by Raynard Jackson
Several of my readers of have questioned why I am writing positive articles about my Republican Party. The simple answer is that they deserve it. In the past, I have been very critical of my party because they have ignored the black community, disrespected our current president with incendiary language, and strayed away from our core principles and values.
Since last November’s elections, my party has seemed to have reflected on what happened during last year’s elections and have been open to positive criticism on how to best learn from the past. So, it’s not so much that my writing has changed as the facts have changed.
Current party chair Reince Priebus has begun to change the makeup of the party by beginning to hire minorities throughout the Republican National Committee (RNC). My writings have reflected my support for some of these changes and a continued willingness to work with the party to help it get back on track.
People need to remember that Priebus and the RNC are not policymaking entities. Rather, they are responsible for the execution of the principles advocated by the members of the RNC board and GOP members of Congress. The Congressional side of this equation leaves a lot to be desired, but one person on the Congressional side who really understands this issue is House Majority Leader Eric Cantor.
Have you ever wondered what would be the best cooking oil to use considering that there are several brands to choose from on the store shelves? Whatever the brand, most of the cooking oils are loaded with fats. The problem is there is a misunderstanding about what is considered good fat verses bad fat.
The proof is in the mirror. When you eat unhealthy fats, you can expect a change in your appearance. The pounds will begin to add up and your body – if you over indulge to the point of becoming a glutton – will increase in size and your waistline will expand.
Certain fats can cause health problems. There are monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, trans fats, and saturated fats. To the layperson, it's hard to distinguish between good fats and bad fats. Even butter, which some believe has no fat in it at all, is in fact 100 percent fat.
Like giddy teenagers, Republican activists have fallen for another charming, personable and accomplished black conservative. Dr. Ben Carson is the newest object of their crush, which was born of a desperate need to attract more black men and women as high-profile standard-bearers.
You can't blame Republican loyalists for swooning over the doc, a renowned surgeon who rose from poverty to head pediatric neurosurgery at Baltimore's famed Johns Hopkins Hospital. If wooing voters of color were simply a matter of finding an attractive black face with an inspiring personal story and an impressive resume, Carson would be hard to beat.
But black voters tend to be more discerning than that. They have shown an unerring instinct for rejecting condescension and dismissing tokenism. There are many black Americans who admire Carson for his professional accomplishments (I'm one of them), but that admiration is unlikely to translate into votes.
The Memphis Branch of the NAACP's Freedom Fund Gala drew a crowd of supporters to the Grand Ball Room of the Memphis Cook Convention Center (March 20) for an annual event that brings out the best in Memphis.
Each year a keynote speaker tops off the evening with a poignant message that undergirds the message and mission of the NAACP. For the 37th gala, however, the keynote speaker graced the stage with poise, enthusiasm and zeal, and urged the audience to consider mentoring African-American children.
"We're only asking for an hour a week of your time. We're not asking you to become parents. We just need a little of your time," said Susan L. Taylor, a celebrated magazine columnist who rose through the ranks as a fashion and beauty editor, editorial director, and finally the editor in chief emeritus of Essence magazine.
In five months, we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. In 1963, the March was jointly called by the Civil Rights Movement's "Big Six" – A. Philip Randolph, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young, James Farmer and John Lewis.
At this point, it is unclear whether today's leaders will come together and rally around the theme of jobs and justice as leaders did on August 28, 1963.
Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III are planning a march in Washington. Bernice King has announced a commemoration of the "I Have a Dream" speech at the King Center in Atlanta to observe the 50th anniversary. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), Dr. King's old organization, will be holding its annual convention in the nation's capital the week of the anniversary and is considering holding an activity.
The winter months were relatively mild – not too frigid for Southerners like myself. Surprisingly, the birds are chirping, the pollen count is sure to rise, and the icky bugs are surfacing again.
Winter, it seems, is relative. The common denominator for us all is that being cooped up inside during a long winter without the sun's warm glow bathing our skin can lead to emotional discomfort and depression.
Researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health described this problem in 1984 as seasonal affective disorder, or SAD. It is a syndrome that causes people in cooler climates – where the nights are long and the days are short – to lapse into a state of depression until the return of spring and summer.