- - Monday, April 5, 2021

Once again the Democrats are off to the racists. Every time they can’t explain their position on some public policy issue, they accuse Republicans and conservatives of being racist.

Look no further than the state of Georgia.

Almost two weeks ago, Gov. Brian Kemp signed SB 202 into law. It was an election reform bill that Democrats effectively branded as “racist,” “voter suppression” and “anti-civil rights.”

The law expands early voting for primary and general elections, includes more voting on Saturdays and Sundays, and requires voter ID. 

Only in the world of radical liberalism can more of an opportunity to do something be “suppression”; requiring one to prove they are who they say they are as “racism”; and applying the same rules to everyone as “anti-civil rights.”

But, as I am fond of saying, even when Republicans and conservatives do the right thing, they do it the wrong way.

There was little to no engagement with conservative Blacks who have credibility within the Black community. There was absolutely no media strategy to explain the contents of the legislation. There was little to no input from conservative Blacks who understood messaging and communications.

Our side allowed the radical liberals and their media sycophants to define the issue and to label it in the worst of all possible lights. A lie that is repeated enough times becomes the truth.

Now we not only have to deconstruct the lie that we have allowed to take hold in the public’s consciousness about the law being racist, but we simultaneously must put forward our message of what is actually in the law that Mr. Kemp signed.

Another problem for Republicans and conservatives is that they have a perpetual blind spot when it comes to the “optics” of race.

Mr. Kemp signed the law in his conference room surrounded by six White male legislators. Yep, you heard me right, six middle-aged, balding White males. The negative optics of this photo was so obvious that even Stevie Wonder could have seen this coming.

Make no mistakes about it, SB 202 is simply a prelude to H.R. 1 and S. 1 in the U.S. Senate.

The ultimate goal for radical liberals is to attempt to give the federal government total control over state elections.  

The inept handling of the Georgia bill will pale in comparison to the disaster that awaits us on the federal level unless we are prepared to handle the politics and optics of race much better.

This, once again, shows the value and necessity of diversity in all areas of our society, especially when it comes to politics and the Black community.

But having diversity and Blacks around you is not the same as having the right Blacks around you.

Far too often Republicans and conservatives make no distinction between the two.  

Would you go to a cardiologist for problems with your kidney? Would you ask a vegan to lead a marketing campaign for McDonald’s hamburgers?

Then why in the hell would you think engaging with minstrel shows like Diamond and Silk or Candace Owens will move the needle in the Black community.

Are our congressional and party leaders prepared for what’s ahead? Not at all.

But if we move now, there is time to put together a strategic plan for this national battle that is just around the corner.

We must move away from one or two Blacks as “race insurance” and view Blacks based on the value add they bring to the issue at hand.

The “race insurance” theory holds that one can’t be racist because they have a Black staffer which is definitely not true, but I digress.

I challenge my readers to show me one photo, one video, or one newspaper article showing our leadership engaging with “credible” Black conservatives on any issue. I am seeing press conferences from our side discussing issues of race with not one Black on the platform with them.

Black conservatives are not here to entertain the party or to say outlandish things about the Black community that Whites could not get away with saying.

We are here to be full partners within the conservative movement.

Our side must surround themselves with Blacks who will tell them what they need to hear, not what they want to hear. Some of these conversations will be uncomfortable, but I have been Black most of my life and I think I know how my community views the rhetoric and optics coming from our side.

Former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said, “To every man there comes that special moment when he is figuratively tapped on the shoulder and offered the chance to do a special thing; unique to him and fitted to his talents; what a tragedy if that moment finds him unprepared for the work which would be his finest hour.” 

Likewise, to the Republican Party and the conservative movement; what a tragedy if this moment finds you unprepared or unqualified for the moment that could be your finest hour.

• Raynard Jackson 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.

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