Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day 9: National Republican African American Caucus Has It’s Say!: An 18 Day Political Revival

April 28, 2010

NRAAC's National Chair
Dr. Jean Howard-Hill

National Republican African American Caucus [NRAAC] Blog The National Republican African

American Caucus Has It's
Say!: An 18 Day Political Revival

Day 9: Why so many of us have hung in there despite not always being welcomed, treated fairly or allowed a place at the table or allowed to be among the elite elected white leadership.

So why don't we just pack our political bags and leave? Instead of wasting all of this time blogging about it, then leave! If the abuse is that bad, then this seems to be a simple solution to a bad situation. Unfortunately it is not that simple.

But as all pastors and clergy come to understand in pastoring and ministry, in order to help those who do not understand, you have to have patience. You also have to keep preaching and teaching the message over and over again until finally it is not just heard, but it is understood. Sometimes even you have to take a lesson from the Master. So for those who still are not getting this political message, let me see if I can make it a little clearer by using a parable like Jesus did when his disciples were too carnal minded to understand the deeper application of his message. So today's blog is in the form of a parable.

The Parable of the African American Birthright

There was a man and his household who longed to be free from the bondage of slavery. There also were the free, who longed to see him and all with him free. So the two joined together and they built a stairwell that led the enslaved man up out of the pit. It was not an easy journey because there were those who wanted the man and his household to remain in the southern most region of those pits of bondage. But determined that they would be set free, together his people and their people waged a war and they won. When the news of the battles came to the man, he greatly rejoiced that at last he and his entire household were free!

He joined himself to those who procured his freedom through the shedding of even their own blood. Together they stood as one. They looked well to each other's needs, even making leaders of those of the once enslaved man's household and allowing them the freedom to vote and to buy houses and plant their own fields. They ascended to the highest offices of the land. In Congress they sat in both houses, not as slaves, but as leaders of man.

But soon thereafter they who enslaved the man and his household, because they knew how powerful the reversal of the role of the slave becoming the master would be, their spirit arose from the bloody battlefields, determined to retake that which they claimed to be theirs. Among those possessions they sought to reclaim were the man, his household and even his political and economic birthright.

There also was a fear growing as freed men and women numbering in the millions were free to do as they pleased. Their numbers were so great that they could overpower those who once were their master in voting strength, and standing beside them to protect them were their allies in Republican political battle attire. Therefore, they moved swiftly riding on the winds of darkness, disguised, sheeted and robed in white, reeking terror by night, to prevent the man and his household from taking positions of political power and positions of leadership. By day, they enacted ordinances and laws, enforced within their own courts of injustice, designed to bring the man and his entire household back under the yoke of bondage. Seeing that these laws that separated and discriminated against him, still were not enough, and also seeing that the alliance with those who procured his freedom still remained, they sought yet another way to bring him back under bondage and to strip away the power of freedom

This time, rather than divide the nation and fight another war of the South against North, they very craftfully devised a plan. Indeed it was crafty, yet wicked and of long term consequences. So crafty, that even the once enslaved man himself and his household did not understand it fully.

While the descendants of the man were being beaten, hosed, bombed, lynched and terrorized, they took those from their own camp and planted them within the camp of the allies of those who once stood with the man. As Dixiecrats they took their place in a party where they found refuge from the laws and changing of times which dictated an end to their terror. At first, they did not appear to be troubling or treacherous, although one with a discerning eye and one who was an Issachar could see deeper into the waters of time. They saw even now, in the year 2010 that such an invasion of darkness, would one day change the very soul of the party of its allies.

They laid there dormant for a time and a season as they tightened their grip upon the party. But before long, they identified themselves by the paths their darkened hearts took them. Instead of being sheep as was thought, in reality they were wolves in sheep's clothing! Seeing now that there were wolves within his borders, the man and his household no longer felt safe or welcomed, so he fled with his household to the other side. The very side from which the wolves were born and bred, he took all who were with him, until there were very few left behind. Too few to have their presence make a difference. Too few to have their voices heard or to occupy a place at the political table.

As the descendants of the man once enslaved began to flee, blindly they fell into hands of the ones who once hated them. But seemingly they had a change of heart and now were willing to birth laws that secured their freedom. They called them laws of civil rights. Therefore, for a time and season, they felt this was where they belonged and they soon forgot about the birthright they had left behind.

Generations passed and their descendents forgot their history. They no longer remembered or knew the party of their birthright. But their elders and keepers of the archives of history held dear to them the memories of the party in which they joined with those of the white race and gave birth to freedom. Now they looked back and saw their birthright given to those who had not inherited it. They also saw the hearts of those who had stolen it and who stood as gatekeepers become even more hardened and determined never to allow them to return home. They mapped out their strategy to prevent their return, while also making false pretenses to wanting them there. Some made no such pretenses. They just openly displayed their displeasure with having the man and his household there.

When they tried to return home they found the gates locked and carefully guarded by the tare that now had almost overtaken the wheat. Only a remnant of those who once stood with them now occupied the helm. This made it harder for those at the grassroots to bring about a change which would welcome the man and his household back.

Even those few who were left behind were now reduced to meager roles of tokenism. Every now and then one or two were given the opportunity to sit at the table. They longed for the days of old when they held office and stood as leaders along side of those who truly believed they should be equal and free. They remembered the pains of birth and the joy that came when they gave birth to political freedom.

For many decades they lived outside of the gate, now realizing that it was not expedient or wise for the man and his entire household to all have left. But rather, some should have remained, while some crossed over. They came to understand that to have possessed both was the key to real political freedom and equality.

Finally a word was spoken and a decree was made by the Issachars among them, who knew both time and season, as well as what to do. They made the call that those of the man and his household should return to their party to repossess their political birthright. It was not an easy feat because now the same enemy which once hated them enough to enslave them and to even shed blood upon the battlefields of the South, now stood guarding the gate and occupying the very birthright that was theirs. So they too had to be crafty and wise to devise a plan - one which would retake what was rightfully theirs - their birthright. There arose among them those who were wise who understood time and season and history, and reminded them that they were not to make the same mistake of times past. Instead, they should move wisely not to take back with them all of their household, but as many as were needed to make their presence known.

As they returned, they sought not to overtake those who occupied their places and who had stolen their birthright, because they believed there was a place even for them within their dear party of birth. They also believed that both time and space would provide the Balm of Gilead that was needed for old wounds to be healed. They believed that the times also had provided a new day, where there was the reality that all people were created equal.

They came back not as takers, but as possessors. They came not as warriors, but as those who had beaten their swords into plow shears, intending to study war no more. They came with an olive branch in their hands, and hearts filled with love and the spirit of faith, hoping to find those who were receptive.

But they also saw that even in that, this had not touched the hearts of those who held them at bay, outside the gate. Instead of accepting the olive branch, they refused to welcome their return and fought to keep them out. They also saw that the remnant of those who once stood with them and birthed the party, were now silent and afraid to speak out or to welcome them. So determined to not be excluded or denied anymore, they purposed within their hearts to educate and integrate the political party of their birth.

Those who received them and welcomed them home were the noble and the good, and the remnant that were left, whose hearts were full of light. But those who resisted and held fast to keeping them out and stood as gatekeepers, they were the not so noble, whose hearts were full of darkness, so that their eyes could not see what was right from wrong, and what was good from bad. Those who stood by, not doing anything - silent to seeing them be excluded and ill treated, they are those whose hands also were just as stained. Not by the sins of the excluders and gatekeepers, but by their unwillingness to take a stand and to say, "Enough! Open the gates and let them in."

This is the parable of the African American birthright. Let those who want to understand, understand it.

To reach the NRAAC national chair:

Jean Howard-Hill
423-702-5622 NRAAC office

[Dr. Jean Howard-Hill is the author of Black Eyes Shut, White Lips Sealed. She has serves 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. She has taught full time and as an adjunct, American Government, State and Local Government, and International Politics and Culture of Nonwestern Countries at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga, 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 program 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.

She also is a TN third district congressional candidate. If elected, she would be the first African American Republican and female to be elected from the third district. Her campaign website can be found at: and;;;;; JHHCongress.]

The National Republican African-American Caucus is an organization that is comprised of Spirit filled people of faith within the African American community, that works in conjunction with local, state and national party efforts to embrace, and offer African-American Republicans opportunities for inclusion and involvement in the Republican Party, and builds bridges between the African-American community and the Republican Party. In doing so, it seeks to carry out the philosophy and mission set before President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas to build a stronger and more inclusive Republican Party, where those guiding principles are more important than politics.

More information on the NRAACcan be found at:; [NRAAC] National Republican African American Caucus Social Issue Network (members only); [NRAAC Blog]; [NRAAC Youth on the Horizons Blog]; [NRAAC New Generation-New Direction Blog]; and [NRAAC National Chair's Blog]. Each State Caucus can be accessed by state. See related links at Also can be found on the RNC group page at

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