Published on January 15th, 20130
MY FIRST FAILURE OF 2013: THE BLACK CONFERENCE
Ali Akbar, a Georgia based conservative political consultant, writes about the “challenges” he recently ran into trying to launch a conference geared towards conservative African-Americans. He argues that there are many groups that claim to speak for conservatives African-Americans, for Blacks, but there are few if any that actually do.
Since the bruising defeat Republicans like myself received in November, I’ve been searching for ways to innovate our approach to technology, organizing, and reaching new voters.
One of the byproducts to innovation, is failure. Talking about failure is one of the necessary changes in Party culture that we must make if we’re going to succeed. I plan on bragging on both my successes and failures this year as openly as possible.
In my early December post, Republicans Lost in November, Could Fail Now, I said “I cannot overstate how critical this time is. We have to start building, testing, and even failing or it will be too late,” and went on to expand, “Fund–build–fail until we have a winning product; and on multiple fronts.” While I was namely talking about building a technical infrastructure, the same can be applied to voter education and organizing campaigns.
It was true then and remains true now.
In November I quietly started assembling a talented team that would be able to produce a conference geared toward being the largest gathering of free market/conservative African-Americans. We put together proposals, a communications plan, created some buzz and had reporters — liberal reporters (our target audience) — asking for credentials. All this before we even put up a website! I talked to a few Party leaders I go to from time to time for advice and became encouraged by their recognition of the very same need I was seeing.
That being said, all good things don’t always end well. I’m no stranger to internal politics. Information and secrecy is a rich currency in my line of work. As I began kissing the right asses in the community, I too began realizing what I already knew deep down; that there are many groups that claim to speak for conservatives African-Americans, for Blacks, but there are few if any that actually do. Many groups that solicit funds under this banner are basic schemes. They pay for one gentlemen or lady to go around with a title partying at conferences. They do not do any real outreach, they don’t work with other Black groups, they don’t do anything meaningful.