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Sea of white faces at Republican convention


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Andrew Breitbart (the guy who provides Drudge with half of his content) asks if there is any greater significance to the sparse showing of blacks or any visible minorities in the Convention crowd last night.

I was wondering the same thing when I watched a re-broadcast of McCain's speech; I was thinking to myself about a joke Jay Leno made during the 2000 Republican Convention about the larger than usual showing of blacks and latinos in the crowd, and the many minority speakers at that convention: "meals for convention delegates were held up because all of the kitchen staff were sent out on the floor to mingle with the crowd."

Jokes aside about tokenism and attempts to get as many minority faces in front of the cameras as possible, it was generally viewed favourably that at least the Republicans were making an attempt to widen the big tent to appeal to non-white voters. So, what happened this time:

There is such a thing as a black Republican, but they have been all but invisible at the party's national convention which is hardly representative of America's diverse population.

Among the party's 2,380 delegates gathered in St. Paul only 36 are African Americans and very few other visible minorities were to be found on the convention floor.

At least now I know that it wasn't my eyes failing me!

This is the first time in 40 years that there has been such a weak representation of minorities at a major political party convention, according to the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who did not appear at the convention, is like a tree hiding in the forest of the Republican landscape.

For the past six years there has not been a single black Republican governor, senator or representative in the US Congress.

Blacks comprise 12.4 percent of the US population while 14.8 percent are Hispanics, according to the most recent census data.

By comparison, nearly a quarter of Democratic delegates at the party's convention in Denver last month -- some 1,087 -- were black.

"The ideal of a colorblind society is worth fighting for because each man, woman, and child is an individual and not a member of some hyphenated class or group," he told the convention.

But when asked about the lack of black representation, Steele admitted to the Washington Post: "It's hard to look around and not get frustrated."

The Maryland delegation, a state whose population is 29 percent black, did not have any other African American in attendance.

Now, is this just about Republicans giving up the black vote to Barack Obama, or is there something more troubling involved! Does it mean an about-face and a return of the "Southern Strategy" of subtle and not so subtle appeals to the fears and resentments of white voters that Ken Mehlman apologized for three years ago?

It was called "the southern strategy," started under Richard M. Nixon in 1968, and described Republican efforts to use race as a wedge issue -- on matters such as desegregation and busing -- to appeal to white southern voters.

Ken Mehlman, the Republican National Committee chairman, this morning will tell the NAACP national convention in Milwaukee that it was "wrong."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...5071302342.html

Edited by WIP
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Now, is this just about Republicans giving up the black vote to Barack Obama, or is there something more troubling involved! Does it mean an about-face and a return of the "Southern Strategy" of subtle and not so subtle appeals to the fears and resentments of white voters that Ken Mehlman apologized for three years ago?

What do you mean "giving up the black vote to Obama"? The Republicans didn't *give* Obama the black vote, he *took* it.

The Democrats have traditionally fared better with black voters than the Republicans, and this time around that effect is magnified for, uh, obvious reasons.

I read an article yesterday that interviewed a life-long Republican who was black, and he said that this time he was probably going to vote for Obama even though he's a through-and-through Republican. He felt that a black person becoming president was a milestone that would be extremely important for the country, and especially for black people.

So, uh, the less pale people have not been booted out of the Republican party... they have flocked to the other guy of their own accord.

-k

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I saw some black faces at the Republican Convention. How many? Maybe not as many as you would like WIP. Perhaps some of us are more color-blind than to count out how many individuals we see of each race in a crowd. Maybe the Republicans should impose racial quotas on attendance at their conventions. :lol:

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Now, is this just about Republicans giving up the black vote to Barack Obama, or is there something more troubling involved!

There is something more troubling about this race for presidency.

And it is apparent the main issue in this campaign is secularist ideologies vs. tradionalist ideologies.

Tearing apart an established country in this manner is a subtle form of anarchy.

Wake up Americans before it is to late.

NO-BAMA!

Edited by Leafless
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Guest American Woman
I guess the Blacks are voting Obama in this election. If Republicans were trying to keep them out of camera range you might have a story, WIP.

