Eugene Cho

where are all the people of color at the RNC?

My expert thoughts about Palin, McCain, the RNC, Obama, and Biden are coming tomorrow.  But I’m throwing out this observation for discussion.  America is a diverse country and as every source corroborates, we are only becoming more diverse.  As a pastor with an ecclesiology for a multicultural and diverse church and an Asian with beautiful slanted eyes, the issue of diversity is of interest to me.

And so, as I was watching the Republican National Convention this week, I couldn’t help but notice the thousands of people and ask the following question:

Where are all the people of color?  Where’s the diversity?

I counted no more than 9.  No joke.  Football great Lynn Swann doesn’t count because he ran unsuccessfully for governor of PA in 2006 as a Republican. [Had he won...he would have been the VP candidate]. Neither does Ann Curry [who's half Japanese] because she works for the media or the delegates from America Samoa.

While I was mostly impressed with Sarah Palin and look forward to hearing from John McCain, I was absolutely stunned by the lack of diversity.  Read the entry below from Jim Wallis. I’ve imported one comment from the God’s Politics blog to get the conversation going.

Discuss.  What do you think?  Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and Anarchists are all invited to the conversation.

Here’s Jim’s entry:

Most of the speeches at the Democratic National Convention were politically predictable; the same was true on the first night of the Republican National Convention. Sarah Palin’s speech tonight will be worth watching, considering all the attention her nomination has received, and of course John McCain’s acceptance speech on Thursday night will be very important, just as Barack Obama’s was in Denver.

But one thing looked very different on the first night of the Republican Convention from the first night of the Democratic Convention: the diversity of the audience. Having seen the racial diversity of the delegates gathered in Denver, it was striking to see a sea of white faces on the first big night of activity in St. Paul. While 13 percent of the Republican delegates are minorities, only 36 are African American — about 1.5 percent of the total delegates, down from 7 percent in 2004. One-third are women, also down from 2004. Last week at the Democratic Convention, the delegates were a record 25 percent African American, along with 12 percent Latino, 5 percent Asian-American, and 5 percent American Indian. Half were women.

As I’ve said before, committed Christians will be voting both ways in the upcoming election, and while we should have a vigorous discussion about how we each apply our faith to the imperfect choices of politics, we should also fully respect the different conclusions that Christians will come to. Good Christians will be voting for both Republicans and Democrats this year, and many independently-minded Christian voters may be voting for both, depending on the candidates, the offices, and the issues.

But we all should affirm the central importance of racial reconciliation in the life of the church, to racial diversity in our parties and political processes, and to the inclusion of all Americans in our political discourse. Christians should exemplify that commitment to both racial and gender diversity in their respective parties. As Christians on both sides of the aisle have appropriately said, the Democrats should be commended for nominating the first African American for the office of president of the United States, and, similarly, Christians on the Democratic side of the aisle should applaud the selection of a woman by the Republican Party as their nominee for vice president. Those choices for diversity can be praised without necessarily voting for either candidate. Both Barack Obama and Sarah Palin should be evaluated on the basis of their records, ideas, and leadership

But we Christians should be the ones working hardest for diversity all across our society — including in our political parties, which both have a long way to go.

And here’s one comment:

So are you saying that the GOP is racist and not allowing Minorities in the ranks? Shame on them if that is true!

Or, are you saying that not enough minorities and skin colors vote for Republicans?

I cannot say either way, but I find it shameful that we should look for any group to be composed of a certain amount or limit of “white faces” in the name of diversity. I would wager that an all-minority church is perfectly acceptable to you and that no diversity would be needed amongst their ranks. Of course whites need not make this claim due to their history of intolerance and thus no moral authority on the topic.

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62 Responses

  1. randplaty says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised if the Republican party was “whiter” than the Democratic party. I don’t know what that says or what that means. I don’t think it means they’re racist.

  2. Edward says:

    I don’t think Jim, Eugene, or others are insinuating that Republicans are racist. If they are, that would be completely irresponsible but you have to question how welcoming and affirming the policies of the Party are to people of color.

