay marriage.  What the media and gays never tell you is that there are currently 35 states that define marriage as between one man and one woman in their state constitutions.  So, the polls are in direct contradiction to the facts on the ground.

This fact is a PR bonanza if the Republicans did a better job of communicating their positions to the public.  To my Republican friends, learn how the gays have used language to advance their cause—in other words, be gay!

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm.  He is also a contributing editor for Black Enterprise, ExcellStyle Magazine (, Freedom’s Journal Magazine (, and U.S. Africa Magazine (


The Trayvon Martin Tragedy

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Black Men In America, Trayvon Martin with tags , , , on March 24, 2012 by Gary Johnson

On February 26, 2012, Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, teenager was killed by a neighborhood watch member as he was walking to his father’s home in a multiracial gated community. The case has gained national attention, as George Zimmerman, the man who admitted to shooting and killing him, was not arrested or charged.  Zimmerman claimed he felt threatened and cited self-defense as the reason for shooting Martin, despite the fact that he was advised by the 911 police dispatcher not to pursue Martin.  The police investigation was botched beyond belief.  The Sanford, Florida police department allowed Zimmerman to leave with the murder weapon and presented his version of events to the media as fact.

In a few short weeks, the outrage surrounding the Trayvon Martin tragedy is proving to be larger than the outrage surrounding the Emmett Till tragedy.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Emmett Till tragedy, Emmett Till was a young black boy who was murdered in Mississippi in 1955 for reportedly whistling or flirting with a young white woman.  Emmett Till was 14-years old.  Several nights later, the woman’s husband and his half-brother arrived at Till’s great-uncle’s house where they took Till, transported him to a barn, beat him and gouged out one of his eyes, before shooting him through the head and disposing of his body in the Tallahatchie River with a 70-pound weight around his neck with barbed wire.  His body was discovered and retrieved from the river three days later.

Due to social media and a 24/7 immediate news cycle, this case is evolving at a rapid pace and has garnered world wide attention.  Martin’s death has stirred national outrage and protests around the country.  The U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and the FBI have opened an investigation into the case.

Trayvon’s parents have been amazingly focused and calm as they seek justice for their son.  Trayvon’s mother told a crowd in New York City that the effort to seek justice for Trayvon’s “was not a black and white thing, but a right and wrong thing.”  This young man’s murder is connecting with people of all races and economic backgrounds.

In early April 2012, George Zimmerman was arrested and charged with second degree manslaughter.  We we will post occasional commentaries and opinion pieces about this case.  If you want to stay up-to-date on this case we suggest you visit The Huffington Post’s Trayvon Martin Tragedy Page located at

Freedom Riders: Award Winning Film About Young People Who Changed History

Posted in Black America, Black Interests, Black Men with tags , , on May 4, 2011 by Gary Johnson

By Gary A. Johnson

I define the word “courage” as the willingness to act on what you believe to be true.  In 1961, black, white and Jewish young people boarded buses, trains and planes with the goal of challenging and dismantling Jim Crow laws.  These people exhibited courage.  There were students of other cultures involved in the movement.  Most of the students who became known as the Freedom Riders were in their late teens and twenties.  They signed up for bus rides through the southern part of this country knowing that they would be beaten and imprisoned and that they could ONLY react in a non-violent manner.

Think about our lives today.  Is there a call to action or circumstance that would compel you to put your life on the line?  If you were a teenager in 1961, do you think you would sign-up to be a Freedom Rider?  Could YOU get on that bus?

The movie “Freedom Riders” is the powerful harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. From May until November 1961.

From award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Wounded Knee, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, The Murder of Emmett Till), “Freedom Riders” features testimony from a fascinating cast of central characters: the Riders themselves, state and federal government officials, and journalists who witnessed the Rides firsthand.  The two-hour documentary is based on Raymond Arsenault’s book Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice.

“Freedom Riders” will premiere on the PBS show “American Experience” May 16th.  Be sure to watch it and encourage other people to watch it learn a piece of history.  Check your local TV stations for the correct time.

For a “sneak peak” at the documentary watch the video below.

We Remember Dr. King

Posted in Black America, Black Interests with tags , , on April 3, 2009 by Gary Johnson


On April 4, 1968, LIFE photographer Henry Groskinsky and writer Mike Silva, on assignment in Alabama, learned that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had been shot at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. They raced to the scene and there, incredibly, had unfettered access to the hotel grounds, Dr. King’s room, and the surrounding area. For reasons that have been lost in the intervening years, the photographs taken that night and the next day were never published.  Until now.

Click here to see rare photos of Dr. King and his family on our MLK, Jr. Page.

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