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11-24-07, 09:17 PM #1
Are black audiences ready for Republican candidates?
Interesting read.... BY BARBARA HOWARD What do you think about the fact that Republican candidates did not show up for debates in the black community?
“Why would the candidates go into a crowd where they’re probably going to be booed?”
That’s a question that GOP campaign advisers are asking, according to a source quoted by Perry Bacon, Jr. of The Washington Post.
He was referring to the decision by the leading Republican presidential candidates to skip a debate scheduled to air on PBS on Sept. 27 and hosted by Tavis Smiley on the campus of Morgan State University in Baltimore.
To debate or not to debate before a hostile black audience is the question faced by Republican presidential hopefuls Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Mitt Romney as their campaigns cite scheduling conflicts.
Their campaign advisers say, “No.’’
What would it gain them?
We all know that the audience will be extremely hostile.
How do we know this? For one, having listened to Tavis Smiley over the years, I have yet to hear him say anything positive about the Republican Party.
He hosts “The State of Black America,” which while providing hours of needed discussion on the condition of blacks by well-known and well-respected African- American speakers, seems to be a hate-fest on the Republican Party and especially President Bush.
Secondly, the same goes for almost every major gathering of black audiences, regardless of the initial reason for the gathering.
Take for instance, last week’s march for the Jena Six.
While the reason for the march was to deal with the obvious injustice meted down to the black high school students, the rally quickly became a referendum on Bush and the Republican Party with hours of vitriolic intonations of hate and mistrust.
Several speakers even blasted President Bush with conspiracy theories for holding a press conference on the same day, as if the dozens of media organizations covering the entire march, rally and speeches was not enough.
The irony of it all is that almost all of the officials in Jena (school principal, school superintendent, sheriff, district attorney, governor, etc.) responsible for the jailing and prosecution of these young black men were Democrats, as Levi Williams, general counsel for the Broward Republican Executive Committee, discovered when he called the Jena Supervisor of Elections. Williams was frustrated that the speeches turned from the Jena Six to an indictment of Bush.
So I ask you; Are black audiences ready to hear what Republican candidates have to say on the road to the White House?
I think not. I remember the cold reception that both President Reagan and then-candidate George W. Bush received from people attending NAACP- and Urban League- sponsored events.
Black voters have been told that the Republicans and George Bush stole the last two elections. They have been told that their votes don’t count as Republicans conspire to gain and keep control of the White House.
They have conveniently forgotten it was the Democratic Party that denied our civil rights with Jim Crow laws and segregation, including the right to vote.
Now they have been giving undying devotion to the Democratic Party for almost 50 years without question.
So are they ready for Republican candidates?
Maybe not, but the candidates need to be ready to face them, even though they will be vilified if they do and even more so if they don’t.
Even Republican leaders like former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, former Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman and former New York Rep. Jack Kemp think they need to go ask for the black vote.
The Republican Party has done a great job in civil rights, but a horrible job at making that fact known. Morgan State would be the place to start.
Otherwise, those of us who believe in the two-party system will continue to face an up-hill battle in convincing the masses that the Republicans can do just as good a job of protecting our civil rights as the Democrats have or better.
The Republican candidates need to do as Rep. John Lewis (now Democratic Congressman from Georgia, then a civil rights worker) and others did as they marched to Montgomery to register to vote, knowing that they would be beaten and maybe killed.
They need to press on. Otherwise, the black community will continue to “get played,” and the Republican Party will continue to be blamed.
Barbara Howard is president of Barbara Howard & Associates, a public relations, media and governmental relations firm in North Miami Beach. She can be reached at 305-940-6674 or BHoward@bhowardandassoc.comSeptember 11, 2001 - All gave some, some gave all. Never forget -- Never forgive.......... RIP Brothers and Sisters.
11-24-07, 09:27 PM #2PeterJasonMN Guest
She looks like Dennis Rodman.
11-24-07, 09:30 PM #31*girl Guest
11-24-07, 11:15 PM #4
Not a big Bush fan but I'm sure the man has better things to do than covertly involve himself in Jena. That's funny.
Democratic or Republican...big deal both parties have their own agenda which usually has little to do with the well being of the public.Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me
We are who we choose to be.
R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012
11-24-07, 11:26 PM #5Are black audiences ready for Republican candidates?
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