Friday, November 28, 2008

There is Nothing Wrong With Being A Radical by Akindele Akinyemi

According to Merriam-Webster the word radical means the following.

1: of, relating to, or proceeding from a root:.

2: of or relating to the origin.

3 a: marked by a considerable departure from the usual or traditional : extreme b: tending or disposed to make extreme changes in existing views, habits, conditions, or institutions

In1854 when the Republican Party was founded in Jackson, Michigan these people were not passive conservatives nor social conservatives. These Republicans were considered to be Radical Republicans. It does not take a rocket scientist to understand how our beginnings at first was about change.

Our Radical Republican forefathers demanded harsh policies toward the end of slavery and the Confederacy during the war, and toward ex-Confederates after the war, as well as support for equal rights for the Freedmen (free Blacks).

After the 1860 elections the Radical Republicans became a powerful force in Congress.

The Radical Republicans campaign for equal rights for African Americans was not a popular cause after the American Civil War. In 1868 Henry Wilson argued that the issue cost the GOP over a quarter of a million votes in 1868. In the election that year several of the radicals lost their seats including the long-term leader of the group, Benjamin Wade.

After the American Civil War a group of former soldiers from the Confederate Army founded the Ku Klux Klan. The first Grand Wizard was Nathan Forest, an outstanding general during the war. During the next two years Klansmen wearing masks, white cardboard hats and draped in white sheets, tortured and killed black Americans and sympathetic whites, Immigrants who they blamed for the election of Radical Republicans, were also targets of their hatred.

Radical Republicans in Congress urged President Ulysses S. Grant to take action against the Ku Klux Klan. After a campaign led by Oliver Morton and Benjamin Butler, Grant agreed in 1870 to instigated an investigation into the organization and the following year a Grand Jury reported that: "There has existed since 1868, in many counties of the state, an organization known as the Ku Klux Klan, or Invisible Empire of the South, which embraces in its membership a large proportion of the white population of every profession and class. The Klan has a constitution and bylaws, which provides, among other things, that each member shall furnish himself with a pistol, a Ku Klux gown and a signal instrument. The operations of the Klan are executed in the night and are invariably directed against members of the Republican Party. The Klan is inflicting summary vengeance on the colored citizens of these citizens by breaking into their houses at the dead of night, dragging them from their beds, torturing them in the most inhuman manner, and in many instances murdering."

Congress passed the Ku Klux Act and became law on 20th April, 1871. This gave the president the power to intervene in troubled states with the authority to suspend the writ of Habeas Corpus in countries where disturbances occurred. The passing of this legislation was the last substantial victory for the Radical Republicans in Congress.

The progressive and responsible role of Radical Republicans in creating public school systems, charitable institutions and other social infrastructure in the South was ignored. Since the 1960s and the influence of the moral crusade of the Civil Rights era, recent historians in a school of thought have reevaluated the periods of Reconstruction and upgraded the reputation of the Radical Republicans. They argued that the Radical Republicans' advancement of civil rights and suffrage for African Americans following emancipation was more significant than the financial corruption which took place. They also pointed to the African Americans' central, active roles in reaching toward education (both individually and by creating public school systems) and their desire to acquire land as a means of self-support.

So what happened? Why did we get soft and comfortable in our position as Republicans? We simply forgot about how important it was to be a humanitarian. So now we are fighting over who is more conservative than the other. It is silly to fight over Michael Steele vs Ken Blackwell because Steele is moderate and Blackwell is more conservative. Here is a reminder. Both are Black. Both lost their races in 2006. And unless someone comes up with a plan to radically and actively recruit and EDUCATE the urban communities without being passive neither one will accomplish anything in the GOP.

If you never took the time to look up the word conservative it means this:

Tending or disposed to maintain existing views, conditions, or institutions.

While I am a supporter of conservative principles I do not seek answers from dead people or from the graveyard like many of my colleagues in the GOP. Urban conservatism has nothing to do with staying in the same position for over a long period of time. It has something to do with keeping traditional values in the home BUT elevating as we advanced in information and technology.

