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My friend, James White, is a state representative from East Texas. I’ve known James for 15 years. I respect him, and I admire that he refuses to dragged into being some token black for the purpose of diversity. He is a leader, not a black leader. Sometimes Republicans are as guilty of this nonsense as Democrats. Recently, he was asked to sit next to Governor Romney during Romney’s speech to the NAACP. I like his reply, which I’ve posted below.
To (the person who made the request, whose name I’ve removed--MB),
I enjoyed our brief conversation last week. After discussing my attendance at the NAACP convention with Governor Mitt Romney with my political team, constituents, and after personal reflection, I have decided not to attend the NAACP event with Governor Romney. I am pleased that the Governor is exhibiting a type of presidential leadership that communicates that he is prepared to lead all Americans. I am also hopeful (since I have not seen a draft of the Governor's remarks) that as our presumptive nominee Romney will articulate a resolute agenda of economic strength based on free market principles, strong border security and immigration law enforcement, strength in national security, and an agenda that returns issues such as education and health care back to their constitutional province, the states.
Since I do not have a known constructive relationship with Governor Romney as a presidential candidate, I think it would be very disconcerting for my constituents to see me sitting on the front row of the NAACP convention in Houston, Texas. This organization has taken numerous stands in conflict with the interest not only of my party and personal convictions, but the principles of my district. It has endorsed the Obama agenda of same-sex marriage. My district supported traditional marriage in a constitutional amendment election by a margin of 9-1. The NAACP has promoted the Obama agenda of frustrating the construction of the Keystone pipeline, which is slated to run straight through my district and provide thousands of private sector jobs and millions of dollars of revenue for local tax relief, our local public schools, medical clinics, and transportation infrastructure. The Obama tax policy, along with the Administration's border security and immigration agenda has created drag on employment in my district and saddled our schools and other local social service agencies with the position of raising taxes or decreasing services. And then, there is the Obama-NAACP-D.C. environmental assault on the Southeast Texas economy: agriculture, petrochemical industry, forestry, water, etc. I am proud to represent SoutheastTexas in the state legislature. My district includes Jasper county where 14 years ago a horrific murder occurred that involved the dragging death of James Byrd. A jury of Jasper citizens, under the laws of Texas, convicted the three murderers and sentenced two to the death penalty and one the sentence of life. Yet, the NAACP, used this incident to inflame racial passions in the 2000 presidential election.
Appearing with the Governor at this event would be a slap in the face to my constituents: pastors, small business owners, loggers, pipe fitters, refinery workers, school teachers, county judges, mayors, county commissioners, working people, et. al.
Even more disturbing, I am learning from sources throughout the nation and even in my home state, that as the Governor is slated to appear before the NAACP, such eagerness to establish constructive relationships with strong identifiable grassroots conservative activists, that happen to be black has been tepid at the most. My presence at the NAACP convention would undercut their efforts and in fact legitimate usual GOP political machinations to play nice with black Democrats, while ignoring back conservatives.
I was successful at the ballot box by engaging in constructive commonsense conservatism, not Obama-like hyphenated liberal politics. In a district that is 75-80 percent white, my political team devise a strategy to appeal to rural whites, the Tea Party, independent blacks, loggers, small business owners, Republican women, free market conservatives, farmers and ranchers, and public school teachers. Similar to what the Governor will have to do in states like Virginia and North Carolina if victory is expected. In fact, I hope those North Carolina blacks which polling indicated were considering voting for Romney because of his strong stand on the border, traditional marriage, and his business background don't become disenchanted with his NAACP appearance.
I have an economically dynamic district. The industries that are pulling Texas out of the recession, which is the leading state pulling the other forty-nine from the depths of economic collapse, oil and gas, petrochemical refining, agriculture, are the very economic activities that characterize my district. My legislative district is pulling the entire world for that matter out of a global recession, but the Obama-NAACP agenda of debt, deficit, decline, and depression is an all out war on Southeast Texas. To delegate the importance of my district to the global economy to purely racial politics is disrespectful to my constituents and irresponsible as a member of the Texas Legislature.
You informed me last week that the Governor will arrive in Houston late on Tuesday. I am willing to arrange my schedule to meet the next President of the United Stares at any time possible to discuss the issues that all Southeast Texans care about. Throughout the primary season, as an elected Republican official, the Ron Paul campaign discussed their campaign approach with me and their desire to include me as much as possible in their national convention plans. I have received that sort of interaction from the Romney campaign. Again, thank you for the invite and I am honored that Governor Mitt Romney will be in the Lone Star State and I am hopeful that the Governor will visit this week.
State Representative James White
“Socialism only works in two places: Heaven where they don't need it and h@** where they already have it.” Ronald Reagan