Friday, September 30, 2011

Humble Pie

The question of the day seems to be whether Oatney should eat a humble pie with crow, and how large the serving should be:

When this writer says that he thinks very highly of Jean Howard Hill and the important message that she is carrying, it isn't some patronizing statement meant to butter things over, it is a truth at the very root of who this writer is. While he may not ever have an understanding of what it is like to be black in this country, let alone in the Republican Party, he understands completely what it is like to be written off and marginalized because of who he is and the way in which he was born. There are plenty of people who haven't taken him seriously because of his disability, nor do they see him as someone who can be seriously involved in politics-let alone Republican politics (note to our friends here in Jefferson County-NO, I AM NOT TALKING ABOUT YOU!!!!!!). At least from the perspective of being someone who has, in the past, not been taken seriously because he is different (Dr. Hill would use the phrase "a fly in the buttermilk") boy, does this writer get it. We at least have some clue, however distant, of Jean Howard Hill's struggle to be relevant-and to have the concerns of African Americans be relevant-in the Republican Party. Making a statement like the one above was not meant to offend Dr. Hill at all-though it certainly may offend some people-it was meant to agree with Jean Howard Hill on a very basic and fundamental level.
This writer believes that Dr. Hill's message of inclusion within the Republican Party is so important that on the way home from the very meeting at which Dr. Hill spoke the other night, it was the topic of conversation (ask our State Executive Committeewoman, who heard this writer's words as they pertained to some of the things which Dr. Hill said). Jean Howard Hill's persona and message are as powerful as we said they were in this space yesterday. This writer is really reading Dr. Hill's book, and even when he doesn't agree with Dr. Hill, her ideas do cause him to think and reflect about what we can do to make all people, regardless of race or ethnicity or background, feel at home in the Republican Party. Any criticism this writer might toss in Dr. Hill's direction doesn't diminish that in the least. Dr. Hill's work invites us to have a serious and honest conversation about the issue of race in the Republican Party-something long overdue.

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