Oklahoma Gets First Black Speaker of the House Representing the GOP

T.J. Shannon, 34, is sworn in as first African American Speaker of the House for Oklahoma as his wife Devon looks on.
T.J. Shannon, 34, is sworn in as first African American Speaker of the House for Oklahoma as his wife Devon looks on.

Oklahoma saw its first governmental upset with the victory that J.C. Watts experienced as representative for the fourth district of Oklahoma in 1994.  When he was elected in 1998, to serve as chairman of the Republican Conference, he provided daily counsel to the Speaker of the House, and participated in bi-weekly meetings with the President of the United States.

But according to the Daily Caller, there’s a new sheriff in town.  Tahrohon Wayne Shannon, 34, has become Oklahoma’s first African American Speaker of the House.  He’s not only their first, but youngest ever, and the “first African American Republican speaker in the country since Reconstruction, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.”

As a part of the GOP’s struggle to revamp their image that hasn’t connected with young people since 2008′s elections, Shannon comes to their rescue just in time. In the report, it states that “Barack Obama won 93 percent of black voters and 60 percent of those under 30 years old.”

Shannon was even invited to the coveted Republican conference, Conservative Political Action Conference or CPAC.  This group is the entity where future republican presidential candidates are chosen.  This year’s conference did not even invite Gov. Chris Christie after his alliance and praise of President Obama during Hurricane Sandy.

T.W. Shannon is a sixth-generation Oklahoman and member of the Chickasaw Nation. When asked about color and how he feels it plays into his world, he affirmed that we don’t assert ourselves for promising opportunities because of race. Basically, we gotta let that go. Weren’t you waiting on that part?

“In Oklahoma, we’ve got urban areas, rural areas, Native American tribes, oil and gas activity. We’ve got a lot of opinions and ideas,” he tells the Daily Caller. The biggest obstacles to prosperity, he says, are the status quo, low expectations, and federal intrusion and confusion. “We can’t wait on the federal government to lead,” he says. “Reform will come at the state level.”

The state of Oklahoma is blazing a trail for republicans everywhere.  Be afraid, be very afraid!  Read more here on T.W. Shannon for yourself.  What do you think?

-J.C. Brooks

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