Thursday, September 4, 2008

Thirty-six?!



Jeremy D. Mayer says in his book, 'Running on Race', "The razor-thin margin of [George H.W.]Bush's victory will force Republican strategists in 2004 to compete for black votes as they have not since 1960."

It must not have worked out for them. They've obviously given up on the black vote in 2008. Have you REALLY watched the Republican Convention. It was the most overwhelming display of political homogeneity since the Republicans nominated Goldwater in '64, and almost no one has said anyone about it. Actually that's what's even more amazing!

Of the more than 2300 delegates at the Republican National Convention 36 were African-American. Thirty-six. There were 167 African-American delegates in 2004! "It's hard to look around and not get frustrated," said Michael S. Steele, a black Republican and former lieutenant governor of Maryland (who would have made an excellent Vice-President candidate by the way). "You almost have to think, 'Wait. How did it come to this?' "

Why should it matter? Maybe it shouldn't, but think for a minute: we are electing the next president of the United States of America. Of ALL of the United States of America. The two major political parties in our country are officially nominating their candidates and the Republicans nominated them with only 1.5% of their delegates to represent the interests of 12-13% of the population.

"The good news, Republicans said, is that they think Sen. John McCain can still win this election with the kind of demographics on display in St. Paul. In an interview with Washington Post reporters and editors Tuesday morning, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis outlined a strategy in which his candidate targets women and white working-class voters and essentially cedes the black vote.

"Obama's "strategy is, 'If I can just deliver the votes that I know exist, whether it's in the minority community or the youth,' or whatever the coalition is that he's got . . . 'then I can win this election,' " Davis said. "We can run our campaign the way we want to run it and not be in direct conflict with a lot of voter groups he is trying to get."

Maybe its a strategy that will work. But what message does that send to the America? And what does it say about who Republicans really think put "Country First"? And who is this mantra painting as unpatriotic? Who had a voice in putting together the platform on which the candidates run? Who constitutes this 'base' that we keep hearing about? And if there is a McCain-Palin victory, what assurances do we have that the cabinet he assembles will be anymore representative of the country than the delegates at the convention?

Thirty-six?!

The Washington Post quoted Michael Williams, a black Republican who chairs the Texas Railroad Commission who spoke Wednesday night, "If we don't get better at reaching out, we're in big trouble," agreed and "It doesn't take much to see that this is not what America looks like. . . . We're trying, but we're not there yet."

No kidding!

Where was Colin Powell?

Where was Condoleeza Rice?

The New York Times reported, "Both the content of the messages and the color of the faces reflect a clear political reality. In 2000 and 2004, Mr. Bush and one of his top lieutenants, Ken Mehlman, worked explicitly to win more black and Hispanic votes. This year the Republicans are aggressively reaching out to the base of their party — white, male, conservative — while making a new appeal to women with the addition of Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska to the ticket."

Does outreach to one, exclude the other?

Thirty-six delegates?!

Obviously, Barak Obama has the majority of the black vote going into the election. But believe me, not every black person is going to vote for him. And to not have a semblance of interest, in loyal black Republicans who speak out for their party with vigor and conviction even when it makes them unpopular just seems a little insulting.


I understand that McCain's campaign doesn't have the money Obama's has. I understand he doesn't have the staff. I understand that the record of the past eight years hasn't been the best for the country. But there are African-American Republicans who swear by the brand and with their party's primary wrapped up long before the Democrats - across this whole country they could only find 36 African-American delegates?

What happened to Lynn Swann?

The Washington Post continued, "Over the weekend, McCain traveled with his newly announced running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, to a rally in Washington County, Pa., whose population is 95 percent white.

"There's no doubt that Senator Obama's popularity is going to stymie our efforts to some extent with minorities, and I understand that," said Williams, the railroad commission chairman. "I know about resources and time and money, and you have to make choices. The heavy resources for us are not going to African American voters. But that's different than making no effort all."

Thirty-six African-American delegates?

What happened to Alan Keyes?

8 comments:

Janet said...

Great post!

Actually, 36 is more than I thought...my friends only counted 5 that they showed on tv...and one was shown twice...so I guess that means 4.

Anonymous said...

Reverand Gerald,

from Dennis Prager "A generation of blacks has been repeatedly told by their leaders, by liberal educators, liberal media and by the Democratic Party that America and whites are racist. They have also been told that the only way out of the social problems that plague parts of black life is through the Democratic Party.

