An Open Letter to Reince Priebus: On my short-list of best movies ever made is Patton, starring George C. Scott.

Towards the end of the movie Patton is asked to authenticate a quote. A reporter asks him, "Did you say if you found your army between the Germans and the Russians you'd attack in both directions?" Patton replies, "No, I never said that. I never said any such thing. But I wish I had." As a Black Conservative Republican, right now I feel like Patton. I have been fighting philosophical and political battles with friends and enemies on the Left for years. That is no surprise. The new phenomenon, for me, is dealing with Republicans who are self-promoting and clearly do not have the best interest of the Party at heart. If I were a Democrat I would be blasting Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Michael Eric Dyson, and a host of others. But I am a Republican, so instead of addressing those on the Left, I am addressing my own, those on the Right. The Republican Party announced with much fanfare the Growth and Opportunity Project which is designed to attract minorities to and into the Party. That effort, although wellmeaning, well-planned and well-funded, is going to fail, but not for the reason most will attribute – old White racist men. This effort is destined to fail because of right-wing Black commentators who make the most vile, ignorant, race-baiting, irrelevant and provocative statements simply to maintain their fifteen minutes of fame. Alan West, Jesse Lee Peterson, and Crystal Wright are prime examples. In a press conference President Obama stated that Trayvon Martin could have been him 35 years ago, and that he has been profiled. West, never at a loss for self-promotion, then stated, in an effort to rebut and refute Obama, that he has never been profiled. If the Congressman assembles his army of Black men who have never been profiled and I assemble my army of Black men who have been profiled, my army will outnumber his ten to one. Our Party will not attract people by telling them that their personal experience is bogus! West paints himself as an out of touch elitist. Worst still, the Republican Party is viewed as the home of such skewed perspectives because no Black Republican stands up and says “Yes, profiling is real, it does happen, and it has happened to me.” Jesse Lee Peterson goes on CNN and calls Trayvon Martin a “thug.” For the sake of argument let’s agree that Martin was a thug. In what thuggery was he engaged when Zimmerman started following him? Zimmerman stated that he did not know the person he was following. Therefore, if Martin was a thug, Zimmerman would not have known it because he did not know him. Even if Martin were a thug, he wasn’t acting like a thug that night. He was simply walking home from the store. What purpose did it serve for Peterson to call Martin a thug? It served to get him a spot on CNN. It also reduced the likelihood that a Black Democrat, or an Independent for that matter, will be open to listen to the Republican message of inclusion.

Last, and probably least, is Crystal Wright. She outright attacks a grieving mother, Sybrina Fulton. Again, why? As a self-professed triple threat – Black, Female and Republican – Wright ensured that she will keep getting invited back on Hannity, Fox, and CNN by feeding a bigoted narrative that puts money in her pocket, while simultaneously undermining the very outreach her Party is undertaking. If the Republican Party is serious about reaching out to the Black community, you should promote bona fide Black Republicans who can present a true conservative message without resorting to red-meat rhetoric that merely inflames and does not illuminate. Yes, the GOP has a race problem. However, it is not a Black-White problem. It is a Black-Black problem. And as long as people like the three named above are the only Black Conservatives with access to the microphones, any outreach efforts to the Black community are going to fail. Signed Ralph J. Chittams, Sr. Senior Vice Chairman District of Columbia Republican Party