Dear President Trump: It’s Time to Start Meeting with Real Black Republicans

I don’t know why I have become the repository for the frustrations among Black Republicans across the country, but I have. Hardly a day goes by when I don’t get calls from Black Republicans

who feel totally and thoroughly ignored not only by you and your fledgling administration, but also by the national party, as well.

I am a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist published in over 200 newspapers every week. Last year, I wrote several columns supporting you, when it wasn’t cool to do so. Last December, I had to deconstruct the liberal attacks on Senator Jeff Sessions and your aide Steve Bannon.

I tell you this simply as a way of saying that because of the 25-plus years that I have served this party, I think I have earned the right to say what I am about to say to you in this column.

Let me be clear, Mr. President, I want absolutely nothing from you or your administration other than success.

Since the election, you have met with far more black Democrats than you have black Republicans— it’s not even close. In your defense, you have never been active in the Republican Party, thus you have no basis for knowing many black Republicans. You know many more black Democrats, simply because you hung out in liberal cities like New York and Los Angeles.

Even your top black staffer is a Democrat with absolutely no institutional knowledge of the Republican Party’s relationship with the black community— past, present or future. So, their

natural inclination is to reach out to all of their Democratic friends for invitations to meet with you and to participate with you in last week’s Black History Month’s event.

Your direct interactions with the black community, for the most part, have been unmitigated disasters, especially, your meeting last year at the black church in Detroit and last week’s event at the White House. There are several major black churches in Detroit, led by black Republican pastors, that you could have attended, but your staff chose a church led by a left-leaning minister. Last week, you held a listening session at the White House in honor of Black History Month and you invited more black Democrats than black Republicans.

Mr. President, do you realize that you had Blacks serving on your own transition team, who were not invited to attend your event last week? How in the hell is that even possible?

Speaker Paul Ryan has a black chief of staff in his speaker’s office; this is the first time in the history of the country this has happened, and he was not there. Your remarks, at a minimum, should have acknowledged this historic appointment by Ryan, after all, isn’t that the whole purpose behind Black History Month?

Mr. President, you have at least four blacks on the executive committee of the RNC who have little to no engagement with you or your staff. This is totally bewildering to me. They are in effect part of the board of directors of the national party and no one around you seems to value or seek their input. Don’t you think they should have been invited to the White House last week?

This is what happens when you surround yourself with black Democrats; they have no idea who any of these people are. The only thing that your senior staffer is doing is marking “their” territory, ostentatiously making it clear that they are the gatekeeper to all things relative to the black community. That staff is failing you, Mr. Trump.

This weekend at “The Black Republican Trailblazer Awards Luncheon” I will honor Maxine Blake and Gerald Boyd, Sr., two black Republicans that you should have on speed dial. You should

also get to know John Sibley Butler, who is a major serial entrepreneur. You can find out more about this event at:

Oh, and by the way, Mr. President, the very party you now lead has tried to steal this event from me and has even filed a lawsuit against me to pressure me to walk away from the event I created. How is that for celebrating Black History Month? But I digress.

Far too often, Republicans hire blacks, who may be good, competent people, but are wrong for the job. Like you, I’m a scrapper and a counter puncher. I grew up around the Spinks family of boxing fame in St. Louis, Mo.

In all honesty, Mr. President, you have no blacks around you who are fighters— absolutely none.

I am a graduate of Oral Roberts University and one of the things Oral would always tell me was, “Go into every man’s world and meet them at the point of their need.”

When will you come into our world, Mr. President? A great place to start is by meeting with those I will be honoring this weekend.

Raynard Jackson is founder and chairman of Black Americans for a Better Future (BAFBF), a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more blacks involved in the Republican Party. BAFBF focuses on the Black entrepreneur. For more information about BAFBF, visit

Black Republican Surrogates Like Pastor Mark Burns Need a Permanent Timeout

— I am really getting fed up with the constant drumbeat of criticism of Donald Trump’s campaign, especially the criticism coming from Black Republicans. They seem to be willing to give President Obama, Hillary Clinton and our party’s leadership a pass, but when it comes to Trump, all of a sudden, they seem to have found an untapped reservoir of righteous indignation.

Yes, Trump has given his opponents plenty of reason and opportunity to criticize him, but in some ways Trump reminds me of NBA Hall of Famer Michael Jordan.

Anyone who followed Jordan’s career knows that he was not a good teammate. He was intensely critical of many of his teammates, especially when they made mistakes. Some people thought he was arrogant and sometimes even condescending to his teammates. Let’s just say he had an extremely healthy dose of his own self-worth.

But these same teammates that talked to the media, privately and anonymously, about Jordan were filled with effusive praise for His Royal Airness when it came to the number of championship rings he helped them to win.

So to my Never-Trumpers, in general, and the Black ones in particular, can you really make a philosophical and substantive argument that Hillary Clinton would be a better president than Trump;, especially when it comes to the Black community?

Hillary wants to give amnesty to those in the country illegally, but no one ever talks about the devastating negative impact of this policy or the effect of current immigration policies on the Black unemployment rate for low and under-skilled Blacks. Trump is the only candidate to make this argument during this whole election cycle.

