Friday, July 23, 2010

The NAACP and the Tea Party

by Pastor Shannon Wright

As someone who has had the opportunity to participate in both NAACP and Tea Party initiatives I am struggling to see what makes these 2 groups so adversarial. All of the attention focussed here takes us off the real issues and there are many! Instead of working so hard to tear each other down perhaps we should be looking at our shared common ground. Lower taxes is not a race issue, job creation is not a race issue, immigration is not a race issue, quality public education is not a race issue, healthcare that makes sense is not a race issue.

African American voters along with other minorities have been taken for granted and or just over looked for decades as uninterested or unresponsive. Our votes have been based on tradition and propaganda rather than the issues. The Tea Party movement has made it's progress based on what it knows and what it has heard. Perhaps if both sides put aside their preconceived notions and sat together to discuss the issues we would all get farther. We all have far more in common than what we actually differ on. Perhaps if both side would be willing to sit down have have a dialog about the issues we all agree on we could put forward a unified agenda and move forward to identify candidates that fit that agenda based on what really matters, the issues.

For far too long New Jersey has gone down in education, gone down in job creation and retention, and gone up in taxes. Something has to give. If we don't find a way to work together what is going to give is the backs of all the families struggling to raise families and survive in our great state.

To both sides I say remember a house divided cannot stand! Who benefits if we are divided? Not the small business people struggling to do business in New Jersey, not the home owners struggling with ever rising property taxes, not families looking for a good education for their children, and certainly not those who want to see New Jersey thrive.

If I were a conspiracy theorist which I am not, I would say it is the incumbent Democrat that benefits from this division. If they can keep everyone at odds people that do vote in an off year will vote the way they always vote and in New Jersey, a typically blue state you do the math. Hmmm, something to think about isn't it? If we want real change that makes sense we need to change how we operate.

So, to both the NAACP and the Tea Party movement I issue a challenge. Let's set a date and time to get together and discuss the issues. Let's formulate an agenda. Let's invite the Congressional candidates. Let's make this about the issues. Any takers?

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