Thursday, December 16, 2010

NRAAC Differs With African American Republican Organization in It's support of RNC Chair Michael Steele's Bid for a Second Term

NRAAC's National Chair Dr. Jean Howard-Hill

Dr. Hill is also a contributor to David Frum's Forum at

Hip Hop Republican

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NRAAC Differs With African American Republican Organization in It's support of RNC Chair Michael Steele's Bid for a Second Term

With all due respect for Mr. Daniels, he cannot have it both ways. He cannot say "he was elected to broaden the party and to win elections", and "he did both", while also saying that even Steele conceded that "it was grassroots organizations that worked so hard to get candidates elected".

The NRAAC does not like having to contradict a fellow African American Republican organization, but when it comes to the re-election of RNC Chair Michael Steele, it becomes necessary. Any organization has a right to endorse whomever and to do so without the approval of others. We certainly are not opposing any organization's right to make such an endorsement. However, we do take issue with the statements as to why Steele is being endorsed, made by Kevin Daniels, president of the Frederick Douglass Foundation of North Carolina. In a December 16, 2010 news release entitled, Frederick Douglas Foundation of North Carolina Supports the Re-Election of RNC Chairman Michael Steele, in part it reads:

"Michael Steele is a good leader. He was elected to broaden the party and to win elections," Daniels said. "He did both."

In 2009, Chairman Steele was at the helm when Bob McDonnell and Chris Christie became Governors and Scott Brown did the unthinkable; winning a Senate seat in Massachusetts. In 2010 there were more Black Americans that sought public office since Reconstruction. Two of those candidates, Tim Scott and Alan West, are newly elected members of Congress. Governor-Elect, Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Susana Martinez of New Mexico are Native American and Hispanic, respectively. In Florida, Jennifer Carroll will be the first Black Female Lieutenant Governor. Republicans took over the US House of Representatives, picked up seats in the Senate and took control of many State Legislatures, including North Carolina for the first time in 112 years.

"Michael Steele has proven that he is capable of working outside of the Republican establishment to ensure victory for the party, " Daniels said.

"What I admire most is that he gave credit where credit is due. To the people."

Daniels continued, "While Republican leaders across the country continue to take credit for the victories, he acknowledged the grassroots organizations that worked so hard to get candidates elected."

Unless we are missing something, we are not privy to any proof that supports Steele having played a substantial role with Independents and certainly not the Tea Party Movement in ensuring the victory of Chris Christie or Scott Brown. Nor can he say he recruited the African American candidates, who in most cases courageously put themselves out there to run for office as lambs for the Republican slaughter. Being one of those rare African American candidates who decided to enter the congressional race, I certainly can give Steele no credit for me having stepped into the political ring. Also, there are more like me, who I am sure will say the same.

With all due respect for Mr. Daniels, he cannot have it both ways. He cannot say "he was elected to broaden the party and to win elections", and "he did both", while also saying that even Steele conceded that "it was grassroots organizations that worked so hard to get candidates elected".

As to broadening the party, where is the proof of Chairman Steele broadening the party? In order to have done that, he would have needed to have been actively involved in inclusion efforts. Contrary to this, in our December 9, 2010 Blog, Could Michael Steele's Oust be Racism? We Think Not!,we wrote:

"A review of Steele's record in bringing the GOP closer to looking like a party of racial inclusion is certainly lacking to say the least.

As a national African American Republican organization, we cannot help but recap the two year tenure of Steele with disappointment. We were pleased to see him be the first African American to take the helm of the party. This gave us hope for further minority inclusion within the ranks of the Republican Party. However, during his tenure, with much regret, we have very little to report as to any substantial difference in reaching out to minorities. In fact, over the past two years, as a Caucus with its primary goals to attract those of color to the Republican Party, it has been extremely painful to endure the failures of the Steele leadership and administration to reach out to us or even respond to us reaching out to it.

Having known personally Steele since 2001 when the Bush White House had me make his acquaintance, as the NRAAC national chair, I was thrilled and filled with high hopes and great expectations that with him at the helm, we would see a better and more inclusive GOP. Unfortunately that did not happen. Instead, many veteran African American GOP'ers have felt even more alienated, ignored and denied access than ever by the Republican Party leadership. Yet most of us have hung in there, although we were among the first to see the handwriting on the wall, and the hand as it began to write the warning to Steele.

We knew things were destined to become problematic when fresh out of the stall, Steele suffered from a strange politically expedient disease of alienating himself from us and ignoring those of us he once shared minority fellowship. That was the beginning of the handwritings on the wall, which read, "Michael do not forget where you came from, because you might have to return to us someday". The problem is - Steele failed to see or read it. Or maybe he did, but chose to just ignore it.

Despite Steele's moving story of how he went from inner-city poverty to political stardom, we have found him to be less convincing in his role as leading man, once he reached the helm of the GOP. In fact, he has shown very little commitment and almost non-existing efforts to bring minority presence and participation to the party. It seemed it was enough to have him be the lone star with only a few of us coming close to getting back row tickets to his two year GOP performance.