The great thing about urban conservatism is the fact that its hard core belief is deeply rooted in radical principles to force change in our community. There is nothing wrong with being radical. Any person who is not interested in becoming a change agent (1) do not know the core principles of the very party they belong to (2) do not know the actual history of the party and (3) are waiting in line to die because they feel that we need to change the message to come into the urban communities.

Once again, we have to become those radical Republicans of the 1800s. History has a tendency of repeating itself. While we sit and waste time on non-issues we have to come up with a concrete strategy to combat adult illiteracy. This affects all of us whether we are Republican, Democrat, Black or White. The proof is most Republicans who I speak to do not even know that we started off as a radical group. While you had some who were "moderate" in the party in the beginning it was those who rode the backs of Frederick Douglass and many others that initiated change in our community. History makers are normally radicals who change the course of history by not fearing what is in front of them, a strong faith in God and understanding the principles of what they believe in.

Education is the most critical line item we must begin to address. Our children's freedom is on the line. With the amount of failing schools climbing in the urban areas in Michigan we have to seriously began looking at reform measures to help our children.

To make matters worse the Detroit Public Schools is considering making poor high school students pay nearly $300 for bus transportation and cutting back on textbook purchases as part of a sweeping two-year deficit elimination plan. The district also is weighing closing up to 18 schools by next school year, cutting at least 400 more administrators and non instructional staff, ending reimbursements to staff for bottled water and trimming hours for literacy coaches, counselors and other instructional specialists who assist teachers in the classroom. While no additional teachers are expected to be laid off next year, the cuts are in addition to more than 818 teachers already laid off or cut through attrition and the reduction of hundreds of other staff members in the cash-strapped district.

This is just the beginning. Of course, these types of actions could have a domino effect across State of Michigan when it comes to educational reform. If we are not in the business of education we will never get to the other problems such as civic education reform, mental health, health care, economic development or international trade and development.

This is the reason why I am running for Outreach Chair of the Michigan Republican Party. I am not running as a radical or passive Republican but my vision and execution methods are strategic. However, my platform is radical. I am not afraid to say that because radicalism brings about change. I do not kiss anyone ass period. I am about working as a group not practicing individualism. While I will work to open the doors of opportunity for both candidates and grassroots leaders I am still opening the door for new growth within the party by being personable, honest and loving towards each other. Candidates running in 2010 who are serious about working with me will have to know that I am not about YOUR agenda but OUR agenda. In fact, you will not be able to win Michigan unless we develop a urban strategy for us to actively pursue and get this, PHYSICALLY walk into the neighborhoods. Keep blowing off the inner cities and the inner cities will continue blowing off the GOP.

Our community needs us and its time that we gave back. One of my chief focuses is to reach out to those in the African Diaspora. If my colleagues would do some research you will find that out of the 880,000 African immigrants residing in the U.S., this group are a highly educated group. U.S. Census figures show that they are more likely to have a college degree (43.8% do) than Asian-Americans (42.5%) or the U.S. population as a whole (23.1%). "Our most educated immigrants come from Africa," said Camille Charles, a professor of sociology and African studies at the University of Pennsylvania whose research is the source of the statistic that 13% percent of black students at elite colleges are African immigrants.

The reason why MOST Africans even voted for Obama in the first place because of his lineage and platform. Sounds confusing? It should, however, when you are trying to please the crumbs that fall from the table you ignore potential voters. Obama did not ignore anyone.

Had leadership gone after this demographic as well as the Hispanic community a lot better we would not be in this hole we are in. This is common sense. MOST Africans I know personally have "conservative traits" but are radical in terms of action. The same with Hispanics and Asians. The GOP must become a party of inclusion and action not just doing the same thing over and over again. This party will NOT win in 2010 in Michigan unless they actually walk, campaign and reach out to the inner cities. With Obama moving at full speed in 2010 we cannot afford to fail.

One of the most radical approaches that I have developed is the Covenant for Detroit. The Covenant for Detroit are based on nine steps to improve city government.

1. Fiscal Responsibility: A balanced budget/tax limitation proposal and a legislative line-item veto to restore fiscal responsibility to an out- of-control Mayor/City Council, requiring them to live under the same budget constraints as families and businesses.

