By Raynard Jackson
Last week, the Republican National Committee, under the leadership of its chairman, Reince Priebus, did something that has never been done before in the history of the Republican Party. Their feat was so astonishing and yet few in the media is writing or talking about it. Priebus hosted a luncheon commemorating the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington.
The event accomplished something that no other March on Washington event was able to achieve. Sharpton’s event was a joke and an embarrassment. The King’s family event was a disappointment.
Republicans had better start learning how to toot their own horn. This has been the party’s biggest Achilles’s heel in the recent past. Many Republicans are doing the right things; but no one ever hears about it.
The two major marches were not commemoration events, but rather Democratic Party events. They both desecrated the legacy of Dr. King by being politicized. I was thoroughly embarrassed. This was the one time that we should have all been able to lay partisan politics aside and focus on what makes America great—being one people out of many backgrounds.
Now juxtapose the Democratic showboating with the event Priebus put together. There were so many people who attended (325), that they had to have an overflow room for a third of them. Attendees were Black, White, Hispanic, Asian; Democrat, Republican; young, old; liberal, conservative. In other words, it was America. During this week of celebration, there was no other event that was bi-partisan, multi-racial, multi-cultural, and multi-generational. This was not a Republican event; but rather an event hosted by the Republicans.
Earlier this year, Priebus declared he wanted his staff to look like America; and when the first check that was promised for hiring minorities was presented to the Black community, it was stamped PAID IN FULL. A similar check was presented to the Hispanic and Asian communities; and again, they were stamped PAID IN FULL. Priebus’ political director, Chris McNulty, has hired Kristal Quarker Hartsfield to be National Director, African American Strategic Initiatives. She was also the MC for the program. McNulty has also hired Tiffany Watkins to be Northeast Regional Political Director.
The communications director, Sean Spicer has hired Raffi Williams to be Deputy Press Secretary. He was the point person for all media for this event. The RNC is finally beginning to look like America. And no one wants to give it credit.
The speakers at the GOP event included Priebus, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. He said his top priority was to revise Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act to restore the damage created by the Supreme Court. STOP THE PRESS!! Yes, a White Republican in a position of power cares about voting rights and the liberal media all of a sudden has laryngitis. This is the one takeaway that should have been given wall-to-wall coverage; but because Sensenbrenner is a White Republican, he will get no coverage.
Jimmy Kemp, head of the Jack Kemp foundation, spoke about the legacy of his father. Bob Woodson, head of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, spoke about culture and values. Bob Brown, former top Nixon aide and civil rights icon, alked about the need to come together as a country. Alveda King, niece of Dr. King, talked about her uncle’s legacy and her being a Republican.
About 40 percent of the audience was Democrats (many who worked for members of Congress). They wanted to attend the event because “they were interested in hearing what the Republican Party had to say about the March on Washington.” How historic is that? Blacks who are not Republican are open to hearing the Republican message. That is a major step forward for the Black community and, again, the liberal media has little to say.
(To watch this historic event, unfiltered, go to: http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/314725-1).
This event was the true embodiment of King’s dream—Americans coming together as one behind a common cause and purpose.
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, www.raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at raynard1223.