It has been almost two years to the date and the NRAAC is still waiting for an appointment to meet with and work with our RNC chair, Michael Steele, regarding minority recruitment or for him to return a call or answer letters and cards to him. That says a lot about his commitment and the value he placed on minority recruitment and involvement during his past two year term of office.

I am even sure there are some good white Republicans who also are disappointed at his failure in this area as well.

Inclusion is a very serious issue for the RNC, which sooner or later is going to have to be dealt with. With poll numbers that reflect the majority of Americans are not too hot about either party's job performance on a national level, (i.e. Congressional approval ratings being down to as low as 17%) and with the ultimate rise of a third party that is diverting die hard Conservatives away from the Republican base, we had better begin to look at others whose core values are more aligned with the GOP. Where do we find them? Among the morally conservative African American base. The very core of the base from which most of our membership hail. So to ignore the NRAAC with a membership base which is almost 100 percent from the African American religious community is political malpractice. Nevertheless, this is what Steele has done.

If we are to address some of the issues of lack of inclusion within the GOP, Steele is not the man! He had his chance to broaden the base and he failed or did very little. At best he was no better than past RNC leadership. So on this contention, we share a totally different prospective of Steele and his role in broadening the GOP base, than that of Daniels.

Personally I do not know Kevin Daniels. Have not had the good pleasure of making his acquaintance. But I am sure he is a fine gentleman, and certainly have no beef with him. Perhaps Daniels is living in another world, where how he sees Steele is drastically different from ours, and even some outside of our NRAAC's membership. I certainly hope so. That may be the case, since North Carolina faired well in the 2010 midterm elections and seemingly this organization has been a Michael Steele beneficiary. Because otherwise, this is just more political rhetoric being espoused from those who should know better, because the facts just do not support all of the contentions.

As to Steele being a good leader, perhaps he was. But as the RNC chair, if you cannot raise as much money as needed for the midterm elections without having to take out a loan or having third party efforts take up the slack, and if you cannot manage what you do have, then I am not sure how that makes you a good leader. For more on the NRAAC's position, go to the NRAAC's December 9, 2010 Blog, Could Michael Steele's Oust be Racism? We Think Not!, at

To reach the NRAAC national chair:

Jean Howard-Hill
423-544-9696 Cell
423-521-4294 NRAAC office

[Dr. Jean Howard-Hill is the author of Black Eyes Shut, White Lips Sealed.She has served as the national chair for the National Black Republican Women with her late husband, Attorney Bobby Lee Hill serving as the head of the Black Republican Men for Change from 1987 to his death in 1991. After his death up until 1993, she remained head of the organization, and in 1999 combined the two groups to form the National Republican African American Caucus.

Outside of her role as the National Republican African American Caucus [NRAAC] national chair, Howard-Hillis known for her involvement within the African American community and her efforts to correct and enhance verbal, written and presentational skills of African American students, and her "Pull up Your Pants and Dress for Success Campaign" to improve the appearance and fate of African American males.She has created and directed the Many Faces of Diversity at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, which teaches these skills to minority, "at-risk",and first generation college bound students.She is currently working on the Tennessee Youth Research Study, a research project aimed at identifying causes and providing connectors to reconnect to the youth of this generation. In 2010, she received the Girl's Inc., Unbought and Unbossed Award.

She has taught full time and as an adjunct, American Government, State and Local Government, and International Politics and Culture of Non-western Countries at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and was voted 2006 Outstanding Professor of the year. Additionally, from 1976 to 1979, she designed and directed the "Democracy In Action" Program, which was a civics program taught in the local school systems. Howard-Hill also is a local and national political commentator. She holds a doctorate of jurisprudence from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, College of Law and is working on a Doctorate of Philosophy in Social Research from Oxford Graduate School. She also is ordained clergy and heads The Healing Place Ministries International, overseeing 47 ministries throughout Africa.]

For more full bio information on Dr. Jean Howard-Hill go to and for other information, Political History, GOP Political Involvement, Faith Based Initiative, Democracy In Action, and Youth Community Involvement, Community.

The National Republican African-American Caucus is an organization that is comprised of Spirit filled people of faith within the African American community, that works in conjunction with local, state and national party efforts to embrace, and offer African-American Republicans opportunities for inclusion and involvement in the Republican Party, and builds bridges between the African-American community and the Republican Party. In doing so, it seeks to carry out the philosophy and mission set before President Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas to build a stronger and more inclusive Republican Party, where those guiding principles are more important than politics.

More information on the NRAACcan be found at:; [NRAAC] National Republican African American Caucus Social Issue Network (members only); [NRAAC Blog]; [NRAAC Youth on the Horizons Blog]; [NRAAC New Generation-New Direction Blog]; and [NRAAC National Chair's Blog]. Each State Caucus can be accessed by state. See related links at Also can be found on the RNC group page at

1 comment:

  1. >>Could Michael Steele's Oust be Racism?

    Maybe not, but it will appear so to many and that damages the party.

    Further - the national results speak for themselves.

    Besides; I like him.