Thursday, December 18, 2014

Raynard Jackson - The Republican Party of Virginia and the Black Community

Raynard Jackson, a Republican political consultant, blast the Virginia Republican party, and other Republican state committees for failing to take the lead in engaging the African-American community.

via the New Pittsburgh Courier

Raynard Jackson is a Republican political consultant based in Washington, DC. 

"Unlike the Republican National Committee (RNC), our national party apparatus, most of the 50 state party committees are stuck in the 1960s when it comes to the Black community.  Exhibit A for this was the annual weekend gathering for the Republican Party of Virginia (RPV)  that took place two weeks ago in Dulles, Va., about 25 miles outside of Washington, D.C.  This is a gathering where all the powers that be from across the state gather to plot future strategies that will move the state party forward.

I used to be intimately involved in these annual gatherings, but over the years found them to be increasingly a waste of time. The state party would always invite me to participate or moderate a panel on “minority outreach.”  The panels always turned out to be more talk than action.  In the 90s, I was elected statewide to be national committeeman of the Young Republicans Federation of Virginia, the first and only Black to ever win this office.  In that position, I traveled the state talking to anyone who would listen about the imperative of getting more Blacks involved in our state party.  Suffice it to say that Virginia’s moniker of being the “cradle of the confederacy” is well deserved.

Despite the lack of interest by the Republic Party of Virginia in the Black community, Virginia has a long history of statewide elected officials who talked, lived, and breathed real diversity. We had governors such as Jim Gilmore, George Allen, Lt. Gov. John Hager, and Attorney General Mark Earley. They not only earned north of 25 percen7 the Black vote, they had paid Black campaign staffers; and had prominent Blacks throughout their administrations.  These Blacks were placed in decision-making positions and were not just window dressing."

Read complete article here

My view: The [State] Republican committees are likely the [number one] reason why GOP outreach goes no-where, year after year, despite the RNC's efforts. After one Chairman leaves, another comes in leaving GOP State committees unaccountable for their gross performances. There are a few exceptions, like in California, but for the most part most local State power-brokers in both the GOP and conservative base have no interest in reaching beyond their White base. They will only engage Blacks when they are up against a wall, like in Mississippi, in the case of Sen. Thad Cochran.

Truth be told, if GOP State committees were a company responsible for growing their brand, they'd all be fired by now.