GOP Should Follow Palin’s Lead on Inclusion

Crystal Wright

2/25/2014 12:01:00 AM - Crystal Wright

Talking about race neither makes a black person a victim nor a white person a racist. It’s called a discussion and something conservatives need to do more of. Recently, a white female twitter follower of mine got agitated on twitter because a black male follower tweeted at me the GOP was being run by a minority of “angry white men.” He added it wasn’t good for growing the party.

The woman tweeted:

“Really? America was built by similar "angry old men" you are referring to. I don't care for your wordage.”

I tweeted “those same white men like Jefferson and Washington had black slaves build this damn USA. U understand that?”

She tweeted I had a 150 year old chip on my shoulder and “At some point you have to move on.” Then a white male follower accused me of engaging in “racist claptrap.” How is talking about ALL American history, including slavery, racist? Too often when blacks bring up the painful history of American slavery, conservatives tell us “to get over” or accuse us of engaging in victimhood. It was okay for the woman to bring up the fact old white men founded America but it wasn’t okay for me as a black woman to remind they did off the backs of slaves.

There was nothing in my tweets demanding blacks be treated like victims today because of the wrongs inflicted upon blacks in the past. Yet when I raised the fact that for over 100 years white Americans used slaves as free black labor to amass wealth and build structures like the US Capitol, the White House, Monticello, Mount Vernon and many others, I’m told to get over slavery.

Interesting when whites praise Civil War heroes they call that “American pride” but when blacks talk about former slaves turned abolitionists like Harriet Tubman, Dred Scott, Frederick Douglass or Sojourner Truth, we’re told by white conservatives “to get over it.” I’ll get over the ugly history of American slavery and segregation when our country can move beyond praising the Confederacy and states’ rights used to uphold separate but equal Jim Crow laws before passage of the Civil Rights Act.

There’s no honesty in white washing American history. Conservatives need to stop being defensive and afraid to talk about race, it’s called the conversation of inclusion. How are we going to grow the party, if we can’t engage in difficult conversations? It doesn’t mean sacrificing party principles but recognizing one race and gender shouldn't represent or control the GOP. America isn’t a monolithic nation and political parties shouldn’t be.

Sarah Palin gets it. Endorsing candidate Katrina Pierson, who is running for Texas’ 32nd Congressional seat, Palin wrote she’s tired of the “permanent political class in D.C. [that] won’t listen. So, let’s start putting our efforts behind good new candidates.” Pierson is challenging incumbent Rep. Pete Sessions in the GOP primary. Many in the party believe Sessions, who has held the seat since 1997, “owns it” and no other conservative should challenge him simply because he’s been re-elected so many times.

I know I sound like broken record but by the year 2050, America won’t be whiter it will be browner with minorities representing over 50% of the population. The GOP will continue to lose more national elections until it embraces and looks like the changing face of America and that’s at every level of the party from candidates and operatives to leadership.

Palin didn’t endorse Pierson because she’s black but she didn’t ignore or dismiss her either because she’s black, which is what the GOP establishment has done with many candidates such as Erika Harold running for Illinois' 13th Congressional seat. In fact, the Illinois GOP and the RNC refused to give Harold access to the GOP data center or “voter vault” because she like Pierson is challenging an incumbent in the GOP primary.

Evidently, the “establishment” considers it heresy for a black woman to dare challenge an old, white, male incumbent. As we all know, the GOP lost the 2012 presidential election because Mitt Romney couldn’t come close to winning the minority or woman vote even though he won a record 60% of the white vote. Last time I read the US Constitution, it didn’t say anything about white, old men owning Congressional seats. Those seats belong to “We the People.”

“Katrina Pierson is an emerging leader and important voice for the future of the grassroots conservative movement,” wrote Palin in her endorsement on Facebook.

I couldn’t agree more with Palin that as a black woman, and conservative, Pierson is the future of the conservative movement. Pierson believes in protecting our individual freedoms and liberty, “limited government, fiscal responsibility and the rule of law.” The GOP should follow Palin’s lead and realize the future of conservatism isn’t cookie cutter candidates.