Speaker at RNC's MLK event decries 'corrupt' black politicians
August 26th, 2013
05:27 PM ET
9 years ago

Speaker at RNC's MLK event decries 'corrupt' black politicians

(CNN) – A Republican National Committee event Monday commemorating the 1963 "March on Washington" took a political turn when a speaker called out African-American politicians he said are exploiting their posts for dishonest ends.

"We must be honest about those black politicians who are standing on those who sacrificed and are using that position for corrupt purposes," said social activist Bob Woodson Sr., the founder and president of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise. "We need to call them out, because they are moral traitors. They are moral traitors. But we're silent about that."

Woodson's organization, based in Washington, helps neighborhoods solve problems like violence and lack of housing. Before founding the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise in 1981, Woodson – who is black - headed the National Urban League's Administration of Justice Division.

His remarks Monday came as national Republicans were marking a half-century since Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. While a celebration will take place at the site of that speech Wednesday, no Republican politicians are slated to speak.

President Barack Obama, and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, will both make remarks. An invitation to former President George W. Bush was declined since the Republican is still recovering from a heart procedure earlier this month.

Other speakers at Monday's RNC event included chairman Reince Priebus and T.W. Shannon, the speaker of Oklahoma's state House of Representatives.

Also attending the event – Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, the Wisconsin Republican who's been a leading GOP voice on rewriting portions of the Voting Rights Act after the Supreme Court gutted key provisions in June.

Saying the court had "thrown a monkey wrench" into the law, Sensenbrenner said it was lawmakers' responsibility to fix it by developing new guidelines for how the federal government can control states' voting laws.

But it was Woodson who delved most pointedly into politics, a fact he acknowledged when he apologized for being the "skunk at the garden party."

Woodson alleged during his ten minute address that the message of the civil rights movement was being diluted as the rights of other groups are being placed ahead of poor African-Americans.

"Blacks today, we're talking about the dream, for many the dream, for poor people, is a nightmare," he said. "Everybody has come in front of them on the bus. Gays, immigrants, women, environmentalists. We never hear any talk about the conditions confronting poor blacks and poor people in general."

He added that African-American leaders who decried the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, but not subsequent acts of violence, are failing to uphold King's message.

"If Dr. King were alive today, he would not just be talking about justice for Trayvon Martin, but he would also give a prayer for the 18-year-old man, for this little baby who was shot in the face by two black kids, or by the World War II veteran who was beaten to death for $50. Or the Oklahoma player who was killed. Dr. King, if anything, was morally consistent."

CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

Filed under: RNC
soundoff (26 Responses)
  1. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    How is that "re-branding" working for you? I suppose you just can't remove the hatred in these people's hearts, if they even have a heart!

    August 26, 2013 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    We must be honest about those black politicians who are standing on those who sacrificed and are using that position for corrupt purposes," said social activist Bob Woodson Sr.,
    Indeed we should Mr. Woodson, BUT, let us be fair and remove the word "black" from your diatribe and let's just leave it at "those politicians", for you see, Mr. Woodson, there are many politicians White and Black that are using their positions for corrupt and selfish purposes.
    Indeed, there are many politicians both white and black, not unlike yourself, who would lend themselves to be the mouthpiece, the "skunk at the garden party" as you so eloquently put it, of the once venerable GOP.
    That little jibe at the end of your soliloquy actually suggesting, nay, expecting that the President should take out the time to mourn, mention, mama mama over every single incident nationwide and worldwide gave you and whoever is pulling YOUR strings away.
    Of course you can always claim that you did NOT mention the President by name...or perhaps the ever-popular "that's not what I meant".
    You should indeed be ashamed of yourself..."sir".

    August 26, 2013 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  3. Data Driven

    Well, the RNC found the guy who can say what they want to say but can't. Congrats!

    August 26, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  4. wolverine7217

    Thev racial policies are not working for the last 50 years cause the wrong people are in prison. The groups and individuals who inspire racism and even reverse racism should be the ones in prison for inspiring black people to crime violence and poor credit ratings. The racial policies have been embolden by the election of a black president.The 3 strike rule, a prison quota system and an executive order not to punish black students are not fair.If blacks did not have police and school records and bad credit rating; They would have equal opportunity. Put Al sharpton, Jessee Jackson, the New Black Panthers and Louis Farrakahn in prison for inciting violence then there would not be any black with a police record.

    August 26, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  5. Tony D

    Dominican mama 4 Obama
    You should indeed be ashamed of yourself..."sir".

    He should be ashamed for speaking his mind and telling the truth? My, my, my the open minded liberals in action!

    August 26, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  6. Lynda/Minnesota

    "the founder and president of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise."

    I thank God this man doesn't and never will represent my neighborhood.

