(UPDATED with one screenshot after Pannebecker changed his privacy settings.)
Wayne Bradley is an employee of the Michigan Republican Party and the State Director of African American Engagement, who has also worked with the RNC. He’s got a difficult job in areas like Detroit and Flint and must constantly fight against media narratives and entrenched negative beliefs about Republicans in the black community. Since Charlottesville, his job has become even more difficult.
Then President Trump pardoned Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio Friday, a man who ran jails without regard for basic human decency. One former inmate, a black woman who was nine months pregnant when she was incarcerated in one of Arpaio’s cells and lost her baby (and nearly died herself) due to placental abruption, is suing Arpaio for civil rights violations. His staff refused to even call a doctor when the woman, who had given birth before, reported a pain level of 10/10 and told the jailer something was very wrong.
Suffice it to say that Arpaio is not very popular in the black community, and due to his disregard for civil rights he shouldn’t be very popular in conservative circles either.
Bradley posted about Arpaio and a couple of other issues on his personal Facebook page, and now a white state party activist is calling for Bradley to lose his job.
What did Bradley say that was so out of line?
In one post, Bradley called out the hypocrisy of some in the GOP who defend the free speech rights of the “Tiki Torch crew” while wanting to force NFL players to stand for the national anthem. (Some people apparently don’t understand that one can support Kaepernick’s right to speech while disagreeing with what he says – and while not thinking he should be protected from consequences of his speech.)
In another, Bradley spells out his position on confederate monuments, asking why we should celebrate losers. (Good question.)
A few Michigan GOP activists and officials aren’t too happy with that. One, Brian Pannebecker, has been the most vocal. He’s made multiple posts on Facebook calling Bradley out and posted one long rant on Sunday.
(Note: Pannebecker changed his privacy settings after publication, but most of his rant is detailed below.)
Stray from the Trump narrative, and now you are a “supposed” conservative?
According to Pannebecker, the Michigan GOP minority outreach efforts are intended to:
“…help blacks understand our [the Republican Party’s] principles and values, and bring more black folks ‘home’ to the party that ended slavery.”
So, blacks can’t understand conservative principles without having a black man “whitesplain” them? Is Pannebecker really saying the only way Bradley can do his job is by repeating what a white man (Pannebecker or Trump) says?
By the way, Politico believes this Brian Pannebecker is the same Mr. Pannebecker who left a “glowing” review for known KKK member David Duke’s memoir on Amazon. The review has since been removed, but Politico says Pannebecker wrote that it was:
“[an] honest, fair and well documented book on the important and sensitive issue of race.” After reading this book, this other Pannebecker promised, you “will be able to discuss the issue of race without the fear of being labeled a racist because you will have the facts and the truth on your side.”
In another Facebook post, Bradley “explained he did not personally support the Arpaio pardon but said the “big tent” GOP allows different views.” Antrim County GOP chair “Trucker” Randy Bishop replied:
“No,…actually you work for and get paid by the Michigan Republican Party…and President Donald J. Trump is the CEO of the ENTIRE Republican Party,…no big tent for his employees!!! Get behind our President, or resign,…now!!!”
State party employees are NOT employees of POTUS, Mr. Bishop. Are all MIGOP officials supposed to check their opinions and brains at the door and wait for wisdom from on high before they speak?
But back to Pannebecker’s rant.
I don’t remember Wayne “used to be conservative” Bradley getting a movement going against Obama when he pardoned drug dealers and terrorists, or speaking out in favor of renaming buildings like COBO Arena when Barrack Hussein Obama was President.
What would Pannebecker consider “getting a movement going”? In his work with the RNC and the Michigan GOP, was he not getting a movement going against Obama?
Then Pannebecker pulls a trick out of the progressive playbook and assigns a nefarious motive to Bradley’s actions. He says this was done:
“[A]ll to please his friends in the black community. Is this the type of “Black Community Outreach” the Republican Party hired Wayne to do?
“Maybe Wayne Bradley is NOT the representative the Republican Party needs to reach out to the black community here in Michigan ?
“Maybe we can find a true conservative to fill the role of Outreach Ambassador to the African American community.
“He is compromising our conservative principals in order to not offend any liberal black Democrats.”
I believe you mean “principles,” Mr. Pannebecker.
What are the Michigan GOP’s principles and values? Are they the principles and values according to Pannebecker or according to GOP elected officials representing Michiganders?
Here’s Michigan native and Grand Rapids Rep. Justin Amash on the Arpaio pardon:
Arpaio was convicted of defying court order to stop violating #4thAmendment. It's a pardon of a govt official who ignored Bill of Rights.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) August 26, 2017
And, Amash on Afghanistan:
There's nothing hasty about ending America's longest war. @POTUS bowed to military-industrial establishment; doubled down on perpetual war.
— Justin Amash (@justinamash) August 22, 2017
Another member from Michigan, Rep. Tim Walberg, on Charlottesville and the “good people” phrase:
White supremacy groups are abhorrent, and no good people propagate these hateful views. It goes against everything America stands for. https://t.co/ROpywLd5dy
— Rep Tim Walberg (@RepWalberg) August 16, 2017
This week Amash and Walberg proposed amendments to an upcoming appropriations bill that would have the effect of stifling Attorney General Sessions’ recent civil asset forfeiture order. President Trump, obviously, sides with Sessions in this. Where should Bradley come down? Will Pannebecker let him know what words he is allowed to speak?
Pannebecker doesn’t believe Bradley a “true conservative” who effectively communicates conservative values to the black community. So would a true black conservative be one who was simply a puppet parroting Trump’s lines?
Or should that true black conservative use Pannebecker’s messaging [LANGUAGE WARNING]?
That oughta win over hearts and minds in the black community (and has been screen-shotted since we know things sometimes disappear after someone’s called out).
(UPDATE: Oh, hey, he changed the privacy setting there. Here’s the screenshot.)
The last line, which was cut off in the screen shot, says: “… looking for free s***.”
A commenter on one of Bradley’s Facebook posts summed up the gist of Pannebecker’s problem.
“This comment Wayne was code for you lucky we let you represent us stay in your place.”
There are a number of white conservatives – the majority of them, I’d say – who don’t believe the way Pannebecker does and want to partner with the black community. On behalf of them, I apologize for the bigoted attitudes displayed by the people calling for Bradley’s job. As Ronald Reagan said in a video Bradley posted on his Facebook page:
“This country, because of what it stands for, will not stand for your conduct.”