Except it's not the "voters" who attended the RNC.

Who can attend the Republican National Convention?

Space is limited as a result only delegates, alternates, federal and state elected officials and certain invited guests will be able to attend the Republican National Convention.

As the opening post already pointed out, "among the party's 2,380 delegates gathered in St. Paul only 36 are African American..." so that pretty much explains why there weren't many black faces among that crowd. Guess there aren't that many non-white Republican federal state elected officials, either; and evidently not many non-whites were included in the "certain invited guests." Which all means that WIP does have a "story."

Edited by American Woman
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Guest American Woman
so what is there affirmative action for conventions now?

If it would take affirmative action in order for the Republicans to have more than a few 'non-whites' at their convention, I guess that says exactly what WIP was saying when he started this thread, eh?

:rolleyes:

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What a non issue. Blacks are entirely free to join any party the want. They are free to work for which ever party they want.

It's getting them to vote that has been the problem.....and finding role models who aren't idiots....

http://www.tmz.com/tmz_main_video?titleid=1764145077

Maybe if the republican had idiots like that they would get more blacks?

On the otherhand, maybe the Democrats should be allowed to be the party of idiots....

http://www.wwtdd.com/post.phtml?pk=11391

Edited by M.Dancer
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If it would take affirmative action in order for the Republicans to have more than a few 'non-whites' at their convention, I guess that says exactly what WIP was saying when he started this thread, eh?

:rolleyes:

No, that's not what WIP was saying when he started the thread. He was not merely suggesting that black voters have tuned the Republicans out, he was floating the suggestion that the Republicans forcibly kept them away from the convention in an effort to appeal to white voters:

Now, is this just about Republicans giving up the black vote to Barack Obama, or is there something more troubling involved! Does it mean an about-face and a return of the "Southern Strategy" of subtle and not so subtle appeals to the fears and resentments of white voters that Ken Mehlman apologized for three years ago?

It's one thing to point out that the black vote has gone overwhelmingly to Obama. It's quite another to allege that blacks were kept out of the convention so that the party would be more appealing to white voters (who, according to this theory, would I guess have to be mostly a bunch of racists, it sounds like.)

-k

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According to the Canadian Centre for Diversity (www.centrefordiversity.ca), Jews are a visible minority. Do you think they were under-represented at the GOP Convention as well?

How on earth do you visually identify Jews?

Hook noses? Thick glasses? Recessed chins?

Appalling.

-k

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I can't say what these two are going on about because I've got them both on my ignore list for their repeated use of personal attacks, but American Jews have been Democrat for many years, but swung right with the Bush Administration. Ohmert anounced at the most recent Bush visit to Israel that George W Bush was the best friend that Israel has ever had.

I think this is a significant shift in American politics, whatever you two might have to say.

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I can't say what these two are going on about because I've got them both on my ignore list for their repeated use of personal attacks, but American Jews have been Democrat for many years, but swung right with the Bush Administration. Ohmert anounced at the most recent Bush visit to Israel that George W Bush was the best friend that Israel has ever had.

I think this is a significant shift in American politics, whatever you two might have to say.

Too funny...being ignored in such a very obvious way. I guess it's like having stealth...we can post away while you punch at smoke.

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Guest American Woman
It's one thing to point out that the black vote has gone overwhelmingly to Obama. It's quite another to allege that blacks were kept out of the convention so that the party would be more appealing to white voters (who, according to this theory, would I guess have to be mostly a bunch of racists, it sounds like.)

-k

Blacks were "kept out" of the convention because the GOP chose so few blacks to be their delegates, so few black/minority Republicans have been elected to federal and/or state offices, and because so few blacks/minorities were invited. If those observations weren't true, there wouldn't have been a "sea of white faces" at the RNC.

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Blacks were "kept out" of the convention because the GOP chose so few blacks to be their delegates, so few black/minority Republicans have been elected to federal and/or state offices, and because so few blacks/minorities were invited. If those observations weren't true, there wouldn't have been a "sea of white faces" at the RNC.

