Several years ago, I met a smart, young woman who is a Republican. She was interning in Republican politics and was very hard working, articulate and outgoing. When she spoke to people about the Republican party especially as it pertained to Black people, her eyes would light up and her smile brightened and she would lay out all the very good reasons why Black voters should consider the Republican party and their candidates. During the 2016 election, we discussed Trump a lot and her support never wavered. She saw through the “grab them by the p…y” comment and hysteria. She saw how Trump would be good for Black people and communities. She was stumping hard. He won. Then along comes a bevy of candidates for State GOP chair. We talked about the candidates. She was drawn to John Watson. We discussed it and we agreed that he would win. Well, the truth is she convinced me he would win. She hosted and interviewed him one on one. I went and met him for the first time and saw what she saw- a good, and effective future chair of the State GOP. He won. She moved on to Karen Handel. Outspent, but not outworked, Handel won. Three winners. Three elections. And she outworked, out called and knocked on more doors than anyone. She moves in white, conservative circles as easily as she moves within the Atlanta Hip Hop circles. She can explain the US Constitution and while doing it if the latest Chance the rapper’s latest single were to come on the radio, she can stop discussing the Constitution and sing along word for word without missing a single lyric. She is what the Democratic party in Georgia fears most- a strong, articulate and beautiful Black woman who can debate ideas, defend the policy, and will make it known if there is a disagreement in policy positions. But lastly, they fear her mostly because she genuinely cares about her people and even more importantly, ALL people. There is no HNIC syndrome in this sister which you sometimes find within the confines of Black conservatism (and Black liberalism as well for that matter). An idea that I want to be the only one. I want all the spoils. No, this SISTA, is for real and she is “bout it, bout it”.
Well, I am proud to say all of her hard work has paid off. She is now officially the “Regional Director for Metro Atlanta” for the State GOP. In a brilliant strategic move, the new chairman of the Georgia GOP desires to cover the state by geography and not race. Which I believe is the best strategy for more effective outreach. Why target by race or gender when you can target an area of people just as effectively.
Congratulations to my little sister and mentee, Janelle Lashaun Jones. Hard work pays off. It always does.
Copyright 2016. Shelley Wynter. All rights reserved