An Essential Path to be Taken

Can the Republican Party emerge as truly being post-racial in a race-sensitive climate cultivated by divisiveness from the left?

By Jesse Civello
America’s Right

It started out as nothing out of the ordinary, simply a routine political meeting. Things quickly became much more than that, much more than a habitual gathering of political thought, much more than a session of skepticism and complaints. Something bigger. Something beyond oneself.

I had walked into the meeting exactly one minute before we were due to begin, to a room with nine other characters already seated. My attendance was a result of an invitation to become a member of a certain campaign committee, specifically to help run the absentee ballot campaign for the candidate in question, and I was eager to begin the meeting. Seated to my left was the county chairman of the Republican Party, next to him the municipal chairman of the Republican Party, and next to him one of our Republican township commissioners. On my right was the Republican area leader and former township commissioner. The fact is, all of the aforementioned individuals are white — white males to be exact.

On the other side of the circle, however, was the female candidate, her campaign manager, her treasurer and two other campaign staffers — all African Americans, all on the other side of the circle. You must be thinking to yourself: this kid is feeling optimistic yet he’s describing a segregated Republican Party meeting, what’s wrong with him? My friends, that assumption would be far from true.

The meeting started out with the Republican chairman of the county talking about why he was there. “I am here tonight because when I hear of a good Republican candidate, I want to meet, get to know and show my support for that individual,” he said. “Tonight I am here to listen to what you have to say, to hear about what you are going to do, but more importantly, to hear what you believe I can do, and what our party can do to help you win.”

After his introduction, the floor was then given to the candidate who gave a presentation on what she and her committee were doing. She was working hard, honestly. She was knocking on all the doors, talking to people, fearing none because of party affiliation and answering tough questions with resilience and determination. She is a winner. I can tell. And, trust me, there is a sincere difference between a candidate wanting to run, and a candidate wanting to win.

The meeting didn’t get “blogworthy,” however, until a heated cross-circle discussion began, a discussion I believe the Republican Party needs to have within our leadership and our country. The topic: Race and the Republican Party. It was said in the meeting that many African American’s seem to be “burnt” by the Republican Party. They seem to be angry, afraid, and disillusioned, even by the mere mention of Republicanism. The room fell quiet, and we all seemed to look around and think silently to ourselves. The county chairman asked to the room a simple question: “What can we do to change this?”

This was a realization to me. It occurred to me at that moment. This discussion, this group, this diversity, this conversation about improving the American way of life was what Republicanism is all about. It’s about being a neighbor in a community; it’s about going beyond practicality and getting real results. Becoming a doer and a thinker. Becoming a patriot for service and standards, and truly practicing what one preaches.

What occurred after the chairman’s question was a discussion of the reality of our party. Who are we and where are we headed? It was mentioned that, in the African-American community, being a Democrat is a tradition passed down and something that people just don’t change. I object to that. I really do. In fact, I believe it’s a necessary change for our Party and our country. We as a Republican Party must begin to practice more and preach less, we must show results instead of analysis, we must–dare I say it–be a positive change within our communities, and I sincerely believe we are the Party to be that change.

We are the Party that recognized the beauty of the American people from all walks of life. Every single African-American in Congress–House and Senate–until 1935 was a Republican. Today, however, there are zero African-American Republicans in either the House or the Senate, a sad glimpse of realism into the state of Republican affairs, a state in which I believe must change.

For months we have without a sound, or even worse without action, listened and watched the infighting and destruction of our party. We have witnessed the news media talk about “Republican destruction,” one that I dare label “self-inflicted.” We are better than this, we are stronger than this and, above all, we must move beyond this.

Consider the aforementioned “segregated circle.” Today, we must widen the circle, open up our Party to the dreams and realities of all Americans and encourage discourse and trial. The Democrats, it seems, always seem to want to use the issue of race to divide. In fact, I’m not certain that such an honest discussion as the one we had at that meeting could have occurred save for the presence of people who view “post-racial” as a goal rather than a meaningless political buzz-word.

The Republican Party must take steps to not only further realize the beauty of “we,” but also work to use that realization to unite Americans — unless we work harder than our counterparts across the aisle work to use race to divide and destroy, I fear our party will never move forward in terms of breaking the Democratic Party tradition in the African-American community.

I firmly believe that if we as a party begin to face the challenges of tomorrow with open arms and rid ourselves of the predetermined and outwardly perceived ignorance that has ruled the GOP as others see it, new doors will open, new opportunities dreamed and positive change will come!

We must ask questions like the Chairman and the campaign staffer, we must work hard like the Republican commissioner and Republican candidate, and we must support our party like a community, because truly a community does not run on the dreams of “I” but on the reality of “we.”

16-year-old Jesse Civello will, this fall, be entering his junior year at Cheltenham High School outside of Philadelphia. An avowed conservative and constitutionalist, Jesse has spoken at numerous Republican Party events and meetings. His dream is to one day become a United States Senator. Jesse began writing for America’s Right in June 2009.



