Thursday, April 11, 2013

Rand Paul Speaks at Howard University In DC – Apparent Goal – Introduce and Educate - The Press and the Reality of “Minority Outreach” in 2013

Richard Nixon, fought for racial equality - who knew? Image Amazon - Link to book

From Politico: Rand Paul, Senator from the State of Kentucky and potential 2016 GOP Candidate, spoke at “one of the nation’s oldest black schools,” yesterday. According to Politico, the Students insisted that they knew the history of the Republican Party, and some suggested that they would have preferred the Senator to tell them what the Party would do for them now. (There were two student references that Politico used in the article that were looking for the future not the past.) Politico also pointed out that Paul was the first Republican to speak at the school since 2009. The speaker then was Michael Steele, prior to that in 1994, Colin Powell spoke at Howard. (Politico)

Understanding that there is a lack of history taught, in general, in this nation, may be why Senator Paul thought that might be a good place to start. Most students, regardless of race, or ethnicity, are not even aware of what the political schematics were throughout the 1800’s, let alone, the 1960’s and 1970’s. The fact that Martin Luther King, Jr., was a Republican is not known, nor was the fact that school desegregation the focus of the Nixon administration- that’s recent History.

The article points out that Paul did not know the name of the first African American Senator, Edward Brookes, as the students pointed out – Also, Brookes had the distinction of being the first African American Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, a Republican who served two terms in the Senate..

From the New York Daily News, one finds that Paul’s reception by the students was cool , based on ideology, however, more welcoming than portrayed in other pieces – the students giving him credit for showing up.

The fact that, to most the nation appears racially divided, is of import – the divide stems from generations of disillusionment – and the utter lack of regard from both major political parties, to seriously recognize the need to include, not compete for, the African American and Latino/Hispanic, German, Irish, Korean, Filipino, etc. voter. It is the fact that, the civil rights movement had support from both parties (eventually), and one could think that in today’s society, the divide would have disappeared altogether; given that we are so “enlightened” as a culture. Yet, there are those who believe that those on the left side of the political spectrum, “own” certain ethnic groups, including the majority of voters – women, and that party is the Democrat Party. One might argue, that given history, the party with members who supported inclusions of all the aforementioned was, indeed, the Republican Party, yet, for some unknown reason, marketing and branding, has reversed the historical truth, and with a little help from the media, one is given the impressions that Republican’s are all old white men, who are rich on top of their other crimes, and Democrats are the kind, benevolent, bringers of liberty. Neither is true today, or was it true historically. Today, both parties are not what they were 50 years ago, and “the people” regardless of race, creed, ethnicity or gender, are used in a certain sense as political capital- the Democrats own certain Demographics (ethnicity) and the Republicans’ own the Right Wing Evangelicals (at least that is the common belief – i.e. low information voter).

Where does Senator Rand Paul fit into this schematic? He is clearly a politician, however, unlike one’s Average McCain, he is a stalwart defender of the Constitution, and a Libertarian leaning Republican – in other words, he’s more focused on what the laws of the land intended rather than on being politically correct in a re-electable sort of way, rather being true to the people who sent him to D.C. in the first place. Paul has company in a few of his Senate Counterparts; Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Lee to name a few, but it is a very few, we, as a nation, should expect that level of enthusiasm from every single individual we send to D.C. to Represent our needs. We should not always agree with the decisions that these individuals make on behalf of the Peoples they serve, as each state is unique and has a variety of problems. But, the key is that those who operate outside the “norms” in D.C. should be applauded.

Reading the news, one is under the impression that all Blacks, Latino’s, etc. (oh and that majority, Women) are deeply wedded to the Progressive Democrat Party.

A recent panel of Conservative African American’s spoke about how they perceive themselves, and the African American Community – this took place on Fox News’ Hannity program, with the video below.

The predominant theme, one that should be forefront, is the fact that those African American’s who choose to change political affiliation or to be conservative, are ostracized by the media and are persecuted for their personal choice of political party and political thought. (All this of course, not reported by the very dismal American Media as we know it today).

In a utopian world, or the world that should have been the product of the struggles of the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s, by so many people, contributing to eradicate racism across this great county, it would be immaterial if one were black, brown, purple, German, Mexican, Irish, Cuban. In the world as it should be the only focus from the peoples of the United States, would be to create, improve, and have the opportunity to build, personally and for our families and neighbors, a successful life. Perhaps a house, with two cats, a dog, and a few kids kicking around would be the image that comes to mind. The nation, and every nation, regardless of how enlightened, and or wealthy, has poverty in its presence, but unlike any other nation, our nation does not see poverty as a hindrance to one bettering oneself – it involves hard work, determination and an eye on the prize so to speak, of one-day having the “American Dream”. That is what has become lost in a society that is focused on what the government can provide for them, rather than what they can do for the country (JFK). This “sense of entitlement” is not race specific or gender specific, but generationally specific – one of the speakers in the video above, although speaking specifically about the African American Community, might have been speaking of all those caught in the trap of poverty in today’s United States – as they are slaves – in the matter of being “owned” by one party, in the sense of lack of opportunity that is drummed into children as some sort of mantra. It is worth watching, even if some readers might find the Network and the Host unbearable, the content is an eye opener.

We’ve lost our way, somewhere between 1980 to today – some were blinded by the idea that all was well, the fight had been fought, everyone was now on equal footing – those of us, who felt that way, were asleep at the switch. Political forces moved to destroy what gains were made, to divide and conquer in the name of power for themselves rather than power for the people. Only through good gestures and education can this be reversed, so that all people, regardless of which side of the “tracks” they find themselves on, have the opportunity to cross to the other side.

Rand Paul understands this, and good for him for trying, even if he stumbled, even if he spoke of the past not the present (one can bet he will do so next time), and one should take the time to listen to the voices of all the people asking for more opportunity for themselves, their children and their grandchildren.

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