2. Reclaiming Our Streets: A REAL anti-crime package including stronger truth-in- sentencing, good faith exclusionary rule exemptions, and cuts in wasteful spending to fund prison construction and additional law enforcement to keep people secure in their neighborhoods and kids safe in their schools.

3. Encourage Personal Responsibility: Work with state lawmakers to discourage illegitimacy and teen pregnancy by prohibiting welfare to minor mothers and denying increased benefits for additional children while on welfare, cut spending for welfare programs to promote individual responsibility.

4. Real Family Preservation: Child support enforcement, tax incentives for adoption, strengthening rights of parents in their children's education, stronger child pornography laws, and an elderly dependent care tax credit to reinforce the central role of families in the City of Detroit, shared equal parenting rights which equals to children needing both parents.

5. Educational Reform: Repeal the tax credit in the Michigan Constitution to allow Universal Tax Credits for parents and children in Detroit, expansion of theme based charter schools, private scholarships for children in failing public schools, silent prayer in schools, replace multiculturalism with patriotic education, encourage private sector participation in math and science education, fighting adult illiteracy with private based programs that will create job readiness.

6. Detroit Restoration : A $500 per child tax credit and creation of Detroit Dream Savings Accounts to provide middle class tax relief.

7. Job Creation: Small business incentives, capital/state gains cut and indexation, neutral cost recovery, risk assessment/cost-benefit analysis and unfunded mandate reform to create jobs and raise worker wages.

8. Citizen Legislature: A first-ever vote on term limits to replace career politicians with citizen legislators in Detroit. Also, vote City Council by districts and place term limits on each council member. Mayor of Detroit should have term limits.

9. Senior Citizens: Provide tax incentives for private long-term care insurance to let the elderly in Detroit keep more of what they have earned over the years.

A thinking person who is educated would take this same platform and use it in every inner city in Michigan. We do not need to go BACK to the party of Reagan, Goldwater or Lincoln. These people are dead and please let them rest in peace. We know what they stood for and we thank them for advancing our cause. But now is the time to actually RESEARCH, READ and ANALYZE if we want to create a better reality. As much as I like him we should even leave Newt Gingrich alone other than as a guide. He, along with critical thinking Republicans, did his thing with the Contract with America in 1994. The Covenant for Detroit (which can be used as a Statewide Covenant in urban Michigan) is OUR CONTRACT. Again, this is why I am running for Outreach Chair of the Michigan Republican Party. I am NOT bankrupt on ideas and never will because I am always studying. And if you are serious you would support me.

Change is necessary to move forward. In fact, it is more important than ever to take a scientific, evidence-based approach to policy making and avoid reliance on gut instinct or untested assumption. By building a base of knowledge among our grassroots leadership we will be able to aim to develop policy making and by making better use of our resources to widen the pool of knowledge to our policymakers. That is why it is called political science.

The definition of political science is a social science concerned chiefly with the description and analysis of political and especially governmental institutions and processes. When we become the urban conservatives we need to be based on being political scientists as well as having a more radical approach to addressing our needs we will begin to see why our forefathers were successful in changing the world starting in 1854.

3 comments: said...

I'm "Radically Saved!" Does that count?


Anonymous said...


If you're interested, Rep. Thaddeus McCotter might share many of your views. I'd encourage you to check him out. If you'd like to receive his releases and video clips, just e-mail me back.

Jameson Cunningham
Press Secretary

DIOP_JR said...

Hey, Akindele?

I just wanted you to know how horrible and fallacy-laden your blogs are. I haven't followed them religiously, but from what I've read thus far, you are probably the most provincial and self-deluded blogger I've ever encountered.

Your rhetoric, when directed against Blacks (which it almost always is), falls flat because you obviously share no connection with these, "your" people. And what's more disheartening is your readiness to commodify your political novelty, a "Black Republican"- complete with Mitt Romney photo ops. And if you can't see how the classical liberalism of your fond reminiscences has historically eroded the Black community, I (like any socially-aware African-American) have real trouble respecting your lay observations.

In short, Conyers is a tough customer, huh?