This is my one-sided conversation to Republican Chairman Michael Steele. It is a little long, but it’s a conversation.
Now I understand that some may not fully catch all of the subtleties that I will say in this one-way conversation to the Republican Chairman Michael Steele and that’s OK. I believe he, Michael Steele will understand what is being said like a song sung in the fields.
As many of his Republican colleagues are turning against him I just want to talk to Chairman Steele as a friend without any personal political connotations applied. In other words when you see a fight and one person is getting beat up you either stops the fight or helps him fight.
As a Democrat I admit I enjoy the honesty being displayed of this public political-styles sibling-like fight within the GOP. We’re almost finished with the first quarter of the year and they are still fighting and relying on a message of No. The opposition party is going beyond the expected obstruction and into self-destruction.
Many of my fellow Democrats will tell me to hush up and enjoy the show, but I actually empathize with them, because it wasn’t all that long ago that the fight was within the Democrat Party. Regardless of my political leanings someone must give Mr. Steele some encouraging words for this next fight of “No Confidence” that he’s about to face. In short I reference a recent post that summarizes my intentions. In this case instead of him calling 1-800-Ask-A-Brother, one is calling him to offer some advice.
Let Me Holla At Ya For A Minute
Listen, I’m honestly happy that you accomplished a damn near impossible achievement in becoming the chairman of the Republican Party. I don’t need to explain that to you. You are one of the few in your party that I sincerely believe understands the level of alienation and complete suspicion the GOP has with an overwhelming percentage of Black people in this country since the election of President Kennedy. So for a Black man to become the chairman of this party in midst of its recent history and relationship with someone like me and you I must commend you on this honorable achievement.
With this success comes the challenge to lead. Right off the bat you had fringe elements publicly denouncing you and the party. That was expected. I’m confident that you can lead the GOP and make some inroads in the repair of the tarnished standing your party has on many issues of importance to many minorities. But you must be authentically yourself if you want to accomplish that.
Being Black & Republican
Let me preface this with a reiteration that I am absolutely and never been a Republican. I respect the party even when it doesn’t reciprocate it back.
As you know by experience far beyond I could ever know that being a Black Republican is not necessarily popular. You’re looked at with suspicion by many Blacks and with surprise by some conservatives Whites. Many Black Republicans are socially alienated within their own community. This is shameful and it shouldn’t happen, but we both understand why.
The difference with you and frankly several other Black Republicans with the exceptions of Alan Keys and Clarence Thomas is that you’re nothing like what many Blacks and Democrats think you are. Just like those who apply the misrepresentation of Blacks they see on TV to those they meet on the street, Blacks do the same thing to a degree.
We often find ourselves working in environments where we are the only or among the few, many of us are equally guilty of segregating ourselves when the work day is over. We do the same thing that some Whites think only they do. Where do you think we got it from? J Seriously, what Attorney General Eric Holder was saying applies to everyone, not just one. Just because he’s Black and you are too, it doesn’t mean that what he says doesn’t apply to you.
Many Black Republicans and others who are not Republican understands that you can’t play the ‘Race Card’ unfairly. Plus you must understand that the ‘Race Card’ has no color. Any race can play it. This is where you may find me lending my respect to you, although I do question one of your senate campaign tactics that had the misuse of this fact written all over it. Now I understand the tactic, but it plays into you unfairly using race in politics to garner an advantage when your policies you promote would have a negative affect on those you used to get there. BUT I digress, so let’s continue.
Just Wanna Be Down
First, I’m not of the age group that many would consider to be apart of the hip hop generation. But as a kid who was coming of age in hip hop’s golden era of the 1980’s I am of age where I can understand both sides. This is what I can say in respectful response to your attempts to attract a younger, hipper and non-white middle class audience. Your approach is wrong. You’re not 20 something; tone down the hip hop slang. You are the Chairman of the Republican Party, not the King of the South. You appear to be trying too hard which raise the suspicions of many in this demographic even further and sends the wrong message to those not in this demographic. Not everyone, especially many within your party fully understand the implications some words and context of language expresses to the target audience you desire to reach.
I can’t use the term WORD! to and audience who does not understand what it means, nor is it appropriate for me to say AWESOME to the same audience I may say WORD to. I can talk to both equally and intelligently without appearing to ‘Just Fit It’. Be yourself. It’s OK to be Republican and like Hip Hop. Hip Hop is what you are, not what you do. Being hip hop is being able to show how the two cultures are similar all in one.
