J.C. "Buddy" Watts Sr., father of former Republican congressman J.C. Watts, in 1999 said, "A Black man voting for the Republicans makes about as much sense as a chicken voting for Col. Sanders." Back then, his son was the only African-American Republican in Congress and there's still just one. It is in part why Watts is taking steps to diversify his party by starting an organization called Insight.
Set to launch on Feb. 27, Insight will recruit students of color to serve in Republican offices, host professional development and policy forums and provide networking opportunities, Politico reports. The policy forums will kick off in March and focus on issues that affect ethnic minorities.
Watts, who runs a consulting firm, said he was inspired to create Insight in part by his time as a youth pastor. He hopes the group will help young people of color build the kinds of networks that build careers.
"You want people in the pews that look like the pastor," he said. "If you look at the pastor, whatever color the pastor is is usually the color most of your people are going to be. … If you're going to grow anything, there’s one central thing that's important for growth: relationships.”
Watts has been openly critical of his party and its lack of relationships with minorities. In December he chided the GOP for reaching out to them only when their votes are needed during presidential election cycles, a practice he described as a "joke."
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(Photo: US Government)