In 1999, I had the privilege to lead a Freedom Ride. The Freedom Ride for Faithful Citizenship was comprised of three buses of mostly young people. We rode to Memphis, Tennessee and Birmingham and Selma Alabama. We walked the route of the civil rights heroes who plead their case for equality in those cities. On the Freedom Ride, we spoke of the new civil rights fights, such as for education equality and the inalienable right to life.
One rider was Sister Antona Ebo. Mother Ebo marched at Selma in the 1960s. She endured segregated convents. Her dignified witness and loving ministry lead to her becoming a teacher and leader to many Christians, Catholics and Protestants alike.
Sister told me that leadership takes fearlessness; if you speak and do the truth, all will be well. Once, faced with a staff member who was ineffective despite having been around for decades I asked Sister for her advice. "The new broom sweeps clean" was her simple answer.
This year in Mississippi someone produced a series of wicked radio ads and robo-calls injecting the worse kind of racial demagoguery into the Republican primary. In a state still limping from its past racial strife, someone smeared a good man, State Senator Chris McDaniel, with the kind of racialist mud that reflects the the all-too-typical slanders of the political Left. Senator Thad Cochran’s campaign was the beneficiary of this smear campaign. The ads and robo-calls are awful to listen to. You do yourself a favor to skip them.
In the world of Washington where power trumps principle, it is absurd to think that this racialist effort happened spontaneously. McDaniel was the candidate tied to the Tea Party, and the Tea Party is in an epic struggle to reform the GOP. For good reason, the activist base of our party, including citizens who identify with the Tea Party ideals feel slighted, ignored and maligned by the “establishment” of the GOP. We feel like our fellow patriots in Mississippi were outright slandered by a black-bag operation, and we have no good will left for us to hope it was not coordinated by Washington Republicans.
In my position as chairman of the Missouri GOP, I have called upon Reince Priebus, chair of the National Republican Party, to launch an investigation into the mess in Mississippi. If it is found that anyone working in any capacity for any national, state or local Republican party had any part in this terrible smear campaign against McDaniel and his supporters - thousands of good men and women - they should be immediately fired. I further call upon my fellow GOP state chairs to make it known that whoever from our own party is involved in this is not welcome on any staff or campaign. A new broom sweeps clean.
Racial strife has been exacerbated by this President. Racial strife is a tool of the Left to divide our country and to remake it into something less than our best ideals. We in the GOP cannot do good work with evil tools. The end does not justify the means.
We should sweep clean anyone in our party involved with these wretched ads.
All the best.
P.S. - The Washington Post has written an article on my request for an investigation.