Usually when Bluestem posts about speakers who have their own tags on Right Wing Watch, those individuals are the guests of Tea Party groups and other such grassroots groups, but not so with Frances Rice.
Jacob Tellers reports in the Fergus Falls Journal article, Bigwood Lecture reflects on who is being treated unfairly, Rice's lecture was sponsored by the Fergus Area College Foundation and Otter Tail Power Company. Tellers reported that Rice believes that racism is no longer a problem for black Americans:
Racism is no longer a problem for African Americans, according to a speaker at the 24th annual Bigwood Lecture Wednesday evening at Legacy Hall on the campus of Minnesota State Community and Technical College.
Instead, it is white, working-class men who now bear most of the racism in today’s society, said Frances Presley Rice.
Having experienced true racism herself, Rice sympathizes with those who she says are now being treated unfairly, she said.
She grew up as an African American in an impoverished, single-parent family in the segregated South, but she says she didn’t let those circumstances hold herself back from achieving success.
“The level of success we achieve is in our own hands,” Rice said. . . .
She also addressed the history of race relations in the United States, saying that it is now often misunderstood and mischaracterized. Since the conclusion of the civil rights movement, her race has not held her back from achieving success, Rice said.
Rice contends that equality has been achieved and that the African American community needs to stop viewing themselves as victims.
While Rice said that President Barack Obama’s election was further proof that there are no longer barriers between race and success, she added that Obama and the Democrat Party have done much to sow racial discord.
According to the source in Fergus Falls who brought the story to our attention, Rice was also brought into the local high school:
Ms. Rice also spoke to the juniors and seniors at our high school today. I've heard from a teacher who reported that the kids said it was "horrible" and "super-political." I don't know if the foundation that brought her in to speak has some kind of agenda or if they just didn't do their research very well, but the teachers that we've heard from today were not impressed with the decision to bring her to the school.
Our source tells us that the headline in the print edition of the newspaper is "White men target of racism, speaker says."
According to Right Wing Watch's latest post that includes information about Rice, The 'National Diversity Coalition For Trump' Is Exactly What You'd Expect:
Earlier this month, a "National Diversity Coalition for Trump" was formed by the GOP presidential frontrunner's lawyer Michael Cohen for the purpose of, in the words of one of the group's leaders, demonstrating to voters that Donald Trump is "not racist, misogynist, sexist or Islamophobic." Trump is reportedly scheduled to meet with this group today . . .
Also among the members of diversity coalition is Frances Rice of the National Black Republican Association, who absurdly claimed a few years ago that the GOP's infamous "Southern Strategy" was an effort by the Republican Party to get "fair-minded" non-racist voters in the South to stop supporting the racist Democratic Party.
"That strategy was designed to get the fair-minded people in the South to stop discriminating against blacks and to stop supporting a party that did not share their values," she said. "So those fair-minded ones who migrated to the Republican Party did so. They joined us, we did not join the racists."
Given the division that Trump has sown within the Republican Party, it's curious to see Rice and the National Black Republican Association (which does not appear to be an affiliate of the Republican National Committee) endorsed Trump.
At The Root in January, Angela Bronner Helm reported in National Black Republican Association Endorses Donald Trump for President:
The National Black Republican Association, a self-proclaimed “grassroots activist” organization committed to “returning African Americans to their Republican roots” (i.e., “the party of Lincoln”), released a statement Friday saying that it was “pleased to announce [its] endorsement of Donald J. Trump for President of the United States of America.”
The Florida-based organization, founded in 2005, says it supports Trump because he shares its values: “We, like Mr. Trump, are fiscally conservative, steadfastly pro-life and believers in a small government that fosters freedom for individuals and businesses, so they can grow and become prosperous.”
NBRA Chair Frances Rice detailed the group’s reasoning further, saying that over the last 60 years, Democrats have run black communities into the ground, turning them into “economic and social wastelands.” She writes in part:
We are deeply concerned about illegal immigration, a major cause of high black unemployment, especially among black youth.