I think we're all agreed that the Republican party has historically (and particularly now) had less appeal to black voters, and especially aspiring black politicians. However, that doesn't do anything to support the claim that the absence of blacks at the convention was actually a plot to make the Republican party more appealing to white voters. Rather, it is an alternate explanation for the absence of blacks at the convention, and a much more credible one than WIP's speculation that they're banking on a "Southern Strategy" in which white voters are apparently overwhelmingly racists.

-k

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Guest American Woman
I think we're all agreed that the Republican party has historically (and particularly now) had less appeal to black voters, and especially aspiring black politicians. However, that doesn't do anything to support the claim that the absence of blacks at the convention was actually a plot to make the Republican party more appealing to white voters. Rather, it is an alternate explanation for the absence of blacks at the convention, and a much more credible one than WIP's speculation that they're banking on a "Southern Strategy" in which white voters are apparently overwhelmingly racists.

-k

Your "the Republican party has less appeal to black voters alternate explanation" ignores the fact that only the people who were chosen/invited by the GOP and elected officials were allowed to attend. The voters weren't.

I repeat:

Blacks were "kept out" of the convention because the GOP chose so few blacks to be their delegates, so few black/minority Republicans have been elected to federal and/or state offices, and because so few blacks/minorities were invited. If those observations weren't true, there wouldn't have been a "sea of white faces" at the RNC.

So it sounds as if blacks/minorities have "less appeal"' to the GOP, too. Which is, I think, what WIP was saying in his original post.

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So it sounds as if blacks/minorities have "less appeal"' to the GOP, too. Which is, I think, what WIP was saying in his original post.

I disagree. There are minorities that the GOP ignores and there are others that it listens to. Aside from my comments about Jews, consider Evangelistic Christians. Aren't they a minority? YOu can watch Jimmy Swaggart on Sunday morning and yes it looks like a lot of people, but really they are not that big in terms of voter fractions. They are just very, very, loud.

Something hsa happened in western politics - loud has come to replace rep by pop. Reagan knew this and that is what gave birth to his "Silent Majority" campaign.

Now there is just a whole cacophony of very very loud minorities. It's like Italian democracy except the two main parties have found some way to harness the entropy. How long they can keep that up is another question.

Edited by HisSelf
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Your "the Republican party has less appeal to black voters alternate explanation" ignores the fact that only the people who were chosen/invited by the GOP and elected officials were allowed to attend. The voters weren't.

I repeat:

Blacks were "kept out" of the convention because the GOP chose so few blacks to be their delegates, so few black/minority Republicans have been elected to federal and/or state offices, and because so few blacks/minorities were invited.

And what if they just chose people they thought were good for the job to be their delegates irrespective of their color?

Sorry we don't just choose black people specifically for their blackness. If you think black people ought to be exploited for political gains, its no wonder you vote Democrat.

Edited by jefferiah
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Guest American Woman
And what if they just chose people they thought were good for the job to be their delegates irrespective of their color?

Yeah. I'm guessing they thought all those white people would be better at voting for whoever won the primary than blacks would be. It's pretty difficult to go there and vote for whoever the party determines they should vote for. I can understand why the GOP would think whites would be much better at that than blacks would be.

:rolleyes:

Sorry we don't just choose black people specifically for their blackness. If you think black people ought to be exploited for political gains, its no wonder you vote Democrat.

Yeah. Choosing more black delegates would have been "exploiting" them.

:rolleyes:

But who's this "we" you're referring to-- You were part of the GOP that selected the delegates?

As for your speculation as to why I vote Democrat, just another ignoramus comment on your part, which I will dismiss accordingly.

Edited by American Woman
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Yeah. Choosing more black delegates would have been "exploiting" them.

Sure, if you are choosing them specifically because they are black. That would be racist wouldn't it? Have you researched each individual choice for delegates? Have you found any evidence that suggests that the GOP chose white delegates specifically because they are white? The place where I live is pretty much a sea of white faces, well about as much of a sea as a small community can muster. Is that racism too? Hell, I here there's a lot of Asian faces in China.

And by the way, American Woman. This argument of yours works two ways.

Could it not be argued that the sea of Vote Obama pins among a crowd of African Americans equally suggests racism?

Edited by jefferiah
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