Impending train wreck

Ever hear of a goal that, while sounding worthy in its intent, is likely destined to become the most epic of all train wrecks???  I hope my gut instincts is wrong on this one, but I think the locomotive has already set course for failure.

According to a release from the Detroit Free Press, Senator Rand Paul will be in Detroit on December 6 to open up what’s referred to as their “African-American Engagement Office“.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Rand Paul will be opening an Republican Party outreach office in Detroit while visiting the city next month to speak to the Detroit Economic Club.

Paul’s political action committee announced earlier this week that the Republican from Kentucky — who is widely considered a potential presidential candidate in 2016 — would speak to the club Dec. 6 and <b>“unveil his new legislative proposal to remove bankrupt Detroit and other economically blighted areas from poverty and the shackles of big government.”</b>

*emphasis mine

Now, for a bit of background on Detroit, this is the city that the GOP and it’s followers have continuously lambasted and ridiculed non-stop over its failure and such.  The GOP governor actually installed an emergency manager there after declaring Detroit in fiscal trouble.  That emergency manager, Kevin Orr, has created issues of his own by blasting union workers and pushing the city into bankruptcy.  Under the latter, his goal is to gut pensions of those who have already put in the work with the promise of their retirement.  Now, he’s trying to cut the promise after the work has been done.  One incident of note, Detroit had an intentional power outage on September 11th because the manager’s people wanted to “send a strong message”.

Now, the GOP wants to add Sen. Rand Paul to that mix.  The very same Sen. Rand Paul that gave a speech before students at Howard University that didn’t quite go as he expected.  This is the very same Sen. Rand Paul who is already known to have a history with campaigning against the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Putting this mixture of merry Republicans together can’t do any harm, right?  😆  😆

Now, I understand the need for the GOP to reach out to Black Americans and other minorities.  There’s a right way and a wrong way to go about accomplishing this.

Right way:  Actively listen to concerns of Black Americans from all walks of life.  That includes the young, the old, the rich, the poor, the conservative, the liberal, the well-educated, and the uneducated.

Wrong way:  Speechify to Blacks with the context that we’re all lazy and on welfare or that we’re all criminals or on drugs.

I sincerely hope this does not turn out as I expect it to, but based on the players involved, the outcome will look something similar to the end of the movie Silver Streak.  For me to take Republicans seriously in any attempted outreach, there are a few markers that need to be hit.

  1. Quit trying to re-write history in regards to the history of race and racism in this country.  The internet has made it much harder to revise history nowadays.  Own up to your past as both the Republican Party and as Conservatives.  A hundred and fifty years ago, the two were not mutually exclusive.
  2. Quit talking AT Blacks and other minorities and actually talk WITH us.  Holding a conversation requires both talking and active listening.  If you are not actively listening to my issues, how are you going to substantially address them at any point?
  3. Quit broad brushing Black Americans and other minority groups as though we are a monolithic entity.  There are 1% Blacks just as there are Blacks on welfare.  Although our populations are different, the Black population mirrors the White American population in that we have representation in every income class, criminal class, and any other class you wish to compare.

I could go on and on, but I think that kinda drives home the basic point of simply listening to what we’re saying and quit stereotyping us.  Black Americans know the first Blacks elected to Congress were Republicans.  They were L-i-b-e-r-a-l Republicans in the Deep South (of all places) who were elected with the help of Northern Liberal Republicans against the wishes of Conservative Southern Democrats.  What doesn’t get mentioned much is that Conservative White Republicans pushed those Blacks out of the GOP using tactics such as the Lily White Movement.  The actions of future president Herbert Hoover after the Great Mississippi Flood of ’27 doesn’t help the GOP when it comes to race relations either.

I’m not asking for some massive apology or reparations.  I’m saying that a simple acknowledgement of past party f**k ups goes a long way towards mending fences for the future.  When you give the appearance that you don’t know your history or refuse to accept it, that only leads to one conclusion for those in the know.

“Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”–George Santayana from Reason in Common Sense

 

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One thought on “Impending train wreck

  1. Pingback: Republicans giving desperately needed sensitivity training | The Mind of Brosephus

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