President-elect Donald Trump owes the Black community absolutely nothing. Let me repeat that: HE OWES US NOTHING!
Blacks gave Trump just 8 percent of their vote and Hillary Clinton won 88 percent; Clinton’s share of Black voters was considerably lower than Obama’s 93 percent in 2008 and 96 percent in 2012.
Trump has said that he will make things a lot better for Blacks and that he wants to be president of all of America.
Trump won the election and “to the victor belong the spoils,” but if he’s serious about making things better for Blacks, he’s going to need the expertise and wealth of experience of Black Republicans during his transition to the White House and in his administration.
I find it extremely offensive that Trump would meet with liberal Democrat Bob Johnson, founder of BET, and call Al Sharpton, a known race hustler. Black Republicans have been calling me constantly with this complaint, but most are too afraid to go on the record with their criticism.
Well, I am not seeking favor or goodies from the incoming Trump administration and even if I were, I still wouldn’t remain silent on this issue.
Let me put it this way: How would Trump feel if his employees stayed at a Marriott Hotel when a Trump property was literally next door? Well, this is how Black Republicans feel every time one of our leaders engages with liberal Black Democrats and ignores us.
Why hasn’t Trump called Black Republicans like Bob Brown, the highest-ranking Black in the Nixon Administration? He is a walking history book on Blacks in the Republican Party. Why has he not called Fred McClure who served in consecutive presidential administrations advising President Ronald Reagan and President George H. W. Bush on legislative affairs as a senior member of the White House staff? He also served as Legislative Director to U.S. Senator John Tower, the Associate Deputy U.S. Attorney General, Chairman of the Board of Visitors of the United States Naval Academy, and as a member of the National Civil Aviation Review Commission and the Secretary of Energy’s Advisory Board.
Oh, and what about Connie Newman?
Newman served as U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Assistant Administrator for Africa for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), and Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), just to name a few.
The bigger tragedy is most of the Republicans in leadership have no idea who these people are. These are folks with serious relationships and credibility within the Black community and have great standing and stature within the White community, as well.
As I often say, the best way to get attention as a Black Republican is to be a Black Democrat.
As of this moment, Trump has not named one Black to his cabinet. Former neurosurgeon and presidential candidate Ben Carson has been mentioned as a possibility to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
Putting Carson at HUD is like asking me to perform brain surgery on your kid. What does Carson know about housing policy? Absolutely nothing.
Furthermore, can we get away from sticking Blacks and Latinos in this particular agency? Believe it or not, Blacks do have the skills to run the departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, etc., and even the political office inside the White House.
So, knowing the Republican establishment the way I do, I know their first response will be, “Well, Raynard, who do you recommend?”
Here are just a few people that come to mind.
Kay Cole James is one of the most decorated political appointees in the country. She is a graduate of Hampton University, one of the premier Black colleges in the country, has served at the highest levels of the federal government for the last three Republican presidents (Reagan, Bush, and Bush) and she currently sits on several major corporate boards. How about making her the Domestic Policy Advisor, someone who reports directly to the president?
How about making Robert L. Wallace the administrator of the Small Business Administration? He is a Baltimore native, Dartmouth College graduate in engineering, a serial entrepreneur and has received every award known to God for mentoring others; he is also a lifetime Republican.
What about making Shannon Reeves the White House Political Director? He is a graduate of Grambling University, another prominent Black college; he’s also a serial entrepreneur, a lifetime member of the NAACP, former state director of the NAACP of California, and is currently a professor at Alabama A&M University, a Black college, and is simultaneously finishing his doctorate degree in political science.
Isn’t it a shame that Republicans know more about Black Democrats than they do Black Republicans? Isn’t it also a shame that Republicans in leadership reach out to more Black Democrats than they do Black Republicans?
With our Super PAC, Black Americans for a Better Future, we are actively changing these dynamics. You will see our plan at work during our upcoming 5th annual Black Republican Trailblazer Awards Luncheon in February.
So, to President-elect Donald J. Trump, please feel free to call me so we can discuss the issue of putting “real” Black Republicans in “real” positions of power within your administration. Mr. Trump, what do “you” have to lose?
EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in Black Press USA.