(ThyBlackMan.com) I recently spent almost two weeks with some of the most influential, top donors to the Republican Party and the conservative movement. For purposes of this column, I will use the words Republican and conservative interchangeably.
The two takeaways from these meetings: the Republican National Committee (RNC) is totally incompetent when it comes to substantively engaging with the Black community; conservative leaders and donors were shocked to find out that the Blacks the RNC and conservative organizations constantly promote are doing more harm than good to the cause of getting more Blacks to vote for our candidates.
The second takeaway was conservatives tend to surround themselves with Blacks who have absolutely no connection to the Black community; Blacks who tell them what they want to hear versus what they need to hear; and Blacks they would never hire in their private sector corporations.
I have worked in strategic communications and public relations for over thirty years. I have worked for some of the biggest names in sports, business, politics, entertainment, and foreign affairs.
A lot of people are good at strategic communications or public relations; but very few are good at both simultaneously. Thus, I have coined the phrase “straticist,” which is the merging of both when referring to me and my firm.
Recent polling data all point to the fact that up to a third of Black voters are disenchanted with the Democrat Party and President Joe Biden in particular.
Conservatives are giddy and high fiving all over the place. WRONG!!!!!
I know from firsthand observation that Blacks are turned off by all things Democrat; but the problem is they don’t view the Republican Party as a viable alternative. The uptick in Blacks voting Republican has NOTHING to do with the RNC; but rather everything to do with Donald Trump’s policies.
Blacks compartmentalize support for Trump with their lack of support for the RNC. As currently comprised, Blacks want nothing to do with the Republican Party, but will vote for Trump because he presents himself as a fighter. They will also vote for specific Republican candidates who have addressed them with respect and not the buffoonery coming from the RNC.
The RNC has a major “brand” problem. Until they rehabilitate the Republican brand, they will never make any real inroads into the Black community. This is marketing 101. I have been talking about this for decades to no avail. They insist on using what I call a “ghettoization” approach to the Black community and wonder why they are not seeing any significant results.
This “ghettoization” approach to the Black voter is exemplified by three people: Cecilia S. Johnson, Shemeka Michelle Ingraham, and Angela Stanton King.
Don’t believe me?
Let me offer a few receipts for your review.
Johnson is an unknown millennial hired by the RNC to oversee Black engagement. Are you kidding me? Name me one private sector company who would hire a person with no experience in marketing or PR to increase market share of a lagging demographic, i.e., the Black vote.
This is how you know that the RNC is incompetent and not serious about the Black vote.
Johnson describes herself on twitter as a “political strategist and consultant.” Really? To whom? To what campaign? What are your results?
This is the problem with social media, people can make up any title and people assume it is true. Let me assure you that NO campaign would hire her with her background.
If this wasn’t bad enough, look at her social media presence. Message to Black millennial women: NEVER, and I mean NEVER go out in public or do any social media with a bonnet on!!!!!! Ms. Johnson, this is a throwback to the minstrel days of old; which is something I am sure you know nothing about. This is the problem with hiring millennials who have no knowledge of history and no competent adults to manage them.
By her own admission, she started a group, Hood Conservatives in 2012 as a joke. How befitting for the RNC, since their engagement with the Black community is a joke, but I digress.
My final thought on Ms. Johnson is very simple. What the hell were you thinking? You self-published a book titled, “The Life of the Party: Memoirs of a Hood Conservative.”
Hood Conservative? You have got to be kidding!! And your book cover is a picture of you holding a shotgun along with a bottle of Vodka? With all the gun violence going on in the Black community, you’re going to mix that imagery with alcohol?
Memo to the RNC, the two or three Blacks on staff at the RNC should be summarily fired for sheer incompetence or the perpetuation of sheer incompetence!
Shemeka Michelle Ingraham, and Angela Stanton King have two of the filthiest mouths I have ever heard. They would make a soldier blush with the raunchy language that spews out of their mouths. They do this under the guise of “keepin’ it real,” and being “authentic.”
They both have criminal pasts and sexual promiscuity they claim to have overcome.
I train all my clients to never, ever be seen in public or on social media using bad language. It is never acceptable, especially when you are trying to grow market share within a targeted demographic. This is PR 101.
There is absolutely nothing feminine or ladylike in a woman with a filthy mouth in public. But these are the stereotypical images perpetuated by the party for their amusement.
When I speak to people coming behind me or when I go back to the hood, I very much believe in keeping it real; but I keep it real by showing them that I came from the hood, overcame the hood and now want to inspire them to rise above the hood. I want them to speak and behave like me so they can aspire to be better than they already are.
Denzel Washington and Colin Powell are perfect examples of this.
Conservatives tend to promote Blacks who are dumbing down their success in order to keep it real.
This is not only quite offensive to those in the hood, but also counter-productive to getting Blacks engaged with the conservative movement.
Johnson, Ingraham, and King are all doing more damage to the conservative cause than anyone with a white sheet over their head.
To my detractors who believe that there should be room for various voices within the conservative movement, who can appeal to people from various walks of life; I say B.S.!!!!!
When you have a damaged brand, like the RNC and the conservative movement, you can’t have multiple voices until the brand is wholly restored. Again, this is PR 101.
Why is it that conservatives don’t use a “ghetto” approach to the Hispanic or Asian communities? When have you ever seen a Hispanic or Asian go to their respective communities bragging about how many abortions they have had or how many years they have been in prison?
When have you seen conservatives highlight Hispanic or Asians who speak filth into their communities via their own podcasts?
Until Republicans and conservatives begin to respect Black voters who are more representative of the Black community, i.e., the entrepreneurs, those with functional family units (the Cosby Show Effect), and singles with no ghetto stories to tell, they will never appeal to the masses of Blacks.
The party’s “ghetto” approach caters to those who are least likely to vote, the poor and less educated; as opposed to focusing on entrepreneurs and functional Blacks who are the most likely to vote.
The one common description from the hundreds of folks I spoke with last week about the Blacks conservatives promote was that they were funny, amusing, and entertaining. Those are direct quotes.
Therein lies the problem with our party, many think Blacks are here to entertain them not to be equal partners in moving the conservative agenda forward.
When do you see Blacks at the policy table when it involves substantive issues that can actually benefit the Black community? Issues like access to capital, school choice, agricultural policies to name a few.
Blacks are indeed open to supporting Republicans and conservatives, but absolutely not if the RNC continues to “ghettoize” their approach to the Black voter.
Staff Writer; Raynard Jackson
This talented brother is a Pulitzer Award nominated columnist and 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 www.bafbf.org. You can follow Raynard on Twitter; RealRaynardJ; on Gettr: RaynardJackson.
Can also drop him an email at; [email protected].