  3. sigmapromise says:

    maybe it just means that the ideas and principles Republicans hold dear are more accepted by a people that have never experienced what ALL minortites have experienced in their cultural past. I can understand how a white person would not be able to know what it feels like to have great-grandparents that, very probably, lived through Jim Crow. It would be the same if I knew I was a descendant of Egyptians responsible for the pyramids. (said very gently by a democrat)

  4. elderj says:

    If Jim’s statistics are correct, what it reveals is that minorities are OVERrepresented in the Democratic based on national demographics by about around 10% and that minorities are UNDERrepresented in the Republican party by about 20%, mostly due to the outsized representation of Blacks in the Democratic Party. This is not especially shocking, but Blacks are no where near 25% of the US population. Given that Republicans tend to run strong in suburban areas that are significantly less diverse than urban ares where Democrats dominate, none of this is surprising. Nor is it surprising that the number of Black delegates to the RNC is down so much from previous years given that a Black man is on the ballot. The really funny thing is that prior to the 1960’s if such a thing had been possible, all the Black people would have been at the RNC instead.

    Like you Eugene I am very interested in the issue of diversity but I don’t read too much into the view on the floor. For a Black to be a republican is almost akin to a gay person coming out of the closest (hyperbole alert!!), especially in a year like this. To be Black IS to be Democratic for many people, even though much of what floats around on the Democratic platform is frankly not in Black people’s best interest and some of it doesn’t even reflect their ideology. However, Republicans have as good or better track record of elevating Blacks and minorities to positions of influence than the Democrats.

    As for sigmapromises comments, I agree that your point plays into it, but I gently push back and note that the average Republican is less wealthy than the average Democrat, and probably less educated too.So while they often don’t “get it” on one level, they really do get it on another. And they get frustrated by what they perceive as aggrieved minorities or immigrants showing up and getting help to be at the front when no one does that for white people (certainly not for poor whites) and on top of that they are called racist at every turn simply for being white.

  5. Kari Byrd says:

    According to Giuliani (who gave a speech that was completely lacking in civility) (and I’m a New Yorker who was here on September 11th) the Republicans ended slavery. What more can we ask for?

    Honestly, I watched Huckabee’s speech and he was civil, thoughtful, and eloquent. I’m still a bit puzzled as to why the Conservative Christians didn’t jump on that bandwagon. Was it because he was an average looking man from the lower 48?

    I’m an Independent and have watched both rallies (are they really conventions?) and you’re correct, the RNC is very white. And it seemed like the DNC was a bit more civil. And what’s up with “Country First”? What does that mean?

  6. Channing Park says:

    I appreciate the comments on race representation in both parties. It does really ask the question: are miniorities’ interests served in the GOP? I don’t buy the argument that if you’re black your a democrat. We don’t come out of the womb pre-determined to join one party or another. The reason the democratic party attracts black voters is because the democratic party is perceived to fight for their interests. And minorities are given a voice in the party platform and party leadership.

    As to geographical locations, the reason why Republicans do well in suburbia is due to “white” flight from cities. Fear plays a significant role in GOP values. Last night, I heard a from quite a few delegates on the floor that “make America safe” was their #1 goal. What did FDR say? “All we have to fear, is fear itself.”

    I’ve been involved in several discussions related to race and the GOP and if you take a glance at history the GOP blew it during the Civil Rights movement (remember Jackie Robinson was a Republican and voted for Nixon) and is now “blowing” it on immigration (which is the #1 issue for Hispanics). Both of those groups are socially conservative but when the GOP did not actively recruit nor represent their interests, they joined the Democratic Party.

    I’ll never forget reading an interview with Jack Kemp (who I supported) when Prop 108 was on the ballot in CA. Prop 108 wanted to cut all social services to illegal aliens. When Kemp came out against the Proposition at a rally in No. Cal, the crowd went silient and Kemp said “This is no longer my Party.” Immediately after the rally his fund-raising dried up and so did his presidential run. And in the interest of full-disclosure, I left the party too.

    As to the poor whites: they have access to all of the government services that miniorities do. So the government programs and their advocates do put them “up front”. So why the intellectual disconnect? Can “fear” of a fading “white” america be an issue? I’m not saying poor whites are racist. I am saying their exist a significant size group of Americans who are uncomfortable with the changing cultural changes; i.e., skin color, languages, etc. If you go back in history during the large immigration explosion during the 19th century, you will see similar attitudes towards all of those “jewish” and “catholic” immigrants.