  1. HARD WORK AHEAD says:

    Great job Jesse. I really do admire the idealism. When families like mine can't come together (hippies and fascists) isn't bringing races together gonna be real, real hard? We really need a spectacular individual for us to recover, and even realize we need recovering from, this 'savior' Obama and his socilaist cronies.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Jesse, I agree we need to encourage new membership to the RNC from all races and ethnic groups. Perhaps we need to remind ourselves and others that The Republican Party was created in opposition to the Kansas-Nebraska which would have allowed for expansion of slavery…the wealthy Southern Democrats wanted to spread slavery.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I've known for years the GOP had to embrace ethnic diversity if it ever wanted to be relevant in the 21st century. It's not hard to win the votes of Hispanics, Asians, blacks,etc… All Republicans have to do is show up, find common ground with these groups and ask for their vote. It doesn't require sacrificing party values, you just have to find common ground.

    I've found that there have been Republicans who have been able to win the majority or significant portions of minority votes just by showing up. Look at Tom Kean Sr, Arnold, Mike Huckabee and Kay Bailey Hutchinson for examples.

    However, with African-Americans the rebuilding of the relationship has to be taken seriously and not just lip service. The GOP lost black voters through things enacted by past Republicans like the Southern Strategy and picking a candidate who didn't support the 1964 CRA. There has to be true reconciliation for this in order to build trust. Bush Jr tried, but failed.

    Plus with no black Republicans in the Senate or House plus most civil rights leaders and the first black president being Democrats, you would think it would send off some alarms in some Republicans' head seeing they can't continue to write off minority voters.

    I admit as a Republican I was embarrassed watching the lack of diversity in the McCain rallies and the Republican Convention and seeing people from all around in Obama's rallies as well in his victory. The GOP can do much better than this.

    Plus, the Democrats are going to milk Obama's historical victory for as much as it's worth to keep the black vote Democrat. It will take time to win them back, but it's well worth it.

    It's not hard Republicans, you just have to show up and reach out.

    The GOP should have more Cultural Advisers to see how to appeal to people of different cultures. The Republican Party should study cultures as well.

    I think a top priority should be repairing the relationship with Hispanics. Many of them were turned off by what was a small but vocal minority in the party demonizing immigration and led them to vote Democrat in 2006.

    It wasn't that long ago that the GOP was the racially progressive party, but we need to start showing up if we want to survive.

    I hope to see in my lifetime one day a multicultural GOP, let's get to work on it.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Excellent article, Jesse. I definitely agree.

    Bill C.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think that Anonymous at 3:10 is seeing the issue through rose-colored glasses.

    Sure, all the Republicans have to do is show up – if the first agree to feed the welfare state, fund Acorn, allow open borders, and run a person of color as the candidate.

    This is not racism or predjudice; it's reality based on the demographics of the past election. The Repuclicans lost the blacks by fighting the welfare state plus the effect of the racism represented by a 94% black vote for Obama. We lost the Hispanics by standing up for controlled borders. We lost the progressives by standing up against abortion-on-demand and homosexual marriage.

    So, what would those of you who look to win with a more "inclusive" party platform suggest that we do? Abandon our values? We might just as well abandon the idea of bringing change to America and just join up with the Democrats.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Why does it bother me to hear someone say that Hispanics are turned off by conservative or REpublicans demonizing immigration….If they are here legally, what is their problem with immigration? If they are here illegally, how the h– can they vote? An Americana citizen, regardless of how they became a citizen, takes a back seat to illegal immigrants on multiple social issues and benefits and the illegals should not have a vote.
    But then, maybe I am confused.


    Now the world IS upside-down. Wal-Mart now teaming with Obama and endorsing the new healthcare plan and saying corporations must provide health insurance coverage for employees. How possible is a Wal-Mart boycott? Talk about tough.

    Jeff can you do an expose on this development?

  8. Gail B says:

    Jesse Civello! Nice name for head of the Republican Party! (How old do you have to be, Jeff?)

    We have a leader; we have one who thinks, observes, and communicates. He understands what is tearing up the Republican Party and will keep on until he figures out how to fix it and make it whole.

    Another great piece, Jesse. Thanks.

  9. Jennifer says:

    I really want to say something regarding this peice because I absolutely agree that the Republican Party has to tear down racial barriers to succeed in future elections. I don't think this is it but here goes… Inclusion will not happen because of an ideological shift to the middle but because Republicans are able to explain our ideals and how it affects individuals. I know there is a temptation to address specific minority groups but when do we start talking like a party of one? When do we discuss how issues affect everyone (usually what's good for one group has consequences for another)?

  10. Rix says:

    As many times before, I'll disagree – this time, not quite so politely. The persistence with which Republicans take a rubber knife into a gunfight never ceases to amaze me, and I've had enough of this "post-racial" politically correct crap. The other side *is* obviously racist and it obviously works for them like a Swiss watch, while we drool all over ourselves trying to be "post-racial". They have La Raza and NAACP and UNCF and ULF and whatnot, and nobody cries fool loud enough for me to hear. I want a party that would openly protect a White Christian man before they go into extinction – even though I'm neither White nor Christian.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Bravo, Jennifer and Rix!!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous at 4:08, you missed my point. When I mean show up, I mean show up to events, make your presence known and market your ideals to people. No sacrifice of values required, you just have to show up and ask for their vote. It's easy as riding a bike.

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