Eeny meeny miny mo. Catch a tiger by his toe. If he hollers let him go. Eeny meeny miny mo. My mother told me to pick the very best one and that one is not you. The other African American hoping to lead the Republican Party is Kenneth Blackwell, the former secretary of state of Ohio. A staunch conservative who believes that the party should stand its ground whether Blacks are attracted to it or not, Blackwell is vice chair of the RNC's platform committee and was the party's 2006 nominee for governor in Ohio.
I'm sure that you all remember this little ditty used by children of all ages to determine who would be in or out in some school yard game. When I was in about the 3rd grade I learned, however, that my white classmates learned a very different variation to this little ditty. There I was reciting along, but as I said "tiger" they said something entirely different. Stopped me dead in my tracks as I wondered why their parents did not teach them the correct way to say this rhyme and just what did it mean to catch a "nigger" by the toe. Oh well, I said to myself and was realized at that moment that it was not my classmates who didn't want me to come to the birthday party but their parents. A pretty hard pill to swallow for 9 year old who attended a "Christian" elementary school.
When I read an article today entitled,African Americans Vie to Lead Republicans, I immediately remembered this incident from my youth. As the Republicans finalize plans to determine who will be the new "face" of their party next weekend, I wonder if they will opt to catch a "tiger" or "nigger" by the toe as they make their final decision. To say the least, it will be very interesting to see how Michael Steele and Kenneth Blackwell fare in the selection process. The "who" they select, whether it be Steele, Blackwell, or someone else, is far less important than the "why" they selected the "who". Unless and until the RNC is willing to recognize and resolve to the fact that this Country is comprised of those who are poor, those who are infirmed, and those who are well beyond middle-age, and those who do not share their experiences or frames of references it will matter not who is placed at their helm. In addition, and regardless of who is at their helm, if the RNC wishes to be more inclusive they will have to come up with much more of a committed and dedicated strategy that simply adding a bit of color to their team. One only needs to look at the Illinois Senate race in which Alan Keyes was beaten badly by the current President of the United States.
Frankly, I would be hard pressed to consider anything coming from the RNC if either Steele or Blackwell were selected. The billboards erected by National Black Republican Association during the Democratic National Convention as well as the literature distributed proclaiming Martin Luther King, Jr. to have been a Republican for me is testimony that the RNC just doesn't get it. And what is even worse is that the NBRA doesn't get it either. I am assuming that both Steele and Blackwell are members of the Association, but even if they are not they are surely recognized leaders of the party in some capacity and as such should have spoken against such a tactic to garner the support of African-Americans. In addition, I have never heard either of them provide a cogent argument or evidence that the Republican Party is interested in anything other than my vote.
But, I suspect that the RNC is not willing to take the "leap of faith" that would be required of them by choosing either one. After all, the Black voices of the RNC were relegated to non-primetime slots during their convention last summer. What better time to show inclusion than at that time, but instead they opted not to do so. I just don't see the Joe the Plumbers and the Hockey Moms allowing an African American to formulate their agenda. But, if they do, I hope that the African American selected refuses to merely play the role. As Hattie McDaniel said "it is better to play a maid [in the movies] than to be one [in real life]".
So, we'll learn next weekend who the RNC will select as their new leader. I just have a feeling that after after a real and in depth investigation of who would best server the Party that Steele nor Blackwell will emerge the victor. Just have a feeling that they, too, will remember the rhyme taught to them by their parents: Eeny meeny miny mo. Catch a nigger by his toe. If he hollers let him go. Eeny meeny miny mo. My mother told me to pick the very best one and that one is not you.
Former Maryland Lt. Gov. Michael Steele is considered a leading candidate to chair the RNC. Steele has repeatedly argued to his fellow Republicans that the party should expand its base to include more people of color. In 2002, Steele became the first African American to win statewide office in Maryland. Four years later, he lost a bid for the U.S. Senate to Benjamin Cardin, a Democrat. Steele currently heads GOPAC, a political action committee that recruits and grooms Republicans for political office.
and now old SjP ain't got nothin' more to say...
~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Technorati ~ ~ Del.iciou.us ~ ~ Digg This! ~ ~ StumbleUpon ~ ~ Twitter ~ ~ My Good Towels ~ ~ FeedBlitz ~ ~ Email SjP
The other African American hoping to lead the Republican Party is Kenneth Blackwell, the former secretary of state of Ohio. A staunch conservative who believes that the party should stand its ground whether Blacks are attracted to it or not, Blackwell is vice chair of the RNC's platform committee and was the party's 2006 nominee for governor in Ohio.Obliged to you for hearing me,