Friday, September 29, 2006

What Is Buzz Thomas Talking About? by Akindele Akinyemi

I opened up the Michigan Front Page this morning and was shocked to see Senator Buzz Thomas editorial. The name of the editorial is called "Republicans Need To Avoid Racist Past."

I felt that was interesting because I know for a fact that Senator Thomas have said in the past to Michigan Republicans that he would make "a good Republican."

He has also been accused of being a "closet Republican" by groups like the NAACP, Keep The Vote No Takeover and the entire grassroots community.

So why is he trying to spin this? To help his friend Gov. Greenland for re-election.

Now that's what teamwork is about. But his accusations on Republicans being racist is a bit far-fetched.

I am not a racist at all. I tell the facts. I do not have to live in fear and accept paranoia.

Senator Thomas states in his editorial:

"First, it is not the mayor's job to settle strikes or run the schools. Second, if Republicans were so concerned about he future of detritus children, why do they always see Detroit and its schools as the first place to cut funds to balance budgets?"

Since he wants to go there on education I wonder where Senator Thomas received his high school education? Can we say Birmingham Detroit Country Day Class of 1987? He is NOT a product of Detroit Public Schools while this Black Republican who is writing this blog graduated from Detroit Mumford High School. Even though I started at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy I graduated from a DPS school. Thomas did not. SO how can he articulate ANY real position on DPS when he did not graduate from DPS to begin with?

Second, it is a well known fact that Republicans (Black or White) have been fighting for more educational options for our children since Genesis 1:1. Have Senator Thomas fought for educational options? Yes, to send children to Country Day (which I do not have a problem with at all but many inner city children cannot afford to go to Country Day). What about raising the cap on charter schools and universal tax credits to give parents and students more options? He has not fought for more options for students.

Third, why is Senator Thomas so concerned with DPS? Can we all say together the teacher unions?

He goes on:

"Most importantly, I am concerned that with another election year Detroit will again be attacked and racism will be used by Republicans in their campaigns."

The Michigan Citizen have been attacking Dick DeVos since day one and will not let up. Granholm has been running false television ads on DeVos. The so called "Women of Granholm" has given the "Black Agenda" to the Governor. On the Mildred Gaddis Show they called the Black Republicans (including myself) who were following DeVos on Labor Day "paid servants."

What the hell is he talking about racism from the Republicans when the Democrats charged people for their little DNC African American Leadership Summit last weekend. If you did not have the money you didn't go. The Diversity Caucus Forum at the Michigan Republican State Convention was free. Notice I said DIVERSITY CAUCUS not "Black Caucus, Indian Caucus, Polish Caucus, etc." There was no separation of races at the Republican convention so what is Senator Thomas talking about?

He goes on:

"We all remember the insulting below the belt campaigns the Republicans ran against Jennifer Granholm, tying her in with Kwame Kilpatrick and the City of Detroit, and using that as a wedge issue."

We don't have to run anything because we know for a fact that the Mayor of this city (who is a friend of senator Thomas) is not openly supporting Jennifer Granholm for re-election. And if you want proof then take a look at the outcome of the Amos Williams-Scoot Bowen fiasco for Attorney General. That alone made people upset.

The Michigan Democrats are self-imploding themselves to death and most precinct delegates that I have spoken with who identify themselves as Democrats will vote for DeVos this November. Again, what is Senator Thomas talking about?

He mentions about State Representative John Pappageorge "suppressing the Detroit vote" remarks in 2004. Was that really racist or was it taken out of context by the Black press? The Democrats have done a wonderful job in keeping Detroit Democratic and ignorant of the Republican Party. Black people do not just live in Detroit anymore we live in Novi and Wixom now. So our people are regional and so are our politics. You will find plenty of young Black conservatives living on the other side of 8 Mile Rd. The only suppression that is occurring is the Democrats demonizing Black Republicans who want to make a difference in Detroit by fighting of political balance and creating a real Next Detroit.

Again, what is Senator Thomas talking about?

He goes on:

"Every election cycle I have hope that we will have clean campaigns and that Republicans will look beyond the color of our skin or whether we live north or south of Eight Mile to convey their message."

Sorry Senator, but it's YOUR party that started the mudslinging against DeVos and the Michigan Republicans in television. It was your party that REJECTED this One Detroit Network but it was the Republicans that embraced it. As a Black Republican I STILL come to the Democratic functions yet I do not see Young Black Democrats coming to the Black Republican functions.

And there are many who think you are white as well, my friend, IN YOUR DISTRICT. Again, what are you talking about? There are people in the hood praying on the day you lose an election. Most of your Black Democratic friends do not care about you but the Black Republicans care about your and your family.

He concludes by saying:

"It is interesting that very election cycle Republicans talk about courting more African American voters and attempting to build stronger ties to Detroiters. Once they realize that our issues are their issues and stop stooping to the lowest common denominator to attempt to win elections, they might have the opportunity to have a real dialogue in Detroit. Until then they will continue to struggle and Detroit will continue to be a stronghold for Democrats."

First, Republicans do not court Black voters every election cycle. They are courted year round. Second, Republicans have embraced our philosophy of building ONE DETROIT meaning building regional power and not just Detroit. The Democrats have been in power for a long time in Detroit and nothing has changed. Blacks still carry a victim mentality. Blacks still beg for the crumbs that fall from the table. We still preach about Blackness but live paycheck to paycheck. Children are graduating from 12th grade with a sixth grade mentality.

What is Senator Thomas taking about?

Detroit is a Democratic stronghold because of the unions not because of people's political ideology. Most Blacks in this city do not even know what a Republican is. Their perspective of Republicans come from television, radio and print media.

Furthermore, I never seen Senator Thomas or his Democratic colleagues invite Black Republicans anywhere in the State of Michigan to dialogue so what is he talking about? No one has called me, e-mailed me or nothing. So this "opportunity for real dialogue" is no more than a smoke screen for a party that dislikes him to begin with.

Senator Thomas is an excellent legislator and I have endorsed him and will continue to support him. But before we write editorials look at the whole circumference and then give a statement.

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