Clinton wants to continue to relegate Blacks to non-performing schools versus allowing parents to take their tax dollars to whatever school they deem best for their child, even though Clinton, Obama, and most members of the Congressional Black Caucus opted for private schools for their kids. That’s not racist? Trump is a huge supporter of school choice.

These same Blacks are the ones who continue to ignorantly promote the notion that Republicans must and should speak before Democratic groups like the National Urban League, the NAACP, or the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).

This is extremely insulting to me as a fellow Black Republican, but it is far easier for them to complain about Trump rather than provide a group of Black Republicans for Trump to engage with. We don’t need the above liberal Democratic groups to validate our leaders or to prove that they are not racists.

Following their logic, White Republicans must speak before radical pro-homosexual groups like the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) in order to prove that Republicans are not homophobic, yet no one makes this argument.

It seems that only when it comes to the Black vote do Black Republicans demand that we pay homage to those who are part of the Democratic base in order to reach out to the Black community.

Memo to the Trump campaign and the GOP: You have to start working with Black Republicans who have significant political experience and institutional memory about the party if you want to move the Black community towards the Republican party in this and future election cycles.

If you don’t believe me or you don’t want to recognize my argument, then I simply submit to you the past two weeks of constant embarrassing media appearances by supposed Black surrogates from the Trump campaign and the Republican Party as exhibit A.

This is what happens when you want to hire people who you are “comfortable” with versus those who know what the hell they are doing.

Whenever a surrogate is getting more exposure than the principal (South Carolina preacher Mark Burns), there is a problem. Whenever a campaign has to explain away something a surrogate said or did, there is a problem. Whenever the media questions the party credentials or lack thereof of a surrogate, there is a problem.

The Republican Party needs to bring the Black Republican adults onto the scene or these media debacles will continue and we will most assuredly lose the presidential election.

No longer can the Republican Party hire Blacks simply for race insurance. This is about winning the “race” for the White House, not hiring simply because of race. In my columns, over the past four years, I have warned that we would come to this impasse.

But as opposed to embracing my message, the party was too busy attacking me and attempting to discredit me for “being too critical” of the party.

Maybe those Black Republicans who have the requisite experience and institutional memory should simply self-identify as a Black Democrat; then MAYBE the party will recognize them!

Raynard Jackson is founder and chairman of Black Americans for a Better Future (BAFBF), a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party. BAFBF focuses on the Black entrepreneur. For more information about BAFBF, visit You can follow Raynard on Twitter @Raynard1223.

Why are black Democrats more popular in the GOP than black Republicans

— If Black Republicans ever want to be taken seriously by the Black community, they have to stop accepting the silly ultimatum being offered by the Republican Party. Some in the party think Blacks have to choose between their community and the GOP. The proper thing to do is to be both Black and Republican. This isn’t an ‘either-or’ scenario; Black Republicans must represent their community and the GOP at the same time.

Some Black Republicans that appear on television must be so starved for money that they are willing to sell their souls for 30 pieces of silver. You can always make more money, but you can’t make more integrity.

Republicans obsessive love affair with hiring Black Democrats continues to come back to bite them in the butt. Back in February, ordained minister and reality TV villain Omarosa Manigault appeared on a segment on Fox News to bolster support for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. The former Clinton aide spent more time name-calling and obsessing over another guest’s cleavage than giving strong reasons why the Black community should vote for Trump.

Omarosa should have been barred from anything to do with the Trump campaign after this embarrassing interview. How can Blacks take this campaign seriously with surrogates like this?

Some will accuse me of taking one bad interview and going off the deep end. Oh really? Check out Roland Martin’s interview with Ashley Bell, a newly hired Black staffer at the RNC. The train wreck starts at 10:10. I cringed while watching this interview. This is what happens when you hire inexperienced people who make you feel comfortable, versus someone who is a bonified professional.

Need more proof? Okay. My good friend, former Congressman Jack Kingston from Georgia is also a Trump surrogate. Kingston is White. This interview is bordering on insanity and racism. I know Jack very well and he is neither, but when you speak of things which you have no knowledge of, like the Black community, this is what you get.

I have provided media training to some of the biggest names in business, politics, entertainment, and sports and have offered to do the same for the Republican Party, but of course, to no avail.

Some racially-tinged jokes and campaign antics that are funny to White folks are simply not funny to Blacks, and Diamond and Silk are prime examples. Diamond and Silk are two Black women, who are Internet sensations from North Carolina. They also support Trump. So, in usual Republican fashion, they have become “the flavor of the month.” They are Democrats and are now being flown across the country and being paid to “entertain” mostly White audiences.

Memo to White folks: “Blacks don’t think this is funny.” Diamond and Silk give us flashbacks of the minstrel shows of old.

Most Black Republicans complain in private, but don’t have the guts to complain publically. These are the Blacks that this party hires and promotes. You can’t complain about your opponent’s behavior and remain silent when one of your own behaves in a similar manner.

