I was totally mortified when I heard former U.S. Attorney General, Eric Holder ask on national TV, “Exactly when did you think America was great?”
You have got to be kidding me. This, from a man whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from Barbados and their child ended up being the first black U.S. attorney general in the history of our country. Really?
I wrote a column about this two years ago and stated, “Here are a few questions for my liberal friends. If America is so racist, how did we elect a black man as president? If America is so racist, how did we have two consecutive black secretaries of state (Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice)? If America is so racist, how did we have two consecutive [black] attorneys general (Eric Holder and Loretta Lynch)?
If America is so racist, how are African-Americans making millions of dollars in sports, music, business and technology?… America was great when former President Lincoln freed the slaves. America was great when Congress passed the Civil and Voting Rights Acts in the 60s. America was great when they elected the first black president in 2008. America was great when we witnessed, yet again, the peaceful transfer of power to Donald Trump from Barack Obama, despite just witnessing one of the nastiest presidential elections in our nation’s history.”
America is still great when a white Republican congressman friend of mine, Rep. Paul Gosar from Arizona’s 4th congressional district, asks me to work with him to put together a economic summit of some of the top minority entrepreneurs from across the country because he wants to know how he can help them grow their firms and find out from them what their concerns are so he can be a facilitator for addressing their concerns.
We had a packed hotel ballroom of blacks, Asians, Hispanics, Indians and even the Vice President of the Navajo Nation. Attendees came from all over the country.
What is more indicative of America’s greatness than diversity?
A white congressman, co-hosting a major economic forum with a black man from the hood of St. Louis. Minority entrepreneurs from across the country who would normally never be in the same room together discussing ways they can work together.
A liberal-media-described “racist,” President Trump thought enough of our event to dispatch three of his top aides to join us: Henry Childs II, national director of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency; Michael Platt, assistant secretary for Legislative and intergovernmental Affairs, U.S. Department of Commerce; Anthony Foti, director of Intergovernmental Affairs, Office of Legislative and Intergovernmental Affairs, U.S. Department of Commerce.
Congressman Gosar, by any measure, has one of the best staffs in Washington, D.C. His chief of staff, Thomas Van Flein and Leslie Foti, director of scheduling and administration, are two of the sharpest staffers in D.C.; they are all in on promoting minority entrepreneurs.
America is great when freshman Congresswoman Debbie Lesko from Arizona’s 8th congressional district makes time to participate in our summit and asks me to visit with her in her D.C. office to find out how she can work with me in my efforts to help minority businessmen.
America is great when the elected vice president of the Navajo Nation, Myron Lizer, plainly states that he wants to find ways to do business with the black community.
America is great when the newly elected chairman of the Arizona Republican Party admits that the Party need to do a much better job engaging with the minority community throughout the country, and wants me to work with her in this pursuit.
I told Congressman Gosar that we have definitely struck a vein with our economic summit. He is reconvening us back in Phoenix in June to execute our next steps.
The attendees, without exception, have committed to staying engaged with our initiative and are excited that we are totally focused on helping them produce new revenue streams.
We have already begun to receive calls from across the country asking us to bring our show to their cities.
If the Republican Party begins to focus on what makes America great, we can make major strides within the minority community.
America’s diversity is its greatest strength. If you take our diversity and tie it to the American entrepreneurial spirit, that’s a hell of a combination that has broad appeal to the minority voter.
Those who follow my columns know that I have been a big critic of the Party’s lack of substantive engagement with the minority community; but I am very encouraged that people like Congressman Gosar and Lesko and Kelli Ward seem to really understand the potential of the minority business community.
As I said during my remarks at a recent summit, “the reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable man adapts the world to himself; therefore, all progress is dependent upon the unreasonable man.”
I hope the Republican Party and the Trump administration begin to become unreasonable!
Raynard Jackson is a Pulitzer Award nominated columnist and founder and chairman of Black Americans for a Better Future, a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party. BAFBF focuses on the Black entrepreneur.
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