    Maybe the Democrats aren’t recruiting different ethnic groups; maybe the GOP is driving them into their arms.

  7. This one’s simple. I think, this year, they’ve basically conceded the “people of color vote” to Obama.

  8. matt says:

    just like wallis complains that republicans have christians under their belt at their disposal, Democrats have the african-american population under their belt at their disposal.
    it annoys me when I’ve heard black politicians/commentators/neighbors call out black republicans as uncle toms and that’s just normal.

    and funny to note that before JFK, democrats were pro segregation, while republicans were the ones fighting for minority. Actually JFK never showed up to the civil rights march back 45 years ago and there was a lot of political junk as to if he should support it or not.

  9. Arthur says:

    Less people of color bc Republicans don’t practice affirmative action in delegate selection like the democrats. Some see diversity as a matter of counting ethnic faces in a crowd and others prefer diversity in ideology. How many pro-life speakers and republicans were headline speakers at the DNC (see Guiliani and Lieberman).

  10. elderj says:

    Channing I agree with much of your analysis. Here’s where I disagree. Although we are not born with a disposition to one party or another, party allegiance is much like religious affiliation: it is passed down in families. Such allegiances often have people voting against their interests and ideologies, as many (not all) Black people do. Republicans do well in suburbia as well as in rural America so I don’t think White flight has all to do with it, though it is a factor. And both parties play on fear quite a bit. (fear that Roe v. Wade will be overturned for instance). I agree that the Republicans don’t do well at reaching out to those who could be their natural constituencies i.e. social conservatives who are minorities. The Republican party is actually a rather fragmented coalition of social conservatives, militarists, and big business types who have no love for each other. What binds them, and this speaks to your last point about intellectual disconnect, is a serious attachment to individual rights and responsibility. It often isn’t that poor whites don’t appreciate or take advantage of government programs, but they see needing them as an admission of shameful failure and as a last resort. For Blacks and other minorities, government has been a source of help.

  11. I really appreciate ElderJ’s thoughts on this. The most thoughtful comments you’ve received so far (as of 8:50am MDT).

    Until we get out of a “quota” mindset, the diversity of which you speak will never truly develop. Affirmative Action has proven itself not to work as it does not promote excellence above race but race above all else. I say this as the son of a hispanic mother who was discriminated against for jobs, a place to eat, and the brunt of many “wetback” jokes I heard when I was a boy. My father was ridiculed in the 70’s for promoting a black man’s work ahead of a white man’s in a high profile industry. He told me when I was just 10 that it didn’t matter the color of skin but the character and work ethic of the man or woman. So I’m not racist by any means but I AM sick and tired of the mentality that we need quota’s to make America fair.

    A good illustration of this is the American Churches. Where I am planting in Denver, we have churches for black 7th day Adventists, Korean churches, Hispanic Churches, and Slavic Churches. I frequent a Korean coffeehouse here and noticed one day the owner had a bible on his work station. He told me of the struggle he had leaving the ethnically Korean church and moving to a “regular” church because he just wanted to be with other people. His main point? The struggle to keep the culture leads many in their own camps to create the disconnect rather than engage others of different cultures and nowhere was this more seen than in churches. His words, not mine.

    Until we change our thinking to hard work and effort and quit looking for entitlement, we will never truly have racial diversity.

  12. Sue says:

    @Channing, great comment.

  13. markharrell says:

    The people of color are being mislead by the “cotton candy” ideals of a liberal media, and the DNC. Substance wll win-out over style in this election. I predict a landslide win for McCain… and it will be because of a diverse voting group.

    Mark

  14. Rick says:

    “Of course whites need not make this claim due to their history of intolerance and thus no moral authority on the topic.”

    Interesting choice for a starter quote. This racist statement attributes to all whites a personal history of intolerance and consequential loss of moral authority.

    It disturbs me that you would choose to include such an offensive statement in your post.

  15. びっくり says:

    I was watching from here on CNN/Int’l and noticed the very white appearance, but then I got to wondering. I noticed that there were no shots of the entire crowd. They focused in on sampled individuals and, very often, on the cowboy hat wearing Texan delegation. Perhaps the media is making sure you see the whitest image possible.