The only Black involved in the election cycle with any professionalism and credibility is Katrina Pierson, Trumps national spokesperson. The rest do not even meet the minimum requirement to be in the role they occupy. They provide nothing more than race insurance for the party (“We hired a few Blacks, therefore we can’t be racist.”).

None of them possess any institutional memory or knowledge of the Republican Party. None of these Blacks would be deemed qualified for similar positions in the private sector.

But these Blacks are simply a reflection of the organizations that hire them. The Republican Party has shown absolutely no interest in engaging with the Black community. As a matter of fact, I find it quite offensive that Trump would give remarkably strong speeches laying out a rationale for Blacks to vote for him, but doesn’t think enough of Blacks to show up in our community.

What Trump is doing is equivalent to a male going before a group of all males to deliver a speech about women’s issues. But Black Republicans are so politically bruised and battered that they are simply thrilled that Trump invokes the Black community’s name, regardless of the offensive manner in which it is done.

As long as the party continues to hire Blacks who think we “need” groups like the NAACP or the National Urban League to validate our existence as Black Republicans, we will continue to lose the Black vote.

Republican candidates and leaders need not speak before these groups to “prove” that they are not racist. They simply need to speak before Black Republican groups to prove that we are valued and a welcomed member of the party.

The bar has been set so low relative to engagement with the Black community that far too often Black Republicans heap praise on Republicans simply for “showing up” or “mentioning us as a group by name.” I find this bigotry of low expectations thoroughly repulsive and it is the fault of Black Republicans for accepting this treatment.

As I am fond of saying, “the best way to get attention in the Republican Party as a Black is to be a Black Democrat.”

Raynard Jackson is founder and chairman of Black Americans for a Better Future (BAFBF), a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party. BAFBF focuses on the Black entrepreneur. For more information about BAFBF, visit You can follow Raynard on Twitter @Raynard1223.

PHOTO CAPTION: Raynard Jackson says that the bar has been set so low relative to engagement with the Black community that far too often Black Republicans heap praise on Republicans simply for “showing up” or “mentioning us as a group by name.”

SEO KEYWORDS: Raynard Jackson, NNPA Newswire Columnist, Black Republicans, the Black vote, GOP, Ashley Bell, Omarosa Manigault, op-ed, commentary, 2016 presidential election

After the Justice Department’s report, where are the calls for Baltimore’s mayor to resign?

— On Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a scathing report on the state of the Baltimore City Police Department (BPD) as a part of its civil rights investigation following the death of Freddie Gray.

The report stated in part, “The Justice Department announced today that it found reasonable cause to believe that the Baltimore City Police Department (BPD) engages in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the First and Fourth Amendments of the Constitution as well as federal anti-discrimination laws. BPD makes stops, searches and arrests without the required justification; searches and arrests; uses excessive force; and retaliates against individuals for their constitutionally-protected expression. The pattern or practice results from systemic deficiencies that have persisted within BPD for many years and has exacerbated community distrust of the police, particularly in the African-American community. The city and the department have also entered into an agreement in principle to work together, with community input, to create a federal court-enforceable consent decree addressing the deficiencies found during the investigation.”

I have been stunned by the muted reaction by both the Black community and the media.

Let me remind you that at the time of Gray’s death last year, Baltimore had a Black mayor, a Black police chief, a Black prosecutor, a Black president of the city council, a Black congressman and an almost fifty percent Black police force.

Juxtapose that with the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., a few years ago. The Justice Department, led by then-Attorney General Eric Holder, went to Ferguson and did a similar investigation and found identical results to Baltimore. The Ferguson reports are very similar to the report issued about the Baltimore Police Department.

The media narrative about Ferguson was that the police force was racist. White cop kills unarmed Black man. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, Blacks make up roughly 70 percent of the population in Ferguson and more than 20 percent live in poverty. When Michael Brown was shot and killed in Ferguson, the mayor was White, there was only one Black on the six-member city council (.096 percent) and only three Blacks out of 53 policemen (5.6 percent) and was listed as the sixth most segregated city in the U.S.

The NAACP’s president and CEO, Cornell Brooks basically copied and pasted the statement he issued after the Ferguson reports and reused it for the Baltimore report.

The NAACP is “supposed” to be the nation’s premier civil rights organization, but time after time they have been shown to be huge hypocrites. Upon the Justice Department’s release of their damning report on Ferguson last year, Brooks said to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “the mayor needs to resign.”

Strangely enough, Brooks never called for the resignation of the Mayor of Baltimore Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who is a Black Democrat.

I am really trying hard to understand what is going on here. Ferguson and Baltimore were both run from top to bottom by Democrats, both cities had an unarmed Black male killed at the hands of their police and both cities erupted in violence after the incidents. The Justice Department came to the same conclusion about both cities: that the cities and their police forces were incompetently run and employed policemen who violated a plethora of federal and civil rights laws.

The only difference between the two cities comes down to race. Ferguson was run by all Whites and Baltimore was run by all Blacks.

