Tuesday, January 19, 2010
A Salute to a Republican Legacy – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. requires that we strike a delicate balance on the issue of race relations in American. We have to be careful not to use the race card, but also be diligent in ensuring that the racial climate never returns to those dark and shameful days of America’s history, where a race of people were hated solely because of the color of their skin.” __ NRAAC, Nat’l Chair
The National Republican African American Caucus [NRAAC] celebrates the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. with both pride and commitment to continue to strive for an America and a political environment where all people can be a part of the process, and can have a place at the table, as full participants of the world greatest government – the American democratic system of government.
“We salute Dr. King Jr. as an extraordinary man, gifted with leadership and the ability to articulate the plight of Black America at a time in history where Jim Crow laws and racial discrimination was at its heights. Yet he so eloquently and convincingly preached a message of loving even those who openly displace such unjustified hate and violence for the Black race.”
She says, “Being that our organization is over 85 percent clergy, this is encouraging to us, and sets the example for how we can make strives within the political arena to open the doors of participation with the Republican Party and within America’s political system.”
Howard-Hill says that the NRAAC sees this model as a powerful one. However, it also must be coupled with speaking truth and moving forward to take civil rights to the next level.
“His life, his leadership, his devotion and his sacrifice to the cause of civil rights for African Americans can never be forgotten, says NRAAC Chair Dr. Jean Howard-Hill says. “He was not only a man of conviction, but also a man who sought to gather us as one nation under God, rather than divide and set us apart by race. Now we must make sure that we pick up that same torch and march forward into America’s future and ensure that none of his sacrifices were in vain.”
In addressing the issues of race in America today, Howard-Hill says, “The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. requires that we strike a delicate balance on the issue of race relations in America. We have to be careful not to use the race card, but also be diligent in ensuring that the racial climate never returns to those dark and shameful days of America’s history, where a race of people were hated solely because of the color of their skin.”
Howard-Hill says that there also were many White and Jewish Americans who stood tall during this era, sending a signal to the South and even to the world that hatred because of the color of one’s skin was no longer acceptable in America. For them we are grateful because they too are a part of the legacy of freedom. Without them, we could not have broken the fetters that kept us bound and resulted in our being treated as second-class citizens of this great country.
“We also owe it to Dr. King Jr., and to all the other great men and women of slavery and the civil rights era, many of whom will never be celebrated for what they went through and even the sacrifices of life for freedom, to maintain and treasure that freedom”, says Howard-Hill.
Howard-Hill encourages all Republicans to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther Kings Jr.’s legacy by racial bridge building and inclusion of all races within the Republican Party.
“Without the Republican Party reflecting America’s rainbow of races, we are a party destined for demise”, says Howard-Hill.
[Dr. Jean Howard-Hill is the author of Black Eyes Shut, White Lips Sealed. She has served as the national chair for the National Black Republican Women with her late husband, Attorney Bobby Lee Hill serving as the head of the Black Republican Men for Change from 1987 to his death in 1991. After his death up until 1993, she remained head of the organization, and in 1999 combined the two groups to form the National Republican African American Caucus. Outside of her role as the National Republican African American Caucus [NRAAC] national chair, Howard-Hill is known for her involvement within the African American community and her efforts to correct and enhance verbal, written and presentational skills of African American students, and her “Pull up Your Pants and Dress for Success Campaign” to improve the appearance and fate of African American males. She has created and directed the Many Facers of Diversity at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, which teaches these skills to minority, “at-risk”, and first generation college bound students. She is currently working on the Tennessee Youth Research Study, a research project aimed at identifying causes and providing connectors to reconnect to the youth of this generation. She also has taught full time and as an adjunct, American Government, State and Local Government, and International Politics and Culture of Nonwestern Countries at UTC, and was voted 2006 Outstanding Professor of the year. Additionally, from 1976 to 1979, she designed and directed the “Democracy In Action” Program, which was a civics programs taught in the local school systems. Howard-Hill also is a local political commentator and holds a law degree from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville College of Law. She also is ordained clergy and heads The Healing Place Ministries International, overseeing 47 ministries throughout Africa.]