Saturday, March 01, 2008
I Am Not Running For Congress And Why I Left Obama Alone by Akindele Akinyemi
I am not running for U.S. Congress this year or for the unforeseeable future. Urban conservatives cannot any longer continue to lose seats on a national scale, regardless of our ideas and brilliance that we bring to the table. It is political suicide. This does not mean I am not ruling out a run for office on a local or state level. I'm a strategic thinker not an emotional thinker.
Urban conservatives must go back to the strategy table and begin to look at things differently. Our focus should not be on emotional strategies but concrete plans that can help us win elections.
We can attack Barack Obama for who he is but can anyone explain why Black Republicans or conservatives cannot win elections in the first place? It is because we do not have any grassroots support to begin with. Our excuse is Black people in the inner cities are for liberal policies. So what are we doing to change that mindset other than pointing fingers like liberals about the woes of our community?
If anything, we should be tearing a page from the playbook of Obama and applying it to our own causes in our community. Here is someone who has been able to gather young people to get involved in the political process. We are making excuses of how emotional young people are for Obama but if it was Gov. Romney in the lead on the Republican side we would not make this assertion. We cannot make excuses for our poor ways of engaging our young people to rally behind a candidate let alone engage them into becoming precinct delegates in urban communities.
The Republican Party, for example, are afraid to actually come into the inner city and conduct a serious grassroots campaign because they too are caught up on the stereotypes of how Blacks are "not" interested in conservative principles. While we all know that this is a fallacy to an extent we need more than $2 million dollars spent on national urban issues from the RNC this year. That is completely unacceptable and until the RNC realizes that old white men are dying off and it will take young fresh faces of the party to carry its banner to a new level we will still be faced with the same results.
Urban conservatives have not done a good job in reaching our people either. While we can continue to educate our people on values that mean a lot to our community we often lose focus on what we are supposed to be doing other than falling for the Republican hype that has gotten our community nowhere. Conservatives cannot live on an island any longer.
Instead of always trying to run for federal office we need to first run for precinct delegate as well as any local, county or state office. Here in Michigan, the problem is not knocking off Rep. John Conyers (which no conservative can do) but securing local, county and state seats. In urban areas in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties you have to reach out to a critical mass of people who are seeking change. The only way I see any chance of beating an incumbent Democrat is redistricting. The Michigan State Senate is under the Republican leadership but guess what? You still run into a problem in places like the 14th district because it is largely controlled by the Democrats. Therefore, we have to plant seeds through a rigorous grassroots and civic education forum to create and generate interest in our community.
What is fueling the grassroots operations of Obama? We will say lies of the liberal left as an excuse but if its based on lies what are we doing to combat those lies? Because urban conservatives are so fractured in their thinking we often use the same soundbites as our White counterparts thinking we are under one roof. Conservative issues in Farmington Hills and Novi for Blacks are different than Detroit and Inkster. So we have to look at those issues differently and come up with serious solutions to the problems we face in our community.
Obama is filling up arenas across America like 40 going north with his message of hope. He has rock star status. That is a fact. Who in the Black Republican circles has rock star status? Alan Keyes cannot even file on time to run for President. J.C. Watts? The closest we had was Michael Steele and it was nowhere near what Obama is at now. Maybe we need to promote more pretty Black women in the conservative circles. Think about it. Image is everything.
The RNC wants to begin a long term campaign in Southfield, MI. The problem with that is more Detroiters are moving out to Southfield and are bringing their liberal, ghetto ways out to the city. How do you reverse that trend? It will start at the grassroots level. It goes back to my theory of urban regional networking. We have to stop giving false promises to those who want to be involved in politics. That's the problem with politics in America. We give out a bunch of false hopes and false promises to our people. I have no respect for any Republican or Democrat organization that runs people on a platform that is designed to fail.
Our focus must change. Urban conservatives are talking about supporting the war in Iraq when there are serious, dire issues on the continent of Africa that we are ignoring daily. What about the conflict in the Congo and Kenya? The same noise the international community made about Darfur we should be making the same noise in the Congo and Kenya.
We preach about the free market but how many of us in this urban conservative movement are talking about importing/exporting goods in Africa and across the Diaspora? There is nothing socialist about working with Africa. In fact, if we begun to have discussions on Africa the same way we bash John McCain you will begin to see a shift in ideology with Blacks coming over to the urban conservative side in less than 5 years.
We talk about illegal immigration but has anyone thought about the fact that this country is racist when it comes to discrimination? Today its the Arabs and Mexicans because they have a foothold economically in this country. Tomorrow the media can turn their guns on Nigerians and Senegelese people because we are coming over here and doing better than African Americans.