So, if Ferguson was a “racial” issue, what do you call Baltimore? Why have our Black civil rights leaders and activists reacted differently to the Justice Department’s report on Baltimore’s police department?

Where are the cries for Rawlings-Blake to resign? She also serves as the secretary of the Democratic National Committee and president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. Why is she not being asked to resign from those positions?

Most of the violations listed by the Justice Department happened during her time as mayor. Is she not also a racist? Americans, in general, and Blacks specifically must be consistent in their calls for justice and equality, whether the mayor of a city is Black or White.

If they preside over a law-breaking, corrupt police department and allow that type of culture to fester, shouldn’t that elected official be forced out of office?

We, as Blacks, lose the moral high ground when we are not consistent in our quest to make America a better nation. Whites lose the moral high ground when they constantly try to minimize the role that race plays in our society. Both approaches are equally as wrong, but we both must strive to be equally right.

Raynard Jackson is founder and chairman of Black Americans for a Better Future (BAFBF), a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party. BAFBF focuses on the Black entrepreneur. For more information about BAFBF, visit You can follow Raynard on Twitter @Raynard1223.

Cleveland’s RNC was the whitest convention I’ve ever attended

— As I boarded my return flight to D.C. from last week’s Republican convention in Cleveland, Ohio, I began to reflect on what I saw and I began to ponder how I could put to paper my experiences in this column.

Out of nowhere, the words of Charles Dickens from his novel “A Tale of Two Cities,” popped into my head:

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

Once again the Republican Party should be thoroughly ashamed at having only about 18 and 50 Black and Hispanic delegates, respectively (less than five percent), at the convention; though the party has not released any official numbers.

This was by far the “Whitest” convention I have ever attended; but the party seems to care very little about this fact.

I attended several Latino sponsored breakfasts and luncheons with members of Congress or top aides from the Trump campaign as speakers. There were zero Black Republican hosted breakfasts or luncheons, but there was an evening party hosted by Black Republicans.

This again shows the weakness of Black Republicans within the party. This can’t be blamed on White folks in the party. This is an indictment of how little juice and foresight Blacks have within the party.

Under the current party leadership, I would prefer to have no Blacks on staff because the few they have are totally incapable of producing any results. So why waste the money to hire people who are totally incompetent?

But, then again, this is exactly the result the party wants. So they hire Blacks who have no connection to the Black community, or any interest in the Black community, or any understanding of strategic communications. Thus, they get the results they wanted all along—nothing. But since they hired a few Blacks, in the party’s mind, they can’t be called racist. I call this buying “race insurance.”

I had several well-known Blacks from sports, entertainment, Hollywood, and business interested in attending the convention,; but I decided not to bring them because the party had no interest in receiving them properly.

The last time I checked, I was not an employee of the RNC, but yet I had tons of media outlets calling me because they couldn’t get Black staffers to return their calls or help them resolve logistical issues they encountered at the convention, but yet they had time to hang out at several parties until the wee hours of the morning.

I arranged for many of the Black delegates to be interviewed by major media outlets, because the RNC staff proved yet again to be non-responsive to media inquiries. Black surrogates during the convention were almost non-existent and Republican party leaders continue to wonder why they get no traction in the Black community.

I challenge the RNC to produce clippings of all interviews of Black surrogates from last week. There was absolutely no media strategy leading into the convention, during the convention or post-convention. This is media relations 101 and the party failed the course miserably.

The Black staffers at the RNC are so incompetent that last month they sent out an e-mail to reporters bragging about the diversity of the delegates at this year’s convention, highlighting the whopping 18 total Black delegates out of a total of 2,472. I am not joking. This actually happened.

Do Black Republicans have no pride at all? I would be ashamed to be paid for a job and deliver nothing of any substance.

If there is to be a shift in Black loyalties within the body politic, it won’t be because of the RNC. The RNC has no interest and to be honest, no capacity to substantively engage with the Black community.

Any meaningful change in the participation rate of Blacks within the party will be forced upon the RNC from the outside.

If the RNC were run like a business, the whole staff would be summarily fired for total incompetence. The astonishing thing is that none of our party leadership even publically acknowledged the “Whiteness” of our convention.

Out of an arena capacity of approximately 20,000 people, you probably had fewer than 200 Blacks and Latinos, that includes delegates and spectators.

Trump has a window of about 30 days to address the issue of the Black voter. If he doesn’t, he will definitely have a more difficult path to victory come November.

It is truly the best of times and the worst of times for Black Republicans.

Raynard Jackson is founder and chairman of Black Americans for a Better Future (BAFBF), a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party. BAFBF focuses on the Black entrepreneur. For more information about BAFBF, visit You can follow Raynard on Twitter @Raynard1223.

This is why ESPN is the Republican Party of sports television

— I am quite fond of saying about Republicans when it comes to Blacks, “Even when they try to do the right thing, they do it the wrong way.”

In a similar manner, ESPN has become the Republican Party of TV and sports.

Last week they had their annual ESPYs awards show. This is their annual celebration of achievement in the world of sports.

