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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Why am I the only black person at republican meetings? I have the answer!

For as long as I can remember the Republican Party has been carrying a monkey on its back, and that monkey’s name is Racist. For the purpose of brevity, I will not rehash the account of the civil rights movement and the pivotal role the Republican Party played in its success. I am of the opinion that if it weren’t for Republicans, I might be writing this article from a cotton field right now. In any case, the history speaks for itself and if anyone wants to go do the research and learn why Black Americans owe a debt of gratitude to conservatives, I refer you to an article titled, “History of the Republican Party” written by Sean (only his first name is listed).

The purpose of this article is not to analyze history; better historians than me have already done that. Rather, my purpose is to offer some perspective on the way things are today from the point of view of an outsider (for those of you who don’t know, I was born in Jamaica). Besides, the Republican Party is not going to win over Black Americans by an appeal to history. We must change the worldview of Black Americans before any appeal to history can be fruitful,

As I see it, here’s the problem:

Let me explain by way of an analogy. There is a room with dirty floors and in that room there is a black person sweeping. A Democrat (perhaps the owner of the building) walks in, sees this poor black man sweeping and immediately takes pity on him. The democrat then proceeds to take away the broom from the man and says, “You don’t have to do that, here is twenty dollars, go home and I will send you one hundred dollars every month so that you don’t have to sweep these dirty floors any more. The democrat then walks away, and as the black man is preparing to go home, a conservative walks in. The conservative sees the dirty floor, does not take pity on the man, and asks if he would sweep the floor for twenty dollars.

If you happen to be a conservative, you can see how from the perspective of the black man, one pathway appears to be easier than the other. You can also imagine how the democrat could be perceived as being compassionate and the conservative as being indifferent. You throw in a lifetime of people telling him to be suspicious of white people -- and the journey from indifferent to racist becomes a very short one. It is not fair; believe me I know, but this is the hand we have been dealt. For being a black conservative, I am often accused of being brain washed and a victim of Stockholm syndrome. For those making that accusation, I’d just like to ask them: if thirty sheep are in the process of walking off a cliff and one of those sheep stops and asks why I should walk of this cliff, which is brainwashed; the thirty or the one?

Now that’s the problem! Here now is the solution:

Right of the bat, I’d like to make it clear that being more like democrats is not the solution. I believe that despite its original good intentions (although I would argue that this has morphed in a desire to buy votes), what the democratic party has done is rob the black man of his dignity-- not only by seeing him as an inferior being, incapable of helping himself, but also by relegating him to a life of servitude (now dependent on the democrat for his livelihood). My fellow conservatives, if we make this about votes or about growing the Republican Party, we will loose and we will be susceptible to saying and doing anything. I want my fellow black Americans to join the conservative party not because I want to win elections but because I care about my fellow black Americans. Within the conservative family their dignity and liberty will be preserved. I was at a republican convention in Flint last year and one of the speakers said, “We need to be a party that is inclusive.” I wanted to grab him and say, “Listen, we are inclusive.” In all of my dealings with the Republican Party, I have felt nothing but appreciated and welcomed.

Like I said before, conservatives can be perceived as being a bit callus and that is probably a valid criticism whenever it occurs. We conservatives, if we are going to help our fellow Americans who happen to be black, must let them know that as an American-- you are my brother, you are my sister, and I could not in good conscience deprive you of what is embodied in this broom; the opportunity for you to work so that you can eat. Moreover, we must explain that anyone who would deprive you of such a privilege may not have your best interest at heart. I guarantee you that if such an understanding can be reached between black Americans and conservatives, more fruitful communication will be possible, and appeals to history will not go unanswered.

Take this approach my fellow conservatives and we will find ourselves looking across at the black community as in the final scene in the movie Casablanca, and saying, “This could be the start of a beautiful friendship.”

Danian Michael,
Political Agenda.

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Indecision 09

Fourteen years ago when I was starting out my career as an engineer and working on my first project, one of the things I remember was four years of college was not offering me any comfort as I tried to solve problems. The obstacles I was trying to surmount on the job did not look anything like the problems I was presented with on a test. The way I dealt with my inexperience was to befriend the wisest engineer I could find. His name was Paul Growth, and he was the kind of person who was designed by God to solve engineering problems. Paul Growth was a natural leader and a no-nonsense man. He was 67 years old when I met him, and he had the ability to bring calm into any chaotic situation. Our clients loved him too; because they knew their money would be well spent. I miss Paul and wish he were still alive so that I could thank him for teaching me a very valuable lesson.

After working as an intern under Paul for a while, something was happening to me that I didn’t realize at the time. I was stagnating and I wasn’t learning how to stand on my own two feet. I would run to Paul every time I was confronted with a difficult decision, because I was just too afraid to fail. Paul had recognized this shortcoming in my development and decided to confront me with it. By the way, Paul held the third highest position in this firm and so it was highly inappropriate for me to be using this very brilliant man as if he was my personal problem solver! Anyway, Mr. Growth called me into his office one day and gave me a dressing down like you would not believe. At the time I thought he was the biggest jerk in the world. Who was this man to tell me I needed to develop a spine and make decisions once in a while? Who was Paul to tell me that I needed to stop being such a sissy and stand on my own two feet--that it was ok to make a mistake, that I needed to take a stand and rely on the things I had learned.

In retrospect, I wish President Obama were standing next to me when I was receiving that dressing down. The president, in my opinion, needs someone like a Paul Growth to tell him, “Stand up on your own two feet.” I have noticed that whenever our president is faced with a tough decision, he surrounds himself with a committee or forms a new one. The media would have us believe that he is just being thoughtful; I think he is just being inexperienced, and dangerously so. About the only thing he has shown any backbone for is his opposition to his fellow Americans who happen to be conservative. Perhaps we should convince the president that the Taliban in Afghanistan are a bunch of Republicans, maybe then he would make up his mind to finally send our troops the reinforcements they so desperately need. And what about another tough issue of the day, unemployment? Well, you guessed it…he’s just announced a “summit” in December on Creating Jobs.

President Obama simply will not pull the trigger on making difficult decisions, and I suspect it is because he never had to do it before. Prior to becoming president, he didn’t have to go out on a limb or face the prospect of making a tough decision with far-reaching implications. At least with me (as a young engineer), I was able to acknowledge my own ignorance and find someone with the knowledge and experience to guide me through. Our president’s “committees, advisors and summits (most of which are staged political events)” have led him to ignore the will of the majority of the American people who he was elected to serve. Most Americans don’t support his healthcare reform plans, they don’t support his plans to deal with “climate change” and most Americans don’t like his decision to spend like there is no tomorrow.

The United States president should be a seasoned person with a core of experience that will guide him or her through the darkness; someone who is consulted rather than someone who consults. May our president find within himself some testicular fortitude and the humility to listen to those who can guide him; we the American people.

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