Archive for Republicans

17 Highlights from the New Yorker’s Profile on President Obama

Posted in Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, President Barack Obama with tags , , , , , on January 20, 2014 by Gary Johnson


By Gary A. Johnson

The Washington has an article written by Zachary Goldfarb detailing the highlights from President Obama’s lengthy (18 web pages) interviews with New Yorker magazine editor David Remnick.  The interviews cover a number of different topics.  If you are a supporter of the President, you definitely want to read these series of interviews.

I find the President to be consistent if you are honest in your assessment of him.  By that I mean, if you accept that Barack Obama is a politician first, and you realize what politicians say and do, then you are not likely to be shocked or surprised by what you read.

That being said, here are a few comments by the President that we thought were worth highlighting:

  • President Obama acknowledges that the color of his skin might have affect how some Americans perceive his presidency, but he doesn’t think it has a major overall effect one way or the other. “There’s no doubt that there’s some folks who just really dislike me because they don’t like the idea of a black President,” he said. “Now, the flip side of it is there are some black folks and maybe some white folks who really like me and give me the benefit of the doubt precisely because I’m a black President.”

This is an interesting comment.  The President thinks that the color of his skin “might” affect how some Americans perceive him.  “Might?”  Race is always a factor.  Another factor why some Americans may have soured on President Obama is that he’s been in office for almost 6 years and for many Americans, especially, Black Americans, they have not seen any significant improvement in the areas of creating jobs, reducing unemployment and affordable healthcare and the environment.  It’s not like the President can wave a magic wand and make these things disappear.  There is a complicated process called our system of government that has not been very cooperative with this President.  I’ll just leave it at that.

The President in my view has a trust issue.  Look no further than the incidents with the NSA, IRS and the Affordable Healthcare Act aka “Obamacare,”  Iran, Afghanistan, Syria, etc.  Barack Obama has been our Black President for over 5 years.  People have had plenty of time to give him the benefit of the doubt or sour on him.  Sure, there are some people that criticize him because he is Black and others who blindly support because he’s black.  There are also people who have a problem with the President making speech after speech after speech telling Americans that they can keep their doctor and their current health insurance, only to find out that was not true.  POTUS has been getting some bad advice on a number of high profile issues.

President Obama’s approval rating among all voters is 39 percent and his disapproval rating is 53 percent, according to a Gallup Poll conducted Jan. 14 to 16.  In the 2012 presidential election, Republican candidate Mitt Romney won 59 percent of the white vote, compared with Obama’s 39 percent, according to exit polling by a consortium of major news outlets.  President Obama won 43 percent of the white vote in 2008 against 55 percent for opponent John McCain.

  • The President said he is most concerned about the impact of drug laws on minorities and the poor.  “Middle-class kids don’t get locked up for smoking pot, and poor kids do,” he said. “And African-American kids and Latino kids are more likely to be poor and less likely to have the resources and the support to avoid unduly harsh penalties.” He added that he supports Colorado and Washington’s efforts to “go forward” with their efforts at legalization and decriminalization.
  • The President said he does not regard the leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden as comparable to the Pentagon Papers or other leaks vindicated by history.  Remnick writes: “The leaks, he said, had ‘put people at risk’ but revealed nothing illegal. And though the leaks raised ‘legitimate policy questions’ about N.S.A. operations, ‘the issue then is: Is the only way to do that by giving some twenty-nine-year-old free rein to basically dump a mountain of information, much of which is definitely legal, definitely necessary for national security, and should properly be classified?’”

President Obama said that even the greatest presidents — like Abraham Lincoln — had to operate in the currents of history. Remnick concludes the story with President Obama saying, “I just wanted to add one thing to that business about the great-man theory of history. The President of the United States cannot remake our society, and that’s probably a good thing.” Obama then adds, “Not ‘probably’. It’s definitely a good thing.”

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Bold Predictions for 2014

Posted in African Americans, Barack Obama, Black America, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Guest Columnists, President Barack Obama with tags , , , on January 7, 2014 by Gary Johnson

Raynard Jackson 2013 By Raynard Jackson

Now that a 2014 has come, I have decided to pull out my trusted crystal ball and give you some of my predictions for the year.

I think the biggest thing to watch is on the political front.  This year we will have congressional elections for the House and Senate.  Republicans will keep the House.  Even if Republicans have a total meltdown, they will still keep the House. But their margins may shrink (currently the Republicans hold a 17-vote margin over the Democrats).  The way congressional districts have been gerrymandered , that virtually guarantees minimum change in the composition of the House.

Republicans have a better than even chance to take over the Senate if they nominate the best conservative candidate that is “electable.”  The GOP should be able to pick up seats in Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina and West Virginia.  Republicans need only a net of six seats to win the Senate.

The Black vote could be the margin of victory in states such as Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina. Each has Black voters who thoroughly turned off by the Democrats and Obama.  If these Republican candidates take their message to the Black community, Republicans will take over the Senate.