They opened the show trying to do the right thing, but definitely did it the wrong way.

The event opened with four of the top NBA players speaking out against police brutality and gun violence. This was very moving to the extent that you had four of the biggest names in sports taking a public stance on a relevant, social issue, which is very rare for today’s athletes. The players were LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony.

If this was such a good thing, you might be asking, then why am I criticizing the event?

All four of the above players are Black. This issue of police brutality and gun violence is not a “Black” issue, it is an American issue. Whites are subjected to these issues as well. Good and bad cuts across race and class.

In 2015, the NBA was 74.4 percent Black, 23.3 percent White, 1.8 percent Latino, and .2 percent Asian, this was based on a survey by Richard Lapchick.

It would have made more sense for the ESPN to have players from each of these groups on stage talking about these issues, sending the unmistakable message that this is not just a Black issue, but rather a societal issue.

The optics of the display were odd and quite offensive to me.

ESPN is owned by The Walt Disney Company, one of the top pro-homosexual companies in the world. When they were aggressively promoting former player Jason Collins for coming out of the closet, they used the full panoply of races in their promotion of their homosexual agenda.

But when it came to police brutality and gun violence, they made it into a “Black” issue, not a societal issue like homosexuality.

A few days before the event, LeBron James reached out to the ESPY’s producer, Maura Mandt, with the idea, thus the plan was agreed to by all the suits at ESPN’s corporate office.

From my research, ESPN and the ESPYs seem to have no diversity in leadership in terms of decision-makers, the decision-makers all seem to be White liberals.

Maybe, just maybe, if they had people from diverse backgrounds in the decision-making loop someone would have pointed out the optics of LeBron’s idea and encouraged him to have a diverse group of players on stage with him.

Diversity is not just about race or gender, it’s also about worldview.

To their credit, ESPN has a very diverse workforce as far as race goes, but it is without question that an overwhelming amount of that diversity is racial, not ideological.

Most of their decision-makers and on-air talent are extremely liberal, which is totally in line with their corporate view. My friends who work for ESPN never dispute my conservative views in my private conversations with them, but they would never admit that they hold such views in public.

For some, expressing those views would be career suicide at worst or at best lead to a very public excoriation from peers and fair-weather friends alike.

Exhibit “A” in my argument is Chris Broussard. He is an analyst for ESPN who focuses on the NBA. He has been profiled in many media outlets about his Christian faith and his positive family life. He is another version of Steph Curry.

When Jason Collins came out as homosexual, Broussard responded, “If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, (but) adultery, fornication, premarital sex between heterosexuals…I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ,” Broussard said. “I would not characterize that person as a Christian, because I don’t think the Bible would characterize them as a Christian.”

His simple expression of his faith caused a backlash like I have never seen before. So, as long as you are for homosexuality, your thoughts are welcomed on ESPN, but if you don’t agree with it, you are silenced.

I applaud these athletes for trying to take a principled stand at the ESPYs, but I fault ESPN for not having the foresight to fully understand and appreciate the optics of having all Black athletes on stage.

Now, mind you, ESPN is supposed to be experts in optics, after all, they are the world leader in sports and entertainment. But, because they are surrounded by people who all look and think like each other, there was no one to point out the obvious racial connotation of these optics.

Like the Republican Party, they tried to do the right thing, but did it the wrong way.

Raynard Jackson is founder and chairman of Black Americans for a Better Future (BAFBF), a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party. BAFBF focuses on the Black entrepreneur. For more information about BAFBF, visit You can follow Raynard on Twitter @Raynard1223.

Trump, republican party confuse outreach efforts with pandering

— As long as the Republican Party continues to be dominated by the same ol’, same ol’ White male staffers, consultants, and aides, they will continue to alienate the Black community. As long as the Republican Party continues to “showcase” Blacks that have absolutely no connection to the Black community, have no understanding of communications, or no understanding of political strategy, i.e. Stacey Dash, they will continue to be rejected.

I discussed these issues in my column two weeks ago.

So, needless to say I was totally mortified at the comments of Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, as reported by Buzzfeed last week (one day after his removal from the campaign).

According to Buzzfeed, “Lewandowski was asked about the campaign’s failure to return phone calls from prospective volunteers, and also about Trump’s plans to win over minority voters. On the second point, Lewandowski said he made the decision that the campaign would not launch outreach initiatives “pandering” to specific ethnic groups, because Trump’s message was aimed broadly at the entire country, he argued.

If I hear one more Republican claim the Republican Party should not engage in “identity politics” or what they wrongly refer to as “pandering,” I am going to scream. This is one of the most idiotic notions I have ever heard and is a major reason the party has such a difficult time attracting Blacks and other minorities.

Let me first start by defining “identity politics.” IP is simply recognizing that various constituent or demographic groups exist and that they should be identified as such, and that a relevant strategy to target them based on their group profile should also be created.

Many Republicans think the world should be colorblind, that we are all Americans, and that all of our issues are the same. Well, adhering to this view, there should be no males or females, no Blacks or Whites, no unions or non-unions and no Christians or Muslims. We’re all just humans.