    Dominican mama: Yeah. Nothing has changed. I hope you had a wonderful vacation! (unless this gets posted, in which case I'll never know whether you did or not ūüôĀ . Anyway ... I'm reading to hand the baton to you, girlfriend. I've done my duty for the past few weeks and can honestly say I am in need of a break. There are a few good articles you missed. Hint: Ted Cruz shows his birth certificate (and related other related subjects on Ted the Canadian).

    Otherwise you hit the nail on the head; same old, same old (included with their newest aliases).

    August 26, 2013 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  7. Gurgy

    Why not white politicians that are WAR MONGRELS? Broke USA to ground level.

    August 26, 2013 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  8. Justin S.

    It's nice to see the true face of the RNC, because that's how the RNC will die–by being honest.

    August 26, 2013 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  9. kayla

    there is always an uncle

    August 26, 2013 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  10. Gary

    "President Barack Obama, and former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, will both make remarks."
    Great reporting CNN. Lets count here. Obama, Clinton and Carter. Both??

    August 26, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  11. don in albuquerque

    How very, very sad. And very, very, VERY, GOTP.

    August 26, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  12. Burt

    @Domincan mama 4 Obama.
    I have been reading your comments for quite some time now...'m lady'!
    Way to hit the nail on the head!
    Wow...talk about selling your soul! For what? HOW MUCH MONEY DID YOU GET FROM THE GOP?...To say what you did?
    I graduated from forestry...and watched colleages 'take the money' and be the mouth-piece for the 'company'! And say 'Clear Cutting' is an enviromentally sound practice!
    So...how many pieces of silver did you receive?

    August 26, 2013 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  13. Kathleen Farrell

    We do decry all murders. Trayvon Martin's stood out because he was slaughtered by a man who profiled him, gunned him down and walked free until there was an upheaval, one with much merit. The RNC should quit trying to play its ludicrous idea of a race card and push for reasonable gun control..

    August 26, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  14. Woman In California

    Isn't this event supposed to be commemorating the 1963 "March on Washington"? Republicans never miss an opportunity to find a "George" and have him leash out – at all that is wrong (blacks) in Washington/society. I am so sick of the RNC's attempts at blackbashing. Why can't they just celebrate some of the achievements blacks have made since the march and leave this ugliness for another time? Truly disgusting and I'm sick of it.

    August 26, 2013 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  15. Conservativeagainstallprogress

    The Republican party can't even take a one day vacation from hate and negativity. smh.

    August 26, 2013 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  16. Marie MD

    Corrupt politicians He means the rethugs/teatrolls right? The ones who have sold their soul to the worst kind of human beings?
    There are just as many white as black corrupted politicians. As a matter of fact the rethug list is longer than the Democrats' list but it's good/bad on both sides.
    Your party continues to put foot in mouth. You folks really and truly cannot help yourselves. By serving what is becoming a small segment of the population you continue to dig your own grave. Keep up the good work though.

    August 26, 2013 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  17. dontbow

    Most of those corrupt politicians hail from Chicago. The left would never ever say something so true, they need the votes.

    August 26, 2013 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  18. Winston Smith

    What about corrupt, white politicians. It's getting more and more apparent with the passing of time, that many of you walk around with a head between your shoulders, just to keep the rain from falling down into your neck. WAKE UP.

    August 26, 2013 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  19. MaryM

    That's right RNC/GOP continue that vitriol and hatred your extremist love. Get rid of these extremist TPers, GOP or go the way of the dinosaurs

    August 26, 2013 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  20. Pappa Smurf

    Name, age, race, it doesnt matter in this; "people" are corrupt. I know that I am not the only one who notices the media and their coverage of notables who stand up for apparent "racial issues", where it might be a part, but not completely the matter at hand. There is much to do, and it isnt the government's job, not the state's, not the police, but our own. You can say you were born into this "life" of being poor, lesser educated, "above" the rabble, etc, but you can choose to change yourself, & in part, help change for the betterment of ALL people. Its only if you are willing to be the better person.

    August 26, 2013 08:03 pm at 8:03 pm |
  21. Randy, San Francisco

    This inappropriate and ill timed diatribe by social activist Bob Woodson Sr must be the focal point of the outreach program to minorities by the rebranded Republican Party. Is this what RNC chairman Priebus had in mind?

    August 26, 2013 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  22. Anthony in California

    If blacks are a minority, and there are corrupt black politicians... just imagine how many corrupt "white" politicians there are, AND have been over history...

    That statement was just DUMB.

    August 26, 2013 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  23. John in Brooklyn

    Good luck on that whole bigger tent thing.

    August 26, 2013 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  24. S. B. Stein

    I wonder what he thinks of making sure that all can food to eat (SNAP) and medical care (CHIP).

    August 26, 2013 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  25. Just a thought

    Really? This is the RNC's event to push for the legacy of Dr. King? Great job guys....I think every African American will see the way you've welcomed them to the big ten of the GOP/Tea party..This will fix that deficit you had with minorities last year for sure...LOL Popcorn please

    August 26, 2013 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
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