Earlier this week, the Republican National Committee (RNC) and Chairman Reince Priebus hosted a great 50th anniversary commemoration of the March on Washington. It was truly wonderful to see the best of what America stands for. In attendance were blacks, whites, hispanics, Asians, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, males and females. In other words, it was America.
As I sat there and listened to the various speakers during the program, it dawned on me just how diverse the crowd was. I was also reminded how there were many differences of opinions represented in the room, but for that moment in time, we all rallied around that which we could all agree on – that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the March on Washington, helped move America toward delivering on its promise of equality for all.
I was also reminded that not everyone in the civil rights community agreed with Dr. King's approach. Some within the movement wanted a more aggressive, militant approach to the movement – namely Malcolm X.
Malcolm X didn't like the idea of non-violence. His position was, if you strike him, he was going to strike you harder. Many in the movement didn't support the Montgomery, Ala. bus boycott or many of the sit-ins at various restaurants (Woolworth).
No one disagreed with the goals of the movement, but many had other views on how to best accomplish the goal of true equality in America. Even those who disagreed with Dr. King's methods, all made positive contributions to the goal of the movement, albeit in their own way.
This is the very reason why Dr. King and Malcolm X are equally revered, especially within the black community. They had vastly different approaches, but both made positive contributions to the movement.
In a similar vein, you have some Black Republicans constantly criticizing Reince Priebus and what he is trying to do to get more blacks involved in our party. First the complaints were that the party had no blacks on staff; then it was that he hired the wrong blacks; then that the hires were just window dressing.
The biggest critic of Priebus' moves has been someone by the name of Crystal Simone Wright. I can criticize a member of my family, but I will not allow an outsider to do so. Wright has absolutely no Republican Party credentials whatsoever. She holds herself out to be a Republican strategist, but with no track record. I was recently given some information on her political background and noticed some interesting tidbits.
She registered to vote in Washington, D.C. on March 12, 2002. She last voted on April 23, 2013. In 2002 her party affiliation was Republican. During this 11-year-period, she was eligible to vote in 20 elections. During eight of those 20 elections, her party affiliation was Republican. During the other 12, her party affiliation was no party affiliation or Democratic Party. As recently as 2010, she was registered and voted as a Democrat. This means that during this 11-year period she was only affiliated with and voted Republican 40 percent of the time. Based on the numbers, she is a 60 percent Democrat or unaffiliated. So, I guess that should explain her giving money to recent senate candidates like former Florida Democratic Congressman, Kendrick Meek (one of the most liberal members to serve in Congress).
What is most amazing about this so-called Republican operative is that she constantly criticizes the party and Priebus specifically; but yet I have learned through two media sources that she has met privately with people in the RNC begging them to give her a consulting contract to help the party with the black community. The last meeting took place last month. She was totally and thoroughly rebuffed by the party, according to my sources.
So, Ralph Abernathy, er, I mean Crystal Simone Wright, how can the party be as bad as you say; but yet you want to make a living helping the very party that you claim doesn't care about people like you?
Lord knows I have been a very harsh critic of my party over the past few years, but unlike Wright, I have constructively engaged with the party in order to be part of the solution and not perpetuate the problem.
As with Dr. King and Malcolm X, they disagreed with each other's approach, but yet each made positive contribution to the cause. Wright was too busy trying to get a consulting contract to pay much attention to their example of peaceful coexistence.
So, my message to Wright can best be conveyed through the immortal words of Jack Nicholson in the movie, "A Few Good Men:" — "I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it! I'd rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to!"
In the end, Wright is wrong simply because she can't handle the truth.
(Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. Reached him via www.raynardjackson.com. Follow him on Twitter at raynard1223.)