The Democrats go way overboard in the other direction where everything is separated into various groups. This totally dilutes what being American is all about.

But to simply recognize the differences within our country is just plain common sense, not un-American.

So, while Corey was denouncing “pandering,” the very next day Trump met with over nine hundred evangelicals. Is that not pandering? Oh, my bad, it’s only pandering when it involves Blacks or Hispanics. If it involves evangelicals, veterans, or the border patrol union, it’s called campaigning.

Memo to Republicans: if you don’t or can’t see that you have no Blacks on your staff and very few engaged with the party, then there is a problem. Either you are colorblind or simply blind to people of color. In either scenario, there is a huge problem.

What’s even more idiotic is to see many Black Republicans subscribe to this foolish colorblind notion, i.e., the aforementioned Stacey Dash. These are the type of Blacks that Republicans want to highlight all over the media, because they reinforce the party’s preconceived ignorance and apathy towards the Black community.

As one who makes his living from understanding the art of strategic communications and public relations, I have tried ad nauseam to enlighten Republicans on this issue, to no avail.

McDonalds’ and Cadillac advertise to Whites differently than they do to Blacks or Latinos, though they are selling the same product to everyone.

They will now use Hip-Hop music in their ads when trying to reach certain demographics versus classical music or use certain athletes/entertainers that resonate with a particular group.

Legendary singer, Barry Manilow, a 72 year-old, White Jew, is not used to sell Ciroc premium vodka for a reason; he is the wrong demographic. Diageo, the owner, has made rapper Sean “P. Diddy” Combs their brand ambassador because they are targeting the urban market, i.e., Black people.

In my world, this is called smart business. Combs has helped to increase Ciroc’s sales 50 fold; they went from 40,000 cases sold per year pre-Combs to over 2.1 million cases per year with Combs. This is what IP gets you in the private sector–profit! This would equate to winning national elections in the political arena.

The Republican’s approach to Ciroc would be to advertise to the whole country, despite the fact that urban Blacks and nightclubs buy most of this product.

Yes, we are all Americans, but we all have our own splash of uniqueness; which is good.

To take my Ciroc example a step further, Republicans would have hired a White brand ambassador (not Combs) to promote the product to the urban market because they don’t believe in “identity politics;” they are colorblind.

This is not a joke. Within the Republican Party, you have many Whites who think they know more about the Black community than someone from within the community.

Solomon said in Proverbs 4:7, “Wisdom is the principle thing, therefore get wisdom; and with all thy getting, get understanding.”

How do you gain understanding of the Black community unless you first recognize and appreciate their uniqueness?

So to my Republicans who have this perverted notion of identity politics when it comes to Blacks, please learn to appreciate market segmentation and market demographics and how to exploit them to sell your message to those who have of late been totally repulsed by your foolish notion of colorblindness. Colorblindness has left the Republican Party in a color-bind.

Raynard Jackson is founder and chairman of Black Americans for a Better Future (BAFBF), a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party. BAFBF focuses on the Black entrepreneur. For more information about BAFBF, visit Follow Raynard on Twitter @raynard1223.

Five things that the Republican party gets totally wrong about race

— While there is no denying that Donald Trump has had a terrible past couple of weeks with his dogged focus on some obscure federal judge in San Diego, I think Trump can right the ship, but he has an extremely narrow window to do so.

I will deal with that in a future column.

This controversy with Trump and the judge has revealed yet again how unprepared the Republican Party is, in the 21st century, in dealing with the issue of race, especially, relative to the Black community.

I have advised some of the biggest names in politics, business, sports, and entertainment on racial and other career threatening crises.

The first thing I have noticed with Republicans dealing with the issue of race is that they deny that whatever happened was racist. Why does this happen? Well, that’s an easy question to answer. Republicans are surrounded by White staffers, who think they know more about the Black community than Black people do. And I’m speaking from personal experience, as recently as last month.

Memo to Republicans # 1: Never, I mean never say to the media, “I am not a racist.” That means you are losing the argument. Remember former President Nixon’s famous rejoinder, “I am not a crook?”

Again, for purposes of this column, I am not specifically talking about Trump and the judge, but rather the Republican Party in general when it comes to issues that have a racial component.

There are absolutely no Blacks in positions of power or influence anywhere within the Republican Party. There are none within the Republican National Committee (RNC), National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC), the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC), nor any of the presidential campaigns.

Republicans have all White advisors and consultants trying to advise them on racial matters impacting the Black community, and they can’t understand why things keep blowing up in their faces. Duhhhhh!

Memo to Republicans # 2: Don’t just go out and grab the first Black person you see and come back to me and say, “Now we have a Black, so please shut up.”

Many Black Republicans are whiter than their White counterparts, and this is by design. Many Black Republicans have absolutely no connection to the Black community; nor any skill set to put them in a position of advising the party on racial matters.

The Republican Party wants Blacks around them who they are “comfortable” with, not Blacks who will speak their mind and who know what the hell they are talking about.

