The Mis-Education of the Black Man

May 13, 2010

Raynard Jackson

In 1933, Carter G. Woodson published his classic book entitled, “The Mis-Education of the Negro.” The premise of his book was that Blacks need to be self reliant and not look for others to do for us what we can (and should) do for ourselves. Woodson thought that the dominant society was teaching Blacks to have an attitude of dependency and subservience, as opposed to controlling their own destiny and teaching their children the truth about the contributions Blacks made to this country’s history. Woodson was a prolific journalist, author, and a historian who was known as the “Father of Black History.”

According to Woodson, "History shows that it does not matter who is in power... those who have not learned to do for themselves and have to depend solely on others never obtain any more rights or privileges in the end than they did in the beginning.” Woodson continues, “When you control a man's thinking you do not have to worry about his actions. You do not have to tell him not to stand here or go yonder. He will find his 'proper place' and will stay in it. You do not need to send him to the back door. He will go without being told. In fact, if there is no back door, he will cut one for his special benefit. His education makes it necessary."

The above quotes by Woodson could be very easily directed at the media chosen Black leaders of today. You know who they are, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Tavis Smiley, Cornell West, Michael Eric Dyson, etc. Especially when it comes to these folks singing the praises of the Democratic Party. Listening to these guys you would think the Republican Party is filled with white racists whose sole purpose in life is to advocate policies that will be detrimental to the Black community.

You have Black entrepreneurs who have been able to make a great living by selling goods and services to the federal government. But, they are totally unaware that former president Richard Nixon is the reason they have these opportunities.

On March 6, 1961, President Kennedy signed Executive Order 10925. It required government contractors to “take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color or national origin.”

It was during the Nixon administration that affirmative action became what we know it to be today. It was adopted as a federal mandate for companies with federal contracts and for labor unions whose workers were engaged in those projects. The late Arthur Fletcher (a Black Republican and dear friend) was put in charge of creating and enforcing the plan. Fletcher call it the Philadelphia Plan. Fletcher was serving in the Department of Labor. He was Assistant Secretary for Wage and Labor Standards (he was one of the highest ranking Blacks in the Nixon administration). As head of the United Negro College Fund, he coined their famous slogan, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” I guarantee that you have never heard the UNCF or Black Democrats ever publically give attribution to Fletcher having created this (especially as a Black Republican).

Fletcher’s plan required federal contractors to meet certain goals for the hiring of Black employees by specific dates in order to combat institutionalized discrimination on the part of specific skilled building trade unions.

In 1971, Nixon issued Executive Order 11625, which was subsequent to him creating the Office of Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) in 1969. The order gave more authority to the Secretary of Commerce to, “implement Federal policy in support of the minority business enterprise program; provide additional technical and management assistance to disadvantaged businesses; and to assist in demonstration projects; and to coordinate the participation of all Federal departments and agencies in an increased minority enterprise effort.”

Presidents Reagan and Bush (the elder) signed Executive Orders 12320 and 12677, respectively in regards to the board of advisors for Historically Black Colleges and Universities. The purpose was to ensure these institutions would be made aware and take advantage of a full range of partnership opportunities with various federal agencies.

Most recently, Republicans spearheaded The Minority-Serving Institution Digital and Wireless Technology Opportunity Act. The Senate bill was drafted by then senator George Allen (R-VA) and co-sponsored by Trent Lott (R-MS). The companion house bill was drafted by Congressman J. Randy Forbes (R-VA-4TH). The purpose of the bill was to assist minority serving institutions in upgrading their technology infrastructure. The bill appropriated and authorized $ 250 million per year for five years ($ 1.250 billion). These were not loans, but grants to help make these schools more competitive with non-minority institutions.

So, my point is, the Republican Party does have a very positive story to share with the Black community if they leave the heated rhetoric behind and focus on the substance of their actions. Listening to the media appointed Black leaders, you would think Republicans are walking around in white sheets. You have Black entrepreneurs who have made millions of dollars from government contracts, but yet they savage the very party that allows them to make this type of money. You have Historically Black Colleges and Universities who poison the minds of students with liberalism without exposing them to other views. You have Black college students berating Republicans by way of email, text, and twitter messages using the very technology that Republicans made possible. It was not Democrats who spearheaded this (they voted for the bill), it was a totally Republican initiative.

For the Republicans who want to continue to write off the Black vote and the media appointed Black leaders, you both have been mis-educated and need to explore a new school of thought.

Raynard Jackson is president & CEO of Raynard Jackson & Associates, LLC., a D.C.-public relations/government affairs firm. He is also a contributing editor for ExcellStyle Magazine (

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