Earlier this week, the Republican National Committee (RNC) and its 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.
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. Enough, already!
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.
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?
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 and CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his website, www.raynardjackson.com.