Black Republicans Running for Office Are Running From Race

Raynard Jackson, BET.com, October 19, 2009

Black Republicans running for various offices this election cycle seem to be running from race while running their races.

This is one of the most asinine things I’ve seen, but not at all unexpected. This is why Black Republicans have no credibility within their own communities.

These Black office seekers make comments that appall me and they clearly lack an understanding of how their words could be interpreted by people in the Black community.

Allen West, a retired Army colonel running against Democratic Congressman Ron Klein (FL-22nd), said, “Since (Democrats) have thrown out the race card, it has made me more appealing . . . because it shows the contrast of our principles–how different we are even though we both have permanent tans (referring to President Obama).” West continued, “A lot of people who don’t want to be part of Obama’s policies are being called racist. . .  Then they say, Hey, this guy, Colonel West–he’s Black and I support him. . . . It has nothing to do with race. . . . People don’t care about your color, they care about your character.”

But, Colonel West, {snip} let me make sure I understand you. White people are supporting you because you are Black so that you can speak out against the Black president, so the White people won’t have to (because they can’t call you a racist since you are Black). Oh, I get it now. You know we have a phrase for people like that and it begins with the word UNCLE!

Ryan Frazier is a 31-year-old city councilman in Colorado who is running for the U.S. Senate in the Republican primary. Frazier said that being Black is an asset. So when he opposes the president’s policies, no one can call him a racist. According to Frazier, “I don’t think they will be able to use that argument against me or engage in those tactics against me.” So, let me interpret this. Because of the skin color that you say doesn’t matter, you are able to criticize the president because of the very skin color that you say doesn’t matter? Ok, now I understand.

Michael Williams has served several terms as Texas Railroad Commissioner and is currently running for the U.S. Senate seat that current senator Kay Hutchinson is vacating to run for governor. He states that his Blackness will be an asset. According to an article, “one of the things it allows me to do . . . it allows me to speak very, very frankly about what I believe, and what I feel, and nobody is going to call me a racist.” Again, I am confused. His Blackness is only an asset when it comes to denigrating a Black president and his policies. According to Williams, other than giving him cover in criticizing the president, his race doesn’t exist. Wow, either he is color blind or just blind to people of color.

{snip}

Can you be against the president’s policies and not be a racist? Without question. But, I challenge these candidates to answer a few questions for me.

{snip}

Finally, can you tell me if you have any Blacks on your paid campaign staffs with hiring or decision-making authority? Are you spending any campaign money with Black vendors (office supplies, computer services, restaurants, caterers, etc)? Are there any Black banks in your area that you are utilizing?

{snip}

So, while you are running your race, please don’t continue to forget your race!

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