I know many of my Democratic friends will laugh at me and my Republican friends will continue to want to dismiss the Black vote; but I dare my Republican leaders to call my bluff if they really want to win the Senate.

As I often say, I have been Black most of my life and I know the sentiments of my community very well.  To prove my point, what was unthinkable just a month ago is going to happen more frequently going forward.  Democrats, especially Blacks, for the first time are publicly voicing their dissatisfaction with Obama.

A group of very liberal Blacks are about to file a lawsuit against Obama for enacting policies that have decreased the number of Black students attending HBCUs. Civil Rights leaders such as Congressman John Lewis have publicly threatened to go to war with Obama over the lack of Black judges being nominated.  On Black radio, there is huge vocalization of dissatisfaction with Obama. This was unimaginable only a few weeks ago.

Blacks turning away from Obama will be one of the top news stories of the year.  The question is are Republicans prepared to take advantage of this opening within the Black community?

Gun violence and mass shootings will continue, not because of the availability of guns; but  because of the continued breakdown in our moral fabric.  By 2016, I predict that morals and values will be in the top five issues of importance to voters.  This liberal drift towards pluralism and relativism will begin to reverse itself with a lot of help from within the Black community.    Republicans, are you listening?

Look for a major reduction in corporate support for many of the reality TV shows that have proliferated over the past several years.  These corporations will find it increasingly more difficult to justify the expenditure of their corporate dollars from a cost/benefit analysis.

I expect to see more suicides from those who played professional football and hockey.  The issue of trauma to the brain during violent sports is a lot worse than the public is being told.  I think over the next few years, pro football will become unrecognizable as we know it today.

There will be no comprehensive immigration reform. However,  as a compromise, there will be a path to legalization, but not citizenship.  Republicans who vote for citizenship will lose their next election and some will even be recalled before their next election (on the local level).

Journalism will continue its downward spiral towards the cult of personality.  Journalists will continue down the path of becoming bigger than the story they are supposed to be covering.  They will continue to put more emphasis on being famous versus being accurate.

My final prediction is that Obamacare will be a huge albatross around the necks of the Democrats for the next three years and will make their retaining the White House very problematic.  The issue will be are the Republicans prepared to address some the major problems facing America with policy solutions?

If the answer is yes, then Republicans will win the White House. If the answer is no, we can kiss the America we know goodbye.

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, You can also follow him on Twitter at raynard1223.

Are We Really Republican?

Posted in African Americans, Black Interests, Black Links, Black Men, Black Men In America, Guest Columnists, Politics with tags , , , on July 13, 2013 by Gary Johnson


By John Kirksey

One day in the year 1999 I was reading a trade publication for Funeral Directors and I happened across an advertisement that stated a particular organization was looking for a Funeral Director to run for the United States Congress. Being a new and ambitious Funeral Director I decided to go to the office on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC to enquire about the ad.

After what I thought was a fairly good interview, I was asked was I a Democrat or a Republican? I quickly responded, “I am a Democrat”.  The gentlemen who were interviewing me looked disappointed and informed me they were looking for a Republican. As I thought about it for a second, I then responded to them and said, “There are actually many issues in which I am in philosophical agreement with many Republicans.” As we concluded the meeting / interview I turned the idea over and over in my head. While on the subway ride home, thinking about all of the issues I have in common with the Republican Party, I began to wonder and think that surely, I am not the only Black person to agree with the Republicans on many issues that affect our community and this country.  As I thought about it, I found at least 10 issues where Black Americans are in general agreement with the Republican platform. I will review one issue each week or so, and I would be interested in reading your responses.

1.   Illegal immigration

Illegal Immigration affects the Black community in many ways. The most obvious is in looking at the unemployment figures as they pertain to Black workers. For example; In October 2008, amidst claims that one of its subsidiaries was knowingly hiring illegal immigrants, North Carolina poultry producer House of Raeford Farms initiated a systematic conversion of its workforce.

Following a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid that apprehended 300 undocumented workers at a Columbia Farms processing plant in Columbia, S.C., a spooked House of Raeford quietly began replacing immigrants with native-born labor at all of its plants. Less than a year later, House of Raeford’s flagship production line in Raeford, N.C., had been transformed, going from more than 80 percent Latino to 70 percent Black-American, according to a report by the Charlotte Observer.

Under President George W. Bush, showy workplace raids like the one that befell Raeford were standard.  And though the Obama administration has committed itself to dialing down the practice, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has occasionally found herself the bearer of bad news to immigration activists who expected the raids to end entirely under her watch.

Increasingly however, in the immediate aftermaths—in which dozens of eager Black-American job applicants lined up to fill vacancies—Democrats call into question a familiar refrain from the nation’s more vocal immigration proponents: Illegal immigrants do work American citizens won’t. Even former Mexican President Vicente Fox succumbed to the hype, infamously declaring in 2006 that Mexican immigrants perform the jobs that “not even blacks want to do.”  I have often wished people who made that statement would be honest and finish the statement by saying, “Illegal immigrants perform the jobs that Americans will not do for the low wages they are being offered”.  Finish the sentence please!

