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Local Republican Leaders Meet With African-American Pastors At Faith Forum

The Duval County Republican Party hosted a forum at historic Edward Waters College in Jacksonville on Tuesday night to explore the issue of the role of people of faith in modern politics.

Just over 100 people from all political parties attended the event moderated by Representative Jennifer Carroll to ask questions and explore one of the most misunderstood political issues of modern time and of history: Thomas Jefferson's now famous phrase: "separation of church and state."

Chairman Lenny Curry and Vice Chairman Sam Newby were joined by Rev. Mark Griffin of Wayman Ministries, Dr. John E. Guns of St. Paul's Missionary Baptist Church, Pastor Cory Williams of Life in the Spirit Church and Deacon Shawn Ashley of Faith Christian Center.

"We all walked away with a better understanding of each other, the challenges facing Jacksonville and the unique perspective individuals bring. We were there to listen and we left inspired by these community leaders. Not surprisingly, communities come together on the issues of morality and ethics," said Curry.

The event was the brainchild of Chris Nwasike, President of Duval County's Young Republican organization and was organized with the help of Kevin Cleary of the Republican Party of Florida.

"This community event was about sharing ideas, information and perspectives," said Newby.

Newby stated that the most surprising fact to many is that 25% of the local Republican Party leadership is comprised of African American men and women.

"Although all black voters were originally Republican, there was a shift in party affiliation in the late 60s. The traditional values expressed by the pastors are a major factor in our community coming back to our historic roots. I look forward to more forums such as this one," he said.

9 Responses »

  1. Most Americans, including black Americans, when they take the time to sift through most issues and life applications, find they lean more towards conservative principles than liberal. While this paradigm holds true with black families as well, there has been a disconnect based on fear, misunderstanding, bigotry, and race-baiters flaming those perceptions.

    For decades, many non-black Americans have looked on the poor black community perplexed. Many with a desire to help, and to make a difference in the lives of so many wonderful people. They looked on with no idea how to achieve that difference, so they sat in their frustration, with sadness in their hearts. They didn't want to offer pity, because pity robs a person of their dignity, and there has been enough of that: evidenced by the unique challenges within these communities.

    This is a great moment in American history. Misters Nwasike and Cleary, along with the clergy at this event, can be congratulated on the possible facilitation of a new "Great Awakening". Not unlike the Original in colonial America. It is indeed "Morning in America" once again.

    • While the Dems have their share of racists, we have a much greater hill to climb. 20 years of propaganda and the absorbtion of the George Wallace "Dixiecrats". We have to be better than the Dems, which means we need to make sure we attack racists within our own ranks with vigor.

      • I suppose your silence means you can pontificate, but cant supply any specific ideas. Yes? No?

      • Jimbo,
        I am sorry i must have missed it.
        There are a few things:

        1) what I know you are doing already: constant engagement as a party with minority churches , civic groups and the people directly. Dont be afraid or write off these communities. The problem we have had in the past is that we give up too soon. It is going to take many years of deprogrammig to fix the false perceptions.

        2) Dont let the dems frame the immigration debate as a race issue.

        3) Tamp down people who have issues with race early, hopefully before they say something stupid in public. Dont be wishy washy, be aware of the parties image instead of trying to hide behind the press being mean to us. We know the press will be unfair, complaining will not solve the problem.

        Those are my three big ones, it is short but I think it is a start.

      • Josey,
        I like it!

  2. Jose,
    What did you have in mind?

  3. Jose,
    I like the thought, any ideas on how to actuate the principle?

  4. Jose,
    The fact is that the Republican party did not absorb the Dixiecrats contrary to what the Dems will tell you. Have you ever heard of Sen Robert Byrd? Please name one Republican who has shown the level of racsim of Robert Byrd. Fact is without Republicans Lyndon Johnson would not have passed the civil rights act.

    • Really? Robert Byrd is a racist? I never knew that! Well that just disproves that right there....

      I know that Byrd is a racist piece of rat hairball. I mention earlier that there are plenty of racists in the Democratic party. I also know about the Civil Rights act even though many republicans (including Goldwater) opposed it on states rights issues.

      "States Rights" is the problem, it has been used since Nixon to draw in disaffected whites since 68. Even though the "Solid South" went mostly for Goldwater in 64 anyway.

      The difference is that we made a choice to go after the pissed off white vote and now we have to work to undo that and the 40 years of propaganda that has been sucessfully reenforcing that image.

      There are a few things: