By Raynard Jackson (NNPA Newswire Columnist)
Last week, I was scheduled to attend the annual convention of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) in New Orleans, but, after receiving a copy of the agenda with the list of speakers, I decided to cancel my trip. I think the NABJ should change its name to the National Association of “Liberal” Black Journalists, because that is truly what they are, as an organization. I have, for years, told their leadership that they are perceived by Republicans to be closely allied with the Democratic National Committee (DNC). I have even offered to personally arrange for them to meet with leaders of the Republican Party, so that they could begin to cultivate the necessary relationships to be viewed credibly by Republicans, but NABJ leadership has absolutely no interest in being a “professional” group; they would rather be a “partisan” group, instead. Check out the list of speakers from last week’s convention. There is not one, noted Black Republican or conservative speaker anywhere to be found on the NABJ’s speaker list. Not one. And hell no, Omarosa Manigault does not count. She is the Director of Communications for the Office of Public Liaison for the Trump Administration. She’s a liberal Democrat, not a Republican and based on what I’ve read, her appearance at the convention was an absolute mess. And no, Eboni Williams from Fox News doesn’t count, either. She is a Democrat/Independent. When you view the list of speakers, it’s a who’s who of very liberal Democrats and NABJ’s leaders wonder why the Republicans don’t take them seriously? Need more proof that the NABJ is in the tank for the DNC? Check out the list of panelists for their “NABJ Newsmaker Plenary”: Moderator: Byron Pitts, ABC’s “Nightline” Speakers: Shani Hilton | Head of U.S. News, BuzzFeed News Rashida Jones | Senior Vice President, Specials, NBC News/MSNBC April Ryan | White House Correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, Author, “At Mama’s Knee: Mothers and Race in Black and White” Arthur Sulzberger, Jr. | Publisher and Chairman, The New York Times Lauren Williams | Executive Editor, VOX News Cheryl Boone Isaacs | Immediate Past President, Academy Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Marc Morial | President, National Urban League Symone Sanders | CNN Political Commentator, Priorities USA strategist Nina Turner | President, (Former Ohio State Senator and CNN Contributor), Our Revolution Every, single one of these panelists works for an organization that leans left or is straight up radically liberal. Obviously, no Black Republicans fit the NABJ’s “Newsmaker” description. I have told the leadership of NABJ, in no uncertain terms, that I would be happy to provide them a list of people who they could call upon, if they were interested and, as usual, there continues to be absolutely no interest from the group. NABJ’s bias is so great, that they even had a panel on diversity with absolutely no “diversity”—ideologically speaking. Every person was a liberal. They even had several speakers from the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, but, obviously, they are incapable of finding any speakers who are pro-life; or maybe they are just uninterested. I couldn’t make this stuff up if you paid me. Diversity of thought is nowhere to be found within NABJ. Aren’t they doing the same thing that they, and other liberal groups, accuse corporate America of doing? As a dues paying member of NABJ, I find their lack of diversity of thought and their conscious willingness to ignore the issue, very offensive and hypocritical. How can they constantly harp on the lack of diversity in media newsrooms and other institutions and not see that they are guilty of the same thing? The group is supposed to be about improving opportunities for Blacks in journalism, media, and public relations. It’s worth noting that Republican members of Congress hire professionals in communication, journalism, and media for their official staffs and campaigns. Republican members of Congress also hire college interns from across the country. By mandate of their own by-laws, they are obligated to expose their membership to the wide array of opportunities that exist in the marketplace and not to serve as a farm system or pipeline for all things liberal. If the NABJ wants to serve as a surrogate for the DNC and other liberal organizations, then they should formally amend their bylaws to indicate that. But, if they are going to hold themselves out to be a professional organization, then maybe they should start acting like a professional organization. Raynard Jackson is founder and chairman of Black Americans for a Better Future (BAFBF), a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party. BAFBF focuses on the Black entrepreneur. For more information about BAFBF, visit www.bafbf.org. You can follow Raynard on Twitter @Raynard1223.