What then should Republicans do? Talk to and especially listen to blacks. Most blacks want, more than anything else, to know that they are being heard. We can ask blacks not to allow their memories of centuries of racism to cloud their views of America today, but they can ask the rest of us not to forget those centuries. We therefore have to say sincerely to blacks, "We will not forget what this country did to you." Only when blacks know that we remember, will they allow themselves to stop being preoccupied with remembering. "

I also quote Jack Kennedy who said "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country".

Gerald Britt said...

Anonymous,

I'm not sure what you mean by the Kennedy quote. American history is replete with the record of African-Americans who have 'done' for their country, even when their country would not do for them.

Dennis Prager is a relatively well meaning conservative so let me address your citation of him this way:

On the one hand he is right, we need America to not forget and to listen. But we need more than a listening ear. We need the playing feel leveled, so that all competition can be even. It is not even now. Forty years of legislation and laws does not level a legacy of nearly 400 years of bigotry and oppression. It needs to be actively and vigorously pursued. It takes time, but anyone can recognize when good faith efforts are resulting in progress. The Republican party (in my view has trouble with this concept).

At the same time, this is not just a matter of Republican outreach. To be honest, they don't have much reason to do more as a party, if African-Americans who vote Republican (and there are more than you might think), don't get involved in the party machinary. If they don't, those who are involved have little choice but to mouth the party line and support what is offered.

Change won't come until those who believe enough in the principles of the party get engaged enough to transform the party.

The reason why I'm interested is because until that happens none of us, are offered a real choice. And if we have no real choice, there is no real contest.

Michael Steele, Michael Williams and any number of Republican women who are judges, state legislators, etc. offer a real spectrum - but they are going to have to be supported and promoted by the RNC and not just showcased as a display of diversity when they think it suits their needs.

Until that time, no matter what the outcome of the election - what we saw this past week, was not a true picture of what America is, or what it is becoming.

Janet said...

I did a little research...

There were 4607 delegates and alternates at the RNC. That amounts to <1% African-Americans (.8% to be precise). At the DNC, 24.3% were African-American.

Anonymous said...

I see a pied piper mentality in black voting when consistently 90% plus vote Dem. After all, the great "melting pot" of the Democrat party has pandered to blacks since the 1960's and black social institutions promote the Democrat party. The Uncle Tom stigma automatically attaches to any black conservative.
Now what do blacks have to show for voting as a monolith for Dems?
More children born outside of marriage and raised by single parents, more gang affiliation, lower educational levels, lower income expectations, and more welfare. Also,in the "all or none" philosophy of the Dems, one must support abortion and homosexuality.
Such is the great Democrat party and its base.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous ii

That's a pretty ridiculous conclusion to reach! That's like saying that the rising divorce rate among evangelicals is related to the Republican party!

In spite of the fact there was a shift toward the Democratic Party during the Roosevelt administration, there was a great shift toward the Dems when Kennedy ran for president. In fact some political historians credit the black vote with Kennedy's razor thin victory margin.

The floodgates to the Democratic Party were opened when in 64 after segregationist democrats bolted the to the Republicans after Johnson passed the Civil Rights Act. Just couldn't abide that pesky 'rights' thing for folk they wanted the freedom to oppress!

It was pretty much complete during the Reagan Era, when the trickle down economics thing didn't work out if you didn't look like him.

You guys who will say anything stupid to prove that your not racist really get to me!

Anonymous said...

The exodus of morality from the Dems has been filled with what?
The following are comments from and about the Dem platform ratified in Denver.
"The president of NARAL Pro-Choice America says while Democrats follow many faiths, the party is united in supporting abortion rights.
Speaking before prime time at a Democratic National Convention that is reaching out to evangelical Christians, Nancy Keenan acknowledged religion among Democrats. But she said the right to abort a pregnancy is one of the party's "core moral values."
The platform ratified Monday states: "The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman's right to choose a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay."

Anonymous said...

And of course the uber moral Republican party is so ashamed that it has to run from its President for eight years (people bought more Nixon/Agnew buttons at the GOP convention than Bush/Chaney!) and a the record of a corrupt Republican majority which led this country to extraordinary debt, economic disaster, a war which the nation was lied into and near criminal neglect of a national disaster...no I don't understand why more people period aren't flocking to their party!