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Republican Party has Abandoned Me

Guest Columnist | , Raynard Jackson | 10/31/2012, 11:38 a.m.

During the past year, as my columns have been syndicated to more outlets throughout the world, I have been asked by many leaders in the Republican Party why I am so critical of our party. The short answer is that I am very concerned about the direction my party is taking. It has increasingly become the party of old, White, balding males.

To those I have had these conversations with, my response was quite pointed, "Stop questioning my motives and address the issues that I write about."

Last week, John Sununu made another racially incendiary comment towards a prominent Black. First, he called President Obama "lazy" and now accuses Colin Powell of supporting Obama only because Obama is Black. Sununu is national co-chair for Romney's presidential campaign. What has been Romney's response to Sununu's rhetoric? Absolutely nothing. Whether Obama and Powell are Black is not the issue; Sununu's use of race-baiting language is unacceptable.

Romney's refusal to distance himself from the likes of Sununu, Richard Mourdock, Todd Akin, or Sarah Palin is repulsive to me. We are supposed to be a party of principles. Does Romney want to be president so bad that he is willing to forfeit these principles in order to win an election?

Do Romney and the Republican Party not understand or care that Sununu has thoroughly offended Blacks specifically with his comments about Obama and Powell; but also Americans of good will in general? Why is my "party-loyalty" always called into question when I criticize a Republican who crosses the line into racially-charged language?

Fortunately, there are a few White Republicans willing to stand up to Sununu. Retired Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson told Ed Schultz on MSNBC, "Let me just be candid: My party is full of racists, and the real reason a considerable portion of my party wants President Obama out of the White House has nothing to do with the content of his character, nothing to do with his competence as commander-in-chief and president, and everything to do with the color of his skin, and that's despicable."

It's too bad that Romney does not exemplify that same courage.

I am a Child of God first, then an American, and then a Republican. I will not check my Blackness at the door because I am a Republican. The language coming from Sununu and my party is counter to the founding principles of the party that I am a proud member of.

But, twice this year some of these same people have approached me about funding for some election year tricks that they (White Republicans) have conjured up and simply need a Black face to execute the plan. On these two separate occasions, these funders were willing to spend upwards of $20 million to have me organize a national campaign to identify Blacks who would be critical of President Obama.

I was deeply offended by these approaches, but it's not the first time in my life that I have had similar conversations within the party.

I joined the Republican Party upon graduating from Oral Roberts University because I believed in the principles the party espoused: lower taxes, especially for job creation for small businesses; equality of opportunity for all; a party based on Christian principles, to name a few.