You have Black Republicans being pimped by the media to constantly denounce Donald Trump, because they are media whores who are looking for the proverbial pat on the head from “massa,” but these same Black Republicans have laryngitis when it comes to the lack of “real” Black staffers, consultants, and advisors within the party.

I have no record of these same Blacks speaking about how White our upcoming national convention is going to be, how there has been little, if any, opportunities for Black Republicans to do business with the upcoming convention. Seems like you have more opportunity to do business with the convention if you are a Black Democrat—go figure.

How can you have a White twenty-something writing a speech about civil rights or voting rights for a Republican leader to give? I am not exaggerating, this is actually happening.

The party needs a plethora of “real” Blacks who have a connection to the Black community, who understand messaging in terms of communications; and who have personal relationships with the media, and understand how to connect all of these into a coherent strategy.

The party has virtually no Black surrogates who can push back in the media against all the Black liberals on MSNBC and CNN, so a lie that is repeated enough, becomes the truth.

So, while many in the party are speaking out against Trump (some of it is well deserved and warranted), I wish these same people would be just as vehement in fighting against the radical liberal agenda that President Obama and Hillary Clinton have been promoting.

And to my Black Republican friends, I don’t think all of your denunciations of some of Trump’s comments are not legitimate, but where are your voices on other issues that impact the Black community relative to the party?

What have you done to get more Black students internships with our congressional members? What have you done to promote legislative solutions to address issues of particular concern to Blacks (access to capital for Black entrepreneurs, aide to HBCUs, promotion of school choice, etc.)?

And finally, Memo # 3: To my Black Republicans, always remember, when all is said and done, there is more said than done.

Raynard Jackson is founder and chairman of Black Americans for a Better Future (BAFBF), a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party. BAFBF focuses on the Black entrepreneur. For more information about BAFBF, visit Follow Raynard on Twitter @raynard1223.

This is why Snoop Lion should write, direct and produce black movies

— Last week rapper Snoop Dogg put up an epic video rant on his Instagram. In the verbiage that only Snoop can conjugate, he said in no uncertain terms that people should not watch the 21st century remake of the epic TV miniseries Roots that aired on The History Channel last week.

I must say that I thoroughly agree with Snoop Dogg’s position one hundred percent, though I can do without the raw language.

Roots: The Saga of an American Family was a book written by famed author Alex Haley in 1976. In the book, Haley traced his ancestral roots back to The Gambia in West Africa. He was able to trace his family lineage all the way back Kunta Kinte.

Kinte was captured as a teenager in The Gambia and ultimately sold into slavery and brought to the U.S. The book was turned into a blockbuster TV miniseries back in 1977.

The remaking is what led Snoop to do his now viral video on Instagram. His position was that he didn’t want to see any more movies about slavery. “Where are all the movies about Black success?” Snoop asked.

I totally agree with Snoop. I refused to watch the remake of Roots. I was watching my N.B.A. basketball playoffs.

Following Snoop’s rant, TV personality Roland Martin addressed the subject on his news program on TV ONE. The one point that I do agree with Roland is that more Blacks need to step up and be willing to help finance the production of some of these movies about successful Blacks. That’s a legitimate challenge that Snoop should address.

Martin launched into this tirade about Jews “never” getting tired of movies about the Holocaust. He is way off base with his analysis.

Martin and those who agree with him are missing a few, very germane points. I mean can any one name a Black person who has financed, executive produced, produced, directed, or distributed a major movie or TV program about the Holocaust? You can’t, because it hasn’t happened.

But most movies about slavery have non-Blacks in major positions of control or power; even though there may be a Black producer or director attached to the project.

I am not aware of one movie about slavery where Blacks have had total control of the process from beginning to end.

The movie “Amistad” (1997) was written by David Franzoni, directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Debbi Allen (Black), Steven Spielberg and Colin Wilson. John Williams composed the musical score.

“12 Years a Slave” (2013) was based on the life of former slave Solomon Northup and it was directed by Steve McQueen (Black) and produced by Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Bill Pohlad, Steve McQueen (Black), Arnon Milchan, and Anthony Katagas. John Ridley (Black) wrote the screenplay and Fox Searchlight Pictures distributed the movie.

The 2016 version of “Roots” was written by Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, Alison McDonald (Black), and Charles Murray (Black). The four-part miniseries was directed by Bruce Beresford, Phillip Noyce, Thomas Carter (Black), and Mario Van Peebles (Black).

Now, let’s look at a few of the top Holocaust movies.

“The Diary of Anne Frank” (1959) was based on the writings of Anne Frank and directed by George Stevens and written by Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett and distributed by Twentieth Century Fox.

“Schindler’s List” (1993) was written by Steven Zaillian and produced by Steven Spielberg, Gerald R. Molen, and Branko Lustig. Steven Spielberg also directed the movie and “Schindler’s List” was distributed by Universal Pictures.

“The Pianist” (2002) was based on the book by Wladyslaw Szpilman and directed by Roman Polanski, who also earned production credits. Robert Benmussa and Alain Sarde were also producers on the movie and it was distributed by Focus Features.

