It’s not easy running a federal agency while at the same time trying to convince black Americans that the Republican Party, not the Democratic Party, has their best interest at heart.
A review of Alphonso Jackson’s record reveals a complex man whose views have changed, but who remains a staunch supporter of George W. Bush and considers himself a close friend of the president.
At one time, Jackson said, he was a Democrat, but now he thinks the party encourages blacks to think of themselves as victims.
In numerous television interviews and op-ed pieces, he has criticized the Democrats and praised the Republican Party’s appeal to minorities.
In a commentary posted on USA Today’s Web site in 2004, he wrote that America’s “black political leaders” have “built their careers on an ideology of black victimization. They tout the belief that if blacks want to succeed in this country, there is only one path: reliance on the government.”
He went on to say, “The Republican Party is committed to the basic principle that everyone deserves a chance to achieve the American Dream. The dream doesn’t lie in victimization or blame; it lies in hard work, determination and a good education.”
Jackson’s personal views on how to realize equal opportunity for minorities have changed almost as much as his politics. Back in 1995, Jackson said minorities should be provided equal access rather than quotas or set-asides, according to the Dallas Morning News.
He said that by doing outreach, he increased minority participation in contracting with the Dallas Housing Authority to 30 percent. “I never set a goal,” Jackson said. “I didn’t have quotas or set-asides. I opened the door and let them know the door was open.”
As HUD Secretary, Jackson has gone the other way, implementing a wide-ranging policy intended to meet and exceed a complex set of goals for contracting by minority- and woman-owned businesses, including set-asides and no-bid procurement methods.