TBTNEWS COMMENTARYCandidates Lack
Special Correspondent: Raynard Jackson
Once again, Republican presidential candidates are proving that they
are either truly colorblind or just blind to people of color. What is it that
all these declared Republican presidential candidates all have in common:
Jeb Bush, Ben
Carson, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee,
George Pataki, Rand Paul, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal and
The answer is none of them have any paid Black staffers or
consultants. Let me be perfectly clear when I say staffers or consultants; I am
referring to people who can get meetings on the calendar with the candidate,
call the candidate on his private cell phone, or get the candidate to show up
In other words, staffers or consultants who have power and influence
to make things happen. How can you run for president of the United States in the
21st century and have absolutely no diversity on your staff?
Lawdy, Lawdy, I can hear their responses now. We are focusing on Iowa
and New Hampshire; and then if we become the nominee we will look to hire Blacks
they will say. So, in their minds, a Black staffer or consultant can only
operate in states that have Blacks? Oh really?
To be a Black Republican, we must be able to operate in a White
environment as well as a Black environment simultaneously. Republicans have
absolutely no understanding of this dynamic. So, if you are dealing with limited
funds and you have to hire staffers or consultants; you are better off hiring a
Black simply because you get a twofer.
You can’t take a White staffer and put him in the Black community and
expect success because this staffer does not have an understanding of the
various nuances within the Black community. Conversely, you can send a Black to
deal with the White community if they have the right skill set.
For example, as a graduate of Oral Roberts University, I have deep
relationships within the White Evangelical community second to none; but I also
have deep personal ties with the heads of almost every major Black professional
organization in the country (journalists, accountants, lawyers, physicians,
So, just on the fiscal issue alone, there is an immediate return on
investment for having a policy of diversity at the highest levels of a
presidential campaign since you get a twofer by hiring the “right” type of
Black. The other issue is that of optics. You have yet to see a Black person get
off a plane or out of a car with any of these candidates. The sad part is the
candidate nor his staff is even cognizant of this situation.
The candidate is ultimately to blame for this; but it is also the
fault of their pollsters. I know most of the Republican pollsters very well, and
with the exception of one, they all tell Republicans to ignore the Black vote.
On several occasions I have nearly come to blows with these pollsters over this
issue. They are propagating this myth of the Hispanic voter and Republicans are
buying into it. Blacks far outnumber Hispanics in voting age population (VAP);
Blacks vote in far higher numbers than Hispanics; and Blacks have a far higher
turnout percentage than Hispanics.
Isn’t it amazing that some of these candidates are courting Hispanics
in Spanish; but refuse to speak to Blacks in a language that they understand!
Blacks understand the language of entrepreneurship. Blacks understand the
language of education. These are two issues that play to the Republican’s
strength; but yet they refuse to go into the Black community with this message.
Instead, they foolishly go into the Black community talking about prison reform
issues. H-E-L-L-O! These are not major issues within the Black community.
Message to Republicans: you can’t run on a platform to represent all
of America when America is not represented on your campaign staff. As the old
folks used to say, “Your actions speak so loud I can’t hear a damn thing you are
Jackson & Associates, LLC is a recognized political consulting,
government affairs, and PR firm based in Washington, DC. Visit www.raynardjackson.com)
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