12-15-2017  7:41 am      •     
MLK Breakfast
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NEWS BRIEFS

Exhibit Explores the Legacy of Portland Bird Watchers

Dedicated bird watchers catapult a conservationist movement ...

Special Call for Stories about the Spanish Flu

Genealogical Forum of Oregon seeks stories from the public about one of history's most lethal outbreaks ...

Joint Office of Homeless Services Announces Severe Weather Strategy

Those seeking shelter should call 211 or visit 211.org. Neighbors needed to volunteer, donate cold-weather apparel ...

Q&A with Facebook's Global Director of Diversity Maxine Williams

A conversation on diversity and the tech industry ...

City Announces Laura John as Tribal Liason

Laura John brings an extensive background in tribal advocacy and community engagement to the city of Portland ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Don’t Delay, Sign-up for Affordable Healthcare Today

The deadline to enroll or modify healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act is December 15. ...

The Skanner Editorial: Alabama Voters Must Reject Moore

Allegations of predatory behavior are troubling – and so is his resume ...

Payday Lenders Continue Attack on Consumer Protections

Charlene Crowell of the Center for Responsible Lending writes that two bills that favor predatory lenders has received bipartisan...

Hundreds Rallied for Meek Mill, but What About the Rest?

Lynette Monroe, a guest columnist for the NNPA Newswire, talks about Meek Mill, the shady judge that locked him up and mass...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Raynard Jackson
Raynard Jackson

With less than seven weeks to go before one of the most historic elections in our nation’s history, and when the GOP needs all the help it can get reaching Black voters, the Republican National Committee (RNC) is suing me, a Black Republican, over an event that I created. You can’t make this stuff up.

A few facts. I created and hosted the first “Black Republican Trailblazer Awards Luncheon” in February 2013 in the wake of former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s loss to then-Senator Barack Obama in the 2012 presidential election. Romney received just 4 percent of the Black vote. The event was designed to recognize and honor Black Republicans who have made significant contributions to both America and the Republican Party.

As I have written previously, the head of the RNC, Reince Preibus, immediately saw the value in the luncheon and insisted that his organization pay for it.

I coordinated and executed that 2013 luncheon, despite the fact that RNC staffers, unbeknownst to Preibus at the time, attempted to sabotage my efforts at every turn.

More than 250 people attended the inaugural luncheon and I estimate that about 40 percent of them were Democrats.

That first year we honored William T. Coleman and Robert J. Brown. David L. Steward was the keynote speaker. Coleman’s work was critical in the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education. Coleman also served as Secretary of Transportation during the Ford Administration.

Bob Brown was the highest-ranking Black staffer in the Nixon Administration. As I’ve said before, Coleman and Brown were both civil rights icons, who never forgot their obligation to fight on behalf of Black community.

Preibus joined me and Dave Steward, the head of World Wide Technology in St. Louis, Mo., who operates one of the largest Black-owned businesses in the U.S., on the stage to talk about politics and the party. RNC staffers later edited me out of the video that was recorded of our conversation.

Despite the behind-the-scenes turmoil, that first event was the gold standard. By 2014, Black staffers at the RNC decided they no longer needed my leadership. My original vision for the event was watered down. By the time NewsOneNow managing editor and noted liberal Roland Martin hosted the event in 2015, I had completely divorced myself from that RNC-sponsored minstrel show. Even one of the honorees, Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) declared: “I’m not a trailblazer. My father is the trailblazer.”

You can check out what I wrote about this year’s fiasco here.

I went my own way and sought to trademark the event through my political action committee (PAC) Black Americans for a Better Future. BABF is the first and only Black Super PAC established to get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party.

Last November, I filed for and received provisional trademark approval by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for the name, “Black Republican Trailblazer Awards Luncheon.”

I e-mailed invitations to my 2016 event in early January for the upcoming February luncheon in Washington, D.C. What did the RNC do? The organization sent out an invitation for an event using the same name as my event, but in Jacksonville, Fla., scheduled a week before mine. In a conversation in January 2016, Preibus claimed that the RNC owned the name to my event. During a heated, hour-long conversation, the chair of the RNC, the national committee leader of my party, threatened to destroy me. He said that he would make it impossible for me to raise money through my PAC.

Recently, I received notification from the USPTO that my trademark application was in dispute and officially being opposed by the RNC.

This is the thanks I get for being a loyal Republican for more than 30 years?

I challenge my readers to find anyone who has done more than me to get more Blacks actively engaged with this party. With less than two months before a presidential election in which our nominee and the party are having major problems attracting Black voters, the RNC hires a law firm to take me to court over something I created. Really? I mean, really?

Well, if they want a fight, that’s exactly what I’m going to give them.

In 1520, Pope Leo X excommunicated famed reformer, Martin Luther, because he had the audacity to challenge the authority of the Pope. This challenge was issued in the form of Luther’s 95 Theses.

The Pope ordered Charles V, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, to give Luther a chance to change his mind.

Knowing that he was right in his actions and having the people on his side, he stood before the Imperial Diet at Worms and made his now famous declaration: “Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason - I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, for they have contradicted each other - my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe.  God help me. Amen."

Herein, I likewise make my stand!

Raynard Jackson is founder and chairman of Black Americans for a Better Future (BAFBF), a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party. BAFBF focuses on the Black entrepreneur. For more information about BAFBF, visit www.bafbf.org. You can follow Raynard on Twitter @Raynard1223.

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