Do you notice anything that stands out to you here? There are no Blacks in any position of control or authority in any of these movies. The Jewish community tells their history through their own eyes and from their own perspective.

Remember, the Chinese sculptor of the statue of Dr. Martin Luther King on the National Mall in Washington, DC, Lei Yixin, was “forced” to redo the statute because some felt that the original rendering made King seem too “confrontational.”

Confrontational to whom? To this day, I have refused to visit King’s statue on the Mall.

Yixin was chosen at the expense of very capable American sculptors, both Black and White. The U.S. government also allowed Yixin to bring Chinese workers into the country to assemble the sculpture. They were literally paid slave wages, but I digress.

The U.S. government spent over $120 million on the King sculptor and the money went to China and Chinese workers.

The Jewish community would never allow something like this to happen to anything dealing with their own community.

So, to Roland Martin and his supporters, let’s stop being a slave to slavery.

Raynard Jackson is founder and chairman of Black Americans for a Better Future (BAFBF), a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party. BAFBF focuses on the Black entrepreneur. For more information about BAFBF, visit Follow Raynard on Twitter @raynard1223.

Making history is sometimes about timing

— Former British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill once stated, “To every man there comes in his lifetime that special moment when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered a chance to do a very special thing, unique to him and fitted to his talents. What a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared or unqualified for the work which would be his finest hour.”

In each of our lives, we all get one or two of these Churchillian “taps on the shoulder;” in many ways, how we respond to these taps, will determine our lot in life.

Let me give you two examples from a couple of friends of mine.

Anthony “Spud” Webb played 13 years in the National Basketball Association (NBA), though only standing five foot seven inches tall (which was and still is unheard of in professional basketball). Spud is most known for being the shortest person in the history of the NBA to win the slam-dunk contest (1986). He defeated his then Atlanta Hawks teammate, Dominique Wilkins who stood at six feet eight inches tall.

Spud was told his whole life that he was too short to play basketball, though he could dunk the ball when he was only five foot three inches.

Despite averaging 26 points a game on his varsity high school team, Spud received little interest from college and university basketball programs. He ended up playing for a junior college, Midland College in Midland, Texas. He was named a National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) All-American.

He was then offered a scholarship to play for legendary North Carolina State University basketball coach, Jim Valvano.

After college Spud was told by most NBA scouts that he should play in Europe because of his size. He ended up being drafted in the fourth round of the 1985 draft that began his illustrious NBA career.

Ray “Mick” Mickens played eleven seasons as a cornerback in the National Football League (NFL), though standing only five foot eight inches tall and weighing a mere 180 pounds.

Mick was a standout corner for Texas A&M University, as well as a sprinter for the track team. Considered one of the top corners in the country, he was named an All-American and All-Southwest Conference player in both his junior and senior years.

Mick was drafted by the New York Jets in the third-round of the 1996 NFL Draft and went on to play over a decade in the NFL against all odds.

By all the professional metrics then and today, Spud or Mick should have never played professional sports. They didn’t fit neatly into the boxes that the establishment had set up to determine who could play on the professional level. Neither was of the right height or weight; but how do you measure a person’s heart or determination?

In a similar manner, based on all political metrics set up by the establishment, Donald Trump should not be the Republican nominee for president. He had never run for any office before, was never active in the Republican Party, and was not a part of the “good old boys” network.

But how do you measure a person’s ability to connect with the public at large? How do you measure a person’s ability to connect with the people in a language that they understand? How do you explain the ability of a billionaire to connect with the working class?

On paper, Spud and Mick should never have played pro sports, let alone, play for over a decade, each at the highest level.

In a similar vein, on paper, there is no way anyone could have predicted Trump’s ascendancy to become the Republican standard bearer for president; it defies all conventional wisdom.

Spud, Mick and Trump all changed the “conventional wisdom” approach to basketball, football and politics. Sports are one of the most egalitarian institutions in the world— either you can play or you can’t; either you can help a team win or you can’t.

Politics is less egalitarian than sports and is more subjective. Politics is more answering the question: “Can I trust you and can I believe you are going to do the things you promised?” Politics is about answering the question: “Are you going to make my life better and provide a brighter future for my children?”

Spud and Mick would have a much more difficult time breaking into professional sports today. I would go so far as to say that they would not make a pro team today simply because the leagues are so data driven, despite a person’s level of accomplishment. Basketball players at various positions should be of a certain height and weight; football players should be at a certain height, weight and speed based on their positions played.

If a player doesn’t fit neatly into these metrics, in many instances, a coach or scout won’t even look at a player. This explains why and how the political establishment overlooked the Trump candidacy. The Democrats made the same mistake with Bernie Sanders.

Spud and Mick have proven that they were prepared for that tap on the shoulder; thus far, I would say Trump has proven he was ready also.

Often times, making history is as much about timing as it is skills. Could it be that Trump was born for such a time as this?

Raynard Jackson is founder and chairman of black Americans for a Better Future (BAFBF), a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more blacks involved in the Republican Party. For more information about BAFBF, visit: