April 13, 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 2: Why African Americans have to reclaim our historic Republican birthright, and not allow it to be stolen, taken by default, controlled, blocked, denied or squandered.
By now it is well known that aside from being a political activist, I am also a Spirit filled preacher woman. So, in order to talk about birthright, I have to do it like a preacher!
We have heard a lot about purpose, which by the way did not start with Rick Warren. It began in the beginning with Adam. We came to understand it as African Americans through Bishop Myles Monroe of the Bahamas, 10 or more years before Rick Warren picked it up and wrote a book about it. It even was around and known back in slavery. But purpose is also tied into birthright.
As African Americans, we understand this concept from a Jewish prospective because much of what is taught and preached in the Black church has strong Jewish roots. In slavery, Blacks saw themselves as a type and shadow of the children of Israel who were enslaved in the Eqypts of the South by hard white task masters like unto the Pharaoh. Most of our Negro spirituals are based upon this theme of “Let My People Go” and the escape and deliverance from the South through a mighty move of God, crossing Jordan Rivers and Red Seas to get to the promise lands of the North.
In order to inherit a birthright, you have to have a blood lineage connection, which only can be obtained by being birthed as an offspring. When the Republican Party began, we were a part of the birthing process! Also among those giving birth to freedom and the Republican Party were abolitionists and other whites who believed in the words of the Declaration of Independence that “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”. We talk a lot about America’s forefathers. But African Americans also have forefathers. They were slaves and a few among them were freedmen. It was our forefathers/foremothers who groaned in labor and from their wombs brought forth the Republican Party, which gives us a right today to the birthright that has been stolen by those who had no place or part in the birth! History tells me that NOWHERE in the birthing process or the birthing room were even the resemblance of some of the strange fathers of the present Republican Party who are of the bloodline of racism and lineage of exclusion!
If there is any race within America who should be Republicans, it should be blacks and direct descendants of slaves. Yet we are scarcely identified among those Republicans today.
There also is something else that is important to know about a birthright. The birthright is something in which there is always someone or something that contends with the firstborn and offspring to take it away. A bastard is always waiting in the wings, trying to lay claim to it, making false claims that they have a right of inheritance! Jacob and Esau fought in the womb for it. Then being the one of whom it did not truly belong, after having obtained it, Esau in greed sold it for a pot of stew! It is the same today. But like Jacob, we have to be determined to take it back, so that the promise stays within our lineage!
We wrestle against the racists, bigots and gatekeepers of the Republican Party who each time we seek to be birthed forth from our African American Republican wombs, they catch hold to our heels and pull us back.
When we allow racists and bigots to take the forefront of the party spewing out racial hatred disguised by patriotism and camouflaged by coded rhetoric, we allow the birthright to be stolen by the new slave masters of politics!
Each time white Republicans sit back and remain silent while Blacks are intentionally and systematically excluded from the table and from full participation, as well as excluded from appointed and elected leadership, they too are just as guilty as those whose hands are bloody and dirty from the overt tactics they have employed to deny us our birthright.
Then there are those Blacks among us who hold the Republican birthright, but will sell themselves to tokenism in order to be the sole recipient of it. Just to occupy this place, they will sell that birthright even to the devil him/her self. This is why we speak out against even them. It is because tokenism is a way of controlling the birthright by only allowing a few of us, who will do, say, and act the way they are told in order to have a few crumbs from the Republican table. But to be an individual who is a “yes man” or “yes woman”, insults the intelligence of those who can think for themselves and it is an offense to the true meaning of freedom and liberty embedded in the principle of all being created equal in the sight of God.
Each time we vote as a race, and do it solely as a Democratic block, without any understanding of its political consequences in being taken for granted and failing to be a force to be reckoned with also within the Republican Party, we allow our birthright to be taken by default.
Each time we get elected or appointed to a position of power and authority and do not do what is
right and just, and do not open the door for other African Americans to come to the table, or stand tall and speak out against the wrong within the party, then including even you Mr. Steele, we have squandered the birthright.
Fully persuaded that the Pharaohs of the Republican Party can no longer hold us enslaved through exclusion, we believe that 2010 marks the fullness of time where the wombs of the African American Republican will bring forth! It is a time which demands that the GOP, “Let Go!” So that we can redeem the birthright which our forefathers have earned within the Republican Party!
As the national chair and leader of this move to take back the birthright, when I think about the last conversation I had with my beloved husband on March 29, 1991, was about recruiting African Americans into the Republican Party, despite a long and tedious delivery, this is enough to encourage and give strength for the final “push” to bring forth inclusion. When I think about a cross being burned and the KKK having chased me ever since my birth and while I was still in the womb, and the long journey of endurance within the GOP to get to even this point of political survival, I cry out in labor, “How long O God! How long before that which is rightfully ours comes forth?” When I think about how much as an organization we have had to endure from those who thought themselves racially superior to us, and have viciously sought to destroy and deny us our birthright, with concerted, weary, yet determined voices, we all cry out as one, “PUSH! For the hour of birth has come! The time to bring forth is here! Now let us all stand as one and PUSH!” Because of this, we are more determined than ever to contend for our Republican birthright, as members of NRAAC and as a race.
So if the Republican Party thinks for one second that there are no African American descendants left who lay claim to this precious political birthright and are willing to fight and persevere, despite the hardening of the hearts of Republican Pharaohs, then think again. Because the battle is about more than just politics. It is about a political and a spiritual birthright which was stolen, taken by default, controlled, blocked, denied or squandered, that now we arise to reclaim.
Our mandate of 100,000 as a national organization in 2010 and 1.5 million by 2012, and our call are just as sure as that of Moses! Our children even rise up as Joshua(s) and Caleb(s) to go into the political promise land that flows with the milk and honey of our slave labor that must be reclaimed.
With or without the embrace of the Republican gatekeepers, we will give birth to the political promised lands, where we too have the right of full participation, political appointment and elected leadership.
If as racially fueled and mean spirited as the Tea Party and Birthers movement can sometimes appear, giving birth to a strange brand of politics, then as people of Spirit and faith, we certainly can PUSH in this hour of delivery and shall birth an even more powerful move – one which incorporates our faith, as we reclaim and retake our Republican birthright!
Therefore we decree our commitment to the National Republican African American Caucus Reclaiming and Retaking of the Republican Birthright Movement.
So Amen! So be it!
To reach the NRAAC national chair:
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: http://ladyjforcongress.com and http://jeanhowardhillforcongress.com; http://jeanhowardhillcampaignnews.blogspot.com; http://blogwithladyjforcongress.blogspot.com; http://jeanhowardhillforcongress.ning.com; http://www.youtube.com/JHHCongress; http://twitter.com/ 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:
http://www.nraacaucus.org; http://nraacaucus.ning.com [NRAAC] National Republican African American Caucus Social Issue Network (members only); http://nraac.blogspot.com [NRAAC Blog]; http://youthonthehorizons.blogspot.com [NRAAC Youth on the Horizons Blog]; http://the-twig.blogspot.com [NRAAC New Generation-New Direction Blog]; and
http://theblackolivebranch.blogspot.com [NRAAC National Chair's Blog]. Each State Caucus can be accessed by state. See related links at http://www.nraacaucus.org/index_files/Page816.htm. Also can be found on the RNC group page at http://our.gop.com/Groups/National_Republican_African-American_Caucus_NRAAC.
Rev. Dr. Jean Howard-Hill,
NRAAC National Chair