Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day 15: Nat'l Republican African American Caucus Has Its Say May 12, 2010

May 12, 2010

NRAAC's National Chair Dr. Jean Howard-Hill
National Republican African American Caucus [NRAAC] Blog

The National Republican African American Caucus Has Its Say!: 18 Day Political Revival

Day 15: More on why those of color are reluctant to sip the tea, until we know for sure, what's in it; and why the GOP will not denounce racism, lack of civility or other unacceptable conduct displayed by some within the Tea Party Movement or within the Republican Party.

In an earlier blog, Not Sure What is in the Tea, I shared meeting and chatting with a member of the Mid-South Tea Party, and how although I still wasn't sure what exactly was in the tea, I was encouraged by his willingness to listen and to try to gleam some understanding of how most African Americans viewed the movement. Today, I thought it good to revisit the Tea Party.

Ironically, I received a call from a white Republican friend who shared with me a recent incident where members of the Tea Party seemingly were very aggressively moving to the helm of the local party. This did not surprise me since most of us Republicans know that this is a part of the movement's strategy - to capture the Republican Party at the grassroots leadership level across the country. But what did surprise me was that there are many white Republicans who are not in support of this invasion.

I call the movement an invasion because I believe that is exactly what it is - a political invasion of Republican politics which demands, either you take what they are forcing upon you or you leave the party and denounce patriotism. This kind of thinking suggests that to be in opposition to the movement is to be un-American, a socialist or one who is out to destroy or who supports those who are destroying America! Well nothing could be furthest from the truth.

There are many Republicans and even non-Republicans, including some Democrats who do not like the direction in which our country is being driven. They abhor the lack of accountability and the inability to listen to the will of the people. However, the way in which they seek to change this may or may not be "tea-ish".

The Tea Party Movement has every right to be a part of the Republican Party. But everyone does not have to see the future of America through reading tea leaves.

There is a plausible explanation as to why blacks are wary of the Tea. The failure of its leadership to denounce racism and mean spiritedness, and the belief that this is the resurrection of a new breed of political racism, are top of the list. But why is it that there are those within the GOP who walk gingerly when it comes to the "tea-ers"? Perhaps I can explain.

Number one, the Tea Party has media attention which allows it to groom itself into political maturity before the cameras. This allows it to appear to be a major political player. Having this media lime light, allows America to see it in a much grander light. While in the lime light, all they need do is draw a crowd, say curtain time, while we sit back with a coke and popcorn and watch the angry American patriotic tea drama live! Sometimes that performance is well warranted. Without a doubt, government has in many ways over stepped its boundaries and is out of control. This allows its message to resonate with those who are fed up and can take no more. Other times it is nothing more than the opportunity to spew hatred, racism and anti-everything. The problem is - you cannot tell always which is which. This creates an opening where those who are on the dark side can find refuge and a voice, as the pot brews.

Number two, the Tea Party has a Sarah Palin.
Granted the movement claims it has no leader, but to her personal advantage, she has moved into the lime light and has cast herself as leading lady. To those who want to identify with the common or average John or Jane Doe, Palin to them is their Jane. The more she gives the moose call to alert the middle class, hard working white Americans, that government's social justice and entitlement are the culprits for all of the ills of America, the more she is allowed to move to the head of the class, as leader. This makes the movement one in which is cast in even greater degrees of media attention. Because after all, it was Senator McCain and the Republican Party who gave her the second highest potential place in American politics as a vice presidential running mate. Say the name Sarah Palin and say where, and the national media will be there! Perhaps the reason is to hear her say something which is beyond comprehension. Unfortunately, this is no more than scripted drama, calculated to produce for herself both wealth and fame, while using the GOP tea leaves to read herself into over 12 million dollar profits and national GOP leadership, with plenty of tea backers.

Number three, the Tea Party is seizing control of positions of leadership within the Republican Party at the grassroots level.
This is easy to do, since the majority of Republicans while they may vote Republican, they are not involved in grassroots politics beyond going to the polls and casting their votes. For the most part, there are only a few who are at the top and who actually run the party. Taking over at this level provides an opportunity to seizing control by strategically placing "tea-ers" where they can vote each other into appointed and elected positions within the party. This allows them to control GOP politics at the local, state and then the national level, and to change even the core values and direction in which the party is headed. This is the greatest fear among the non-tea Republicans, and behind closed doors, it is a reality which no one knows how to really deal with. For now, the remedy is to remain silent, don't necessarily add any fuel to the fire, and to gingerly walk among them, until they either leave to form a third party or until they fizzle out.

Bottom line.
Appointed and especially elected GOP leadership dare not utter a word against the Tea Party or its Palin pseudo leadership for fear that if this movement does prove to be the cancer or the miraculous cure for the Republican Party, either way, it may cost them votes needed to win an election. So mum's the word in public. But behind closed doors, there is a fear that unabatedly, the movement is very assuredly taking root within the Republican Party and will outgrow those who are not exactly fond of tea. Of course this gives the Tea Party Movement just what it needs to grow more leaves and to brew more pots of tea within the GOP.

My Prediction?

The first among the GOP leadership, who can find the courage to step forward and question some of the motives, the racist rhetoric, as well as the lack of civility that have been added to the tea, will become the anointed new leaders of the silent majority of the Republican Party. Because from what is brewing in another pot behind closed doors, a growing distaste for the cup of tea being served within the Republican parlor that seemingly is driving the GOP further and further away from its original core values. It is interesting to know that we are not the only ones who are not sure, what's in the cup of tea!

I guess now we just will have to pray for a courageous one, and wait to see who will emerge.

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

No comments:

Post a Comment