“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.” – Frederick Douglass
It is with a sad and humble heart I send these thoughts out to anyone who may want to read it. Our country stands at a crisis point on race relations which is long overdue. My interest in our resolving this important issue comes from four perspectives – a child of God, a Black man, an American citizen and a Republican.
These perspectives are not exclusive from each other; in fact, they are connected together in an incredible tapestry which informs my worldview.
My Christian belief informs me that every Black Life Matters whether in the womb or in the streets of our communities. I grieve for the lives of hundreds of people of color gunned down in cities across our country. I cry for the babies who never see the light of day because of abortion clinics designed by the founder of Planned Parenthood who wanted to control the Black race by killing our unborn children. I am angry and pissed off by actions of police officers who brutally kill people of color in our country. To make it perfectly clear how I feel, George Floyd was murdered and the police officers responsible for his death should be put on trial. If convicted, they should serve the maximum amount of time possible.
Out of the four identifiers I mention in the first paragraph, my identity as a Black man is the one aspect of myself which cannot change. I can choose whether to be Christian, an American citizen or a Republican. I hold a doctoral degree, own a nice home, a father of two fantastic children, teach at a university, currently serving as 2nd Vice Chairman of the Maryland Republican Party, and was the 2018 US Senate nominee of the Republican Party in Maryland. While those things are accomplishments I am grateful for, my reality is as perilous as any other Black male in this country. If I am pulled over by a cop, I do not know what is going to happen and it an unpleasant, scary feeling.
As an American citizen, we are told we are all equal under the law. While that may be good in theory, the reality of what justice is varies on how much money you have, the lawyer you can afford or the jurisdiction you live in. There is no such thing as equal under the law. The philosopher Plato wrote “Justice is in the interest of the stronger party.” Black people have been on the short end of power equation since the beginning of this Republic. It will only get better when we honestly have discussions about the failure of our society to provide Justice to everyone in every situation.
I made a choice to be a Republican because I know the Republican Party holds a variety of stands on issues which are more helpful to Black people than the other party. From issues of Life, to protections of free speech, to the protection of religious freedom, to school choice and educational empowerment, the Republican Party wants every Black Life to not only matter but to succeed.
Instead of being afraid of the fight, Republicans should be at the forefront of championing the rights of the people to protest against their government. Championing the rights of people of color to give grievance against their government is not un-American; it is at the core of the definition of being American.
The great Frederick Douglass said the following:
“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”
This is where we are as a country. Since there is no clear implementation of justice, and there is hopelessness from Black people the deck is stacked against them, there is no peace to be had – lives and property are not safe.
I want to thank Governor Larry Hogan and Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford for their statements on these critical issues. As the last Black statewide Republican nominee for office, I am in full support of their statements and ask the following of my fellow Republicans:
I call upon my fellow Republicans to look at the world through different eyes. I call upon my fellow Republicans to look for meaningful ways to share our compassion and our humanity. I call upon Republican leaders across the state to put into action the ideas of Liberty, Freedom and Equality in policies and programs in their areas. I call upon Republican leaders to publicly support and defend the Constitutional rights of the people to peacefully protest. I call upon Republican leaders to denounce racial inequity in all of its forms by law or by practice.
If we do all of these things, we will be a political worthy of the loyalty of Frederick Douglass and will help lead to a more just society for everyone.