Op/Ed: Leading up to the Tulsa County Republican Convention, a dispute by Precinct 456 appeared contrived and deliberate, but I attended the Executive Committee Meeting to hear both sides. Rightfully so, since the NAACP was called, and they put out a press release on behalf of black conservatives in Tulsa County. I guess I missed the memo!
I’m quite confused by the press release as to how this party is trying to “banish” or “disenfranchise” black conservatives. Every attempt was made and party leadership went out of their way to make sure I was a delegate for this upcoming convention. Furthermore, I am an active volunteer in the North Tulsa community, so I find it most concerning that my community is being pandered.
I must tell my fellow GOPers:
1. As a black conservative and community volunteer, I do not appreciate you calling the NAACP, and trying to make this insignificant precinct dispute a racial issue.
2. I did not appreciate a county party leadership candidate showcasing racialist behavior and destructive division to a party activist not a part of this particular debate over party rules.
Thursday night at the Tulsa County Republican Executive Committee Meeting, Allen Branch said he had, “been dealing with the NAACP the night before and all that morning.” Not only did he tell me he had been speaking with them, but he also showed me in his phone who he had been speaking with in their office.
Apparently he assumed because the NAACP had issued a press release that I follow their lead in all things and that I then was in support of the precinct, most likely because I was the only “Black” face in the room. Stereotypical, if you ask me.
Now let’s get something straight, who would sanely think to call the NAACP (not usually a Republican friendly group) to use that Black organization against my Republican party? Mr. Branch, this hurts Black Conservatives. It is a huge hypocrisy that reduces the stature of both organizations. The NAACP had no dog in this fight.
On Thursday, I had spent the day contemplating the issue of the precinct dispute and was truly neutral. Standing to the side and minding my own business; Branch’s random chat struck a nerve.
First he asked, “Is the NAACP people here?”
It begs the question of why would I know (other than my skin color). I am not the one who sent the NAACP a call to arms. But, I will give him this one – in this case his stereotypical assumption was correct. Because I am active with many different groups, I do know the NAACP leadership here in Tulsa and I told him they were not in attendance.
Branch then proceeds to talk about how wrong it is to exclude people from voting and that everyone deserves that right and should be included. I just periodically nodded my head.
Branch then stated “I have been talking with a woman from the NAACP office who said she was going to come to the meeting.” I then asked him “who was the woman you have been speaking to?” He proceeded to pull out his phone to show his text messages with the name Arlene. Yes, she works at the state headquarters for the NAACP.
I cannot say whether Branch acted alone in trying to make this precinct issue racial, but I do not think he did.
To be honest, I did not and still do not care about the precinct issue. What I care about are people within this party trying to erroneously use race to bring calamity and bad press upon MY party. I object to anyone adding fuel to the fire of division between two cultures I work endlessly to bring together in unity.
While I may be a Black Conservative, I will not be your racial pawn and I will not sit by and allow Blacks be treated as pawns in party disputes.
You can have your bickering, but please leave Black people out of it.