By Raynard Jackson
Last week, the Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart wrote a column titled, “Token support for GOP’s Orlando Watson.”
In his meandering, misguided piece; he attempted to ridicule Watson, the Republican National Committee’s communications director for Black media, for the erroneous tweet that went out regarding Rosa Parks “ending racism.”
To anyone with half a brain (Capehart can you hear me now?), it was obvious that the tweet was an error. The RNC had issued a press statement earlier that morning and the tweet that went out was supposed to be a shortened version of the full statement which accurately talked about the role Rosa Parks played in the Civil Rights Movement.
I know Orlando and find him to be an up and coming political operative. RNC chair, Reince Priebus and his head of communications, Sean Spicer, saw enough potential in Watson to place in in his current position.
The RNC has rightly been criticized in the past for not having Blacks on staff and not cultivating the next generation of Black operatives. But Priebus has changed that with the additional hiring of Raffi Williams (communications shop) and Kristal Quarker (political shop). Priebus has also given Quarker a budget and authority to hire Blacks across the country in targeted states to cultivate relations within the Black community years before the next elections.
So, whether you call the Rosa Parks tweet an error or a typo, it is irrelevant.
Capehart knows that context is everything, but he conveniently failed to mention the accuracy of the original press statement issued by the RNC.
To people like Capehart I say, “Weak people take strong positions on weak issues.”
Capehart, a known Obama sycophant, tried to castigate Watson for an admitted mistake; but gets laryngitis when a sitting U.S. president willfully deceives the nation about “being able to keep their own doctors.”
Capehart ends his piece by saying, “…But being black doesn’t automatically make one a Democrat, a liberal or a lover of the president. Those who insist that African Americans must be all those things are as offensive and short-sighted as those who see nothing wrong with “a typo in a tweet.”
Can one make a similar argument about Capehart? He refuses to hold Obama to the same standard as the RNC. The RNC admitted their error and quickly corrected the record (within hours).
The president has been guaranteeing the American people for years that “they could keep their own doctors.” Where is Capehart’s righteous indignation with Obama’s deception to the American people? Where is his outrage over the president’s lack of engagement regarding the high unemployment rate in the Black community? Where is his outrage over the devastating impact Obama’s policies are having on HBCUs?
The RNC made an error in sending out a tweet that was not accurate. No one was forced to change their doctor over the tweet, no one lost a job over the tweet, and no student was negatively impacted by the tweet.
The president’s policies (or lack thereof) are impacting real people with real consequences; but Capehart can’t seem to bring himself to criticize a sitting president simply because he is Black.
So, I guess it is far easier to pick on a 20-something with a bright future that is gaining the requisite experience to be a future power broker in our party than to criticize someone with the most powerful job in the world who you don’t believe can do no wrong.
Capehart, is that what your degree from Carleton University prepared you for—to be so blinded by dogma that you can’t write a column that makes any sense? I remind you that a college degree doesn’t mean you are educated; it only means you passed certain courses.
So, here is what I propose to you. I would like for you to be my personal guest at an upcoming event that Chairman Priebus will be hosting in February. The event will be his annual Black Republican Trailblazer luncheon to pay homage to Black Republicans who have paved the way for people like me. Maybe, just maybe, you can put aside your biases for two hours and try to appreciate the positive things going on inside the Republican Party.
This can be your way of showing token support for objectivity.
Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a Washington, D.C.-based public relations/government affairs firm. He can be reached through his Web site, www.raynardjackson.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at raynard1223.