Urban conservatives, on one end, should discuss how illegal immigration can hurt our economy but at the same token not fall for scare tactics of the media...pitting one race against another. It is a matter of serious time before they attack African people on another level and call us a threat to national security. I highly predict the Republican Party will screw up the Black vote as usual by trying to tie Obama in with either terrorists from Kenya (dumb because you offend African people by saying this crap), tie Obama in with the Trinity United Church of Christ by calling it a radical or racial church (again dumb because no Black or White Republicans has clearly defined what or why Black Theology exists), or calling his wife, Michelle, unpatriotic (dumb, dumb, dumb). Can any Black Republican or urban conservative show me, other than Condoleeza Rice, that is possibly preparing to become one of the most powerful women in the world? We cannot even do a good job in showcasing our conservative sisters who are doing something in our own backyard. I cannot believe how silent Black Republicans are in Michigan about Karen Buie, the Muskegon County Clerk, in Muskegon, MI. Here is a fine, intelligent, Black woman, who is a COUNTY CLERK and NO ONE knows who she is on this side of the state (except for a very few people). That is absolutely ridiculous and totally unacceptable.
Tara Wall was the last person in Southeast Michigan to showcase urban conservative issues on television on a one million watt station. That was in 2004. It is 2008 and we have no conservative voice. How in the hell do you compete against the Black press that are controlled by left-wing ideology?
Urban conservatives should not even attack this man, Obama, any longer because we have no alternative to combat him. We think McCain is liberal, we think Huckabee is liberal, some of us wanted Romney (who had no message to begin with), Rush Limbaugh is urging people to get behind Hillary Clinton, and who is caught in-between? The ones who are not going to show up at the polls in November. Black Republicans are either voting for the Democratic nominee or not voting at all. We cannot take Alan Keyes serious, for the time being, because he grandstands. All this who is more conservative than the next person has paralyzed us therefore the Republican Party is fractured and right now, after all this time of having the opportunity to go out and conduct a serious minority outreach, they have failed to do so. Now McCain is the nominee and what excitement is McCain going to bring for young people? Nothing.
Urban conservatives do not have time to fall for the hype of the Republican Party because they are not taking our issues seriously. We have to now create our own path of healing. If Erykah Badu creates her own style of entertainment then we need to create our own style of empowerment. Many people know that my life work is in education and reaching out to African people across the Diaspora when it comes to economics and building schools. Part of this passion is driven from my connections with Nigeria and our family values. I would not even be involved in politics if it was not for education and rebuilding families in our community. I could care less who wins the Presidential elections because all politics are local.
Urban conservatives are not talking about HIV/AIDS in our community and globally across the African Diaspora. Here is a disease that has taken the lives of millions of people in general and because both Black liberals and conservatives rely on health care by the government this is an issue that we should be discussing.
I cannot clearly understand how any urban conservative is not discussing family policies and how the friends of courts have devastated our community. Also, I do not seem to understand the silence of how 80% of households in the inner cities are led by women. Both urban conservatives and liberals should always work on bringing fathers back in the homes. We must be in the business of teaching our girls to be women and act lady like in private and public.
Urban conservatives should be on board with educational options 100%. I cannot wait any longer for people to hear my ideas. I have to work towards a goal. Education is a civil right for every family. We should not be trapping our children in failing public schools nor exposing them to a agenda that is detrimental to their development. How did our higher education system become a breeding ground for liberal activity? We need to balance this type of thinking with moderate ideology on our college campuses.
We preach about personal responsibility but are we practicing personal responsibility in our homes? We preach Christ but are we practicing Christ? Obama has been able to galvanize all demographics to vote for him in large margins. Even some urban conservatives are praying in the closet that he beats Hillary Clinton on March 4th. While Obama is brining people together what will urban conservatives do to bring our communities together? Are we mentoring our children? Are we going home to our wives and husbands? Are we taking care of each other? While a majority of Black people are engaged in ghetto culture what about those who need help? We call ourselves Christians but do not show our people the way and the light. It's no wonder we are the most divided people on Earth.
I have no reason to attack Obama anymore. If anything, we will be smarter about our grassroots efforts and bring the noise when the time is right. I can care less of he becomes President of the United States at this time. My efforts are changing the economy and education of the state of Michigan and help try to retain what families we have left in Michigan. Even though I want to move out of Michigan because there is nothing here and no one embraces my conservative way of thinking I still have an obligation to children and parents here.
Detroit, with its leadership crisis, is ripe for a transformation. How many urban conservatives are willing and able to work hand in hand with others in the community to create a new path of prosperity for our citizens?