Black Americans across America are beginning to wake up and see clearly the reality of what is happening in black neighborhoods. Democrats have run black communities for the past 60 years and the socialist policies of the Democrats have turned those communities into economic and social wastelands, witness Detroit, Baltimore and South Chicago.
We believe that Mr. Trump has demonstrated that he can push back against the mainstream media, end political correctness and free black communities from the destructive grip of socialist Democrats.
Trump, a prolific tweeter, who has gone on record saying “the blacks” love him, crowed about the endorsement on social media Friday . . .
In 2008, Right Wing Watch looked at the group in What is the National Black Republican Association?, drawing much of its post from the Sarasota Herald Tribune article, Leader of black Republicans sparks a backlash:
The leader of the Sarasota-based National Black Republican Association is a minority within a minority. Not only is she black, she is also a Republican, a member of a party to which fewer than 10 percent of black voters in Florida belong. Her campaigns -- including one meant to foil the nomination of the first black presidential candidate, Barack Obama -- are best known for their shock value.
Her messages have brought condemnation from Democrats. But they have also sparked a backlash among many Republicans. . . .
When hearing that the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, Jim Greer, had expressed disappointment in her magazine, The Black Republican, which Greer had secured party money to publish, Rice dismissed it with a wave of her hand.
The magazine featured a picture of Ku Klux Klan members burning a cross, with the caption "Every person in this photograph was a Democrat."
Article titles included "Democrats embrace their child molesters," and "Top 10 Democratic sex scandals in Congress," and "Democrats wage war on God." . . .
Supporters call Rice relentless, a black Republican willing to say things white Republicans cannot. Detractors say she is setting back the GOP's black outreach effort with her inflammatory campaigns.
"Obviously we weren't consulted before she decided to do any of this," said Tony Cooper, president of the Tampa Black Republican Club. "It's a fruitless debate and it may conjure up more ill will toward the party. We should be spending money on debating the Democrats on the issues."
Said Deon Long, president of Florida's Federation of Black Republican Clubs: "We thought those billboards were asinine."
Rice thinks of herself as an "iron butterfly" positioned to expose the "Democratic Party's racist past" in time to convince blacks to vote for John McCain. . . .
Like nearly everyone else originally part of the NBRA, Cadogan has since dropped out. The original board included eight members from around the country, and Rice's husband. In a matter of months, all the board members except Rice, her husband and Cadogan resigned. E-mails provided by one former board member detail that Rice's style had led to the resignations.
After Hurricane Katrina, for example, Rice insisted on sending out a press release praising President Bush's response to the disaster. The board balked because members thought Bush's response was imperfect at best, and those who died or lost their homes were disproportionately black.
Deberly Burstion-Donbraye, formerly a board member of the National Black Republican Association and director of the Republican Party's minority outreach effort in Ohio, said Rice's efforts seemed to lack common sense and ignore the variety of opinions within the Republican Party. She resigned, fearing her reputation was at stake. . . .
Read the entire article at the Sarasota Herald Tribune.
Like our tipster, we wonder just what background research the head of the local college foundation did to invite Rice--and why the paper seemed so incurious about Rice's claims that poor white folks bear the brunt of racism in American life.
We can only wonder whether the Fergus Falls College Foundation and Otter Tail Power Company would be interested in bringing in some of the black community leaders covered in Bring Me The News article, Groups lay out ideas to help fix 'unacceptable' racial disparities in MN. Apparently, Ms. Rice and her hosts missed this:
Their press conference came two days after the announcement of a new subcomittee dedicated to focusing on racial disparities in Minnesota.
The state's black community faces staggering unemployment rates compared to Hispanics and whites, an income that's less than half of what white Minnesotans make, and one of the highest unemployment gaps between whites and blacks in the country.
Let's hope that news makes it up to Fergus.
Photo: France Rice speaking in Fergus Falls, Briana Sanchez, via the Fergus Falls Journal.
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