For the past week I have been attending the 2019 Faith and Freedom Conference in Washington, D.C. We were privileged to be paid a visit by President Trump who gave a rousing speech, much of which was devoted to issues that are important to people of faith. The Democrat Party’s ultra-extreme position on abortion certainly was at the top of the list.
We were also treated to speeches by a number of politicians, including Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and Florida’s Marco Rubio, as well as other well-known political commentators and personalities. The highlight for me was the time spent listening to President Trump’s Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson. Dr. Carson is truly an inspiration and a national treasure.
There were also a number of groups there looking to showcase their particular causes. One in particular, the End 27 organization spent the week educating people on the ever increasing veteran’s suicide rate, now up to twenty-seven each day. Certainly an organization worthy of our support.
But I would have to say that the most illuminating, and in my mind most politically educational was a conversation my buddy Boone and I had with a gentleman we happened upon at a restaurant where we had dinner one night.
We ended up being seated next to a black gentleman named Troy from Michigan. Boone recognized him from having seen him earlier at the conference, and started a conversation with him. It was assumed that we might all be kindred spirits since we were attending the same conference, and it seemed that we would have something in common to talk about.
Our newfound friend Troy mentioned that he was involved with an organization, the Frederick Douglas Foundation. An organization dedicated to educating people of all races about this extraordinary historic figure, as well as educating black Americans about conservatism, the free market system, and limited government.
As a student of history I was certainly familiar with Frederick Douglas, and had actually heard of the foundation that Troy represents, though admittedly I wasn’t really aware of much more about Troy’s group.
We engaged in a lively discussion with Troy over dinner, and Troy shared some of the challenges his organization faces in bringing the concept of political conservatism and support for Republicans to the black community. No doubt an uphill battle considering the lock Democrats have had on the black vote now for decades. But in the short time I became acquainted with Troy it was obvious to me that he was up to the challenge.
Now I’m sure that there probably are some things that we didn’t all agree on, but that’s not the point. Over dinner three Americans, Troy, my friend, brother, and wounded warrior Boone, and I were able to discuss issues of importance to all of us without any of the vitriol, shouting, or insults so common in today’s political discourse.
Troy educated us by pointing out some of the common mistakes that Republicans make when talking to the black community. Especially how we say things.
Most often Republicans say one thing a certain way and it’s received entirely different in the black community. Republicans need to start a dialogue with people like Troy and learn how better to communicate with black America so there’s no misunderstandings.
It would certainly behoove the RNC and Republican politicians to listen carefully to the Troy’s of the black community in order to understand how the RNC can better sell Republican candidates to black America. But selling themselves is only part of the equation.
Troy lives in the community he represents, he’s not part of some lofty Washington, D.C. think tank or a college campus debating group. He’s a common man with common sense. He understands the challenges facing the black community, and he has some of the solutions that could finally help black America achieve the American dream.
Republicans would do well to seek out and listen to people like Troy in the Hispanic community as well. But not just listen, Republicans need to take active steps to implement some of the solutions that Troy and others suggests. It would go a long way towards breaking the lock Democrats have had on the minority vote for decades now.