You lost serious credibility apologizing like a… to Rush Limbaugh. Forget Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity. You know Tom Joyner, you know Tavis Smiley, and you’ve met many other highly respected and powerful Black people in media. The same people who has influence with the audience you’re seeing to influence. Um… there you go dude, call them. You will when you are threaten by certain elements within your party and need some help, build the relationship now.
My God I’m just telling you what to do. Get a pen and paper and write this down.
Brother Man, Brotha Man
It’s possible, but you got it mixed up at the moment. You have to show the guy that looks intimidating on the streets that the guy in the suite isn’t so bad. Then you got to show the guy in the suites that the guy on the street has a keen business sense, but has never been taken seriously or given an honest and unbiased opportunity.
Being a Black Man in America
President Obama silently strummed a chord in the psyche of many Black men last year and today in addition to many others of all races and gender. You can’t tell me you don’t understand that. I know that you’re far more intelligent that I am and more polished and accomplished. I shouldn’t be saying this to you; you should be saying this to me.
What the President did and continues to do is be himself. That’s Hip Hop. Why would an average student that I was even consider returning to school to get a PhD? I can finally see people like you, President Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, Gov. Duval Patrick, Mayor Corey Booker, Former Congressman Harold Ford, Jr., and Former Secretary of State Colin Powell and know that I am more than what other think that I am. I honor and hold in high regards the role models from Civil Rights, Religion, Sports and Entertainment, but as you know we are more than just performers. Many people are now learning what some of us already knew about ourselves, but few strived to demonstrate it in public.
On a personal note, this is why I love being who I am, because I know what I can become. Mr. Steele I may disagree with how your party has represented itself to me and you understand that. This is why I say this to you, because you are among an elite group of Black men that has the opportunity to demonstrate what many already know, but lack the opportunity to show. Do you and get your grind on. (Translation of that last sentence: Be yourself and get down to business)
Becoming The Man
I don’t need to explain this theory in detail, because I’m sure you already know this. But you understand that when many Blacks in this country has ascended to the heights of elected office it has often been when the previous administration has basically created an environment so bad that many people if honest with themselves will take a Black, Latino or Asian candidate more seriously if they believe they can fix what is messed up. They become The Man instead of the Black Candidate or the Latino Candidate or the Woman Candidate. I would love to go into this theory more, but I don’t need to explain this to you.
You remember the words of reality our parents and grandparents gave us. “When you walk into a room the entire race enters with you.” Then the other one, “you got to be twice as good to be considered good.” Then my favorite one is, “If you fail we all fail.” Some smile and some may laugh because it’s understood. A norm that many are not subjected to with the same level of intensity or emphasis.
Every Brother Ain’t A Brother
Listen, I know that you know all of this. I’m from the other side of the street politically, but I want to see you succeed. We won’t always agree. That’s why I’m sure you and many others are subject to harsher scrutiny by your individual communities. It is true that some has sold out even when they refuse to acknowledge it. But many are the same as they were when no one knew they were Republican, just another person. It proves that every brother ain’t a brother cause of color. If we can’t unite the state of America how can we be a beacon of inspiration to the world?
You now have this opportunity to change the opinions and perceptions of whom and what many think you are. In midst of all the criticism you’re getting, some even from me. I want to stop and give you some unexpected encouragement. Get Up! You’re OK. Do Not Give Up. Get back out there and finish the race.
To Those Reading This
Not all will understand this and many will automatically reduce this to an assumption solely based on race. There are some things that are specific to being a Black man, but not all. I attempted to preface that before I started. This is the one-sided conversation I would say to Mr. Steele. Regardless of his political party affiliation and how much I disagree ideologically with him I do respect him and his achievements. There are very few Black Republican Men in the public eye that I can point to that I respect. Michael Steele is one of the five I can recall that would be in the number.
Finally, Mr. Steele you have a vote of no confidence coming up from within your party. I hope that you survive it and take at least some of what I’m saying to heart. I’m sure I’ll criticize you on some issue again, but I want to make sure that I will still have the opportunity to criticize you. So keep your head up, hush up and be Steele.