Four years later, with national unemployment hovering around 10 percent and black male unemployment at a staggering 17.6 percent, it seems even less likely that immigrants are filling only those jobs that Americans won’t deign to do. Just ask Delonta Spriggs, a 24-year-old black man profiled in a November Washington Post piece on joblessness, who pleaded, “Give me a chance to show that I can work. Just give me a chance.”

Spriggs has a difficult road ahead. In this recessed United States, competition for all work is dog-eat-dog. But that holds especially true for low-skilled jobs, jobs for which high school dropouts (like Spriggs) and reformed criminals (also like Spriggs) must now vie for against nearly 12 million illegal immigrants, 80 percent of whom are from Latin America. What’s more, it seems that, in many cases, the immigrants are winning. From 2007 to 2008, though Latino immigrants reported significant job losses, black unemployment, the worst in the nation, remained 3.5 points higher.

For their efforts, Black-Americans were paid a median household income of $32,000 in 2007. In the same year, the median household income for illegal immigrants was $37,000. Black Americans cannot afford to have amnesty granted to 12 million or more illegal immigrants, which is what the Democrats want to do.

Education is the new currency for Black people. A High School diploma will not make it anymore. Black people are going to have to go to Trade schools and pursue College degrees in fields that are in demand in order to sustain themselves economically. In most instances I think it is good to have both, for example: a skill such as Air Condition / Heating System repair as well as a degree in Engineering. I have personally known several Engineers and Lawyers who have lost their professional jobs and had to fall back on a skilled trade to sustain their families until they landed another “white collar” job.

Until my next article questioning whether we are ideologically Republican or not, I’m eager to read your responses.

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 (


Hypocrisy in the Democracy

Posted in African Americans, Black America, Black Interests, Black Men, Politics with tags , , , , on April 6, 2012 by Gary Johnson

By Raynard Jackson

Now that both political  parties nominee’s for president are set, I began reflecting on some of the TV ads I have seen and various statements candidates have made.  My conclusion about both parties?  There is hypocrisy in the democracy of the United States.

For example, Republicans claim to be against preference programs—affirmative action, minority set-asides, etc.  But, yet they support preference programs for veterans (those who served in the military).  The Republican rebuttal would be that they are only against preference programs based on race.  According to their thinking, preference programs based on race is “reverse” discrimination (I will deal with this idiotic line of reasoning in a future column).  That type of thinking is akin to saying I am only against racism if it’s against Blacks.  Either you support preference programs or you don’t!

By definition, all preference programs are necessarily discriminatory.  I never served in the military, therefore I do not qualify for any of the programs set up for veterans.  It’s discriminatory, but it’s been deemed by society as an acceptable form of discrimination.  Not all discrimination is necessarily bad.

Democrats, in general, claim they support providing a good education to everyone, especially those who are considered low income.  But, I find it amazing that most members of Congress send their children to private schools—because they have a choice—they can afford to pay for private schools for their kids.

President Obama had every opportunity to send his kids to a public school, but he chose to send them to one of the most elite private schools in the country—Sidwell Friends.  But Democrats don’t think “poor” parents have the ability, to do what’s in the best interest of their kids.  This is what former President George W. Bush called the “soft bigotry of low expectations.”

As this year’s presidential campaign heats up, listen carefully to what both candidates are saying and don’t be afraid to question their 30 second answers to complicated issues.  When they say they are going to cut the budget deficit, notice that they won’t tell you what programs they will cut or which taxes they will raise.  When they say America is an “exceptional” country, what does that mean?

Voters say they want less government, but then they don’t want “their” programs cut.  Voters say teachers should be paid more money, but they don’t want to pay higher taxes to pay for it.

We, as voters, are the democracy.  The politicians are merely temporary representatives of our desires.  If we want more government services, then we will have to pay more for them.  If we don’t like what’s going on in Congress, then vote them out, regardless of party.

An educated voter is the most dangerous person to any politician.  Most Americans are lazy when it comes to being informed about issues that impact their daily lives.  But, yet these same voters who claim they don’t have time to keep informed of the issues; know when Beyoncé has a baby or when Lady Gaga does something stupid!

We have to be what we are looking for.

Democracies work best with an informed, engaged people.  We must hold politicians accountable by forcing them to share their detailed vision for America with the voters.  Politicians should be a reflection of our engagement in society.  For us not to exercise this engagement, through voting, is very hypocritical and harmful to our democracy.

Our lack of engagement makes a mockery of our democracy because it all leads to hypocrisy.

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 Magazine, ExcellStyle Magazine (, Freedom’s Journal Magazine (, and U.S. Africa Magazine (

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