    On the (possible) racist claims. I agree it would be irresponsible to make a sweeping generalization about the party; however, McCain made very hateful and general comments about Asians during the last election and Latin Americans during this campaign. I don’t think it would be irresponsible to say that he is carrying latent racism around with him. I think he is vastly more qualified to be President than Obama, except for this major and deeply concerning flaw. Guiliani or Huckabee might have been better choices.

    My hope was that Colin Powell could be convinced to step forward. He has shown great intelligence, diplomacy, resolve, honesty, and restraint. He also was publicly labeled as “Uncle Tom” for being a strong Republican. My confidence would be in him to create a decent plan for: quickly stabilizing the war zones and returning troops to our soil; working toward balancing the budget; continuing Bush’s unilateral nuclear weapons reductions; repairing international relationships with allies, enemies, and France; and possibly drawing the moderates out of the woodwork. There’s still time for him to do it as an independent, I suppose.

    @Channing – are you suggesting that cutting off social services for illegals is identical to cutting off social services for minorities? (If so, that is a flawed logical step.)

    @ECho – I was shocked by your discounting of Swann. That sounded very ‘Uncle Tom’-ish. Powerful black people are still black people. I’m proud that he was there. Also, I was hoping to visit your church, but will only visit Seattle for one week in September; my only Sunday is booked. Eventually, I will get there.

  16. chad m says:

    after watching Palin’s speech late last night, i too was shocked by some of the comments in the context of race. did she specifically speak about race? no. she claimed to be the embodiment of the American dream. someone who rose from the bottom of small town America to the top of society. sound familiar? i wonder, in regards to minorities, will that rhetoric resonate in the same way it does when Obama says it?

    however, after the speech MSNBC reporters interviewed some older female delegates from Florida. one said, “she represents the American woman. she is living the American dream.” does Senator Palin really represent the “American woman”? would even MOST American women identify with Senator Palin? i have no idea. i’m not a woman!

  17. randplaty says:

    don’t really understand the “had he won he would have been the VP candidate” comment either.

  18. ben says:

    let’s also not forget another conversation that this one connects to, that is the culture war conversation.

    I was listening to a commentator on the radio today expressing his disappointment that Palin’s speech was a big step back towards reestablishing the false big city elitist vs. small town red-blooded American dichotomy. “I’m just a hockey mom” is just a few clicks away from saying, “Don’t vote for the guy with the weird name who doesn’t look like you.”

  19. Paul McCord says:

    Hmmm . . . I’m familiar with hundreds of black Republicans–all of whom know other black Republicans. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to find them, just google ‘black republicans,” not to mention the Republicans have had more men and women of color in Cabinet positions and other high office than the Democrats ever thought of having. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why the majority of blacks are Democrats, at least according to the black Republicans–they’ve bought into the hype that the Democrats actually care about them. If you have a computer and access to google, I find the discussion about diversity in the Republican party here to be very disingenuous

  20. To view a self-selected group of people in any situation (those who choose to involve themselves in their party’s nominating process) and draw a racial conclusion is akin to saying “My wife and I went to the movies last weekend and noticed that there were no other Asians in the movie theater. Why don’t Asians go to the movies?” It is an absurd attempt to saddle the Republican party with the wistful moniker “White Party.”

    Perhaps the emphasis in the question is incorrectly placed. What if was to read Where ARE the people of color. If the case is to be made that people of color are not attracted to the Republican party, why not? What is it about the emphasis on individual rights and responsibilities, protection of life, and American exceptionalism that is unattractive to them?

  21. Channing, from where does the allegation come that “the GOP blew it during the Civil Rights movement”? Are you sure you didn’t mean to say that Democrats blocked the majority of civil rights legislation?

  22. Channing Park says:

    Doulos – If you “wiki” the voting pattern for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, you will notice only one SOUTHERN democrat voted for it. Folks, let’s all remember prior to the 80’s, Democrats in the South were Dems by name only. They advocated “states’ rights” which is now the Republican platform and wanted to maintain segregated institutions (conserve institutions not reform). So, in a word, to be intellectually honest about Civil Rights’ we must recognize Southern Democrats are not philosophically linked to current day democrats. And let us also remember, it took a Republican President to send troops to Little Rock, a Democratic President to desegrate the military, and a Democratic President to apply a pressure to pass both the Civil Right’s Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act 1965. My comment above was related not the lack of an aggressive approach by the GOP to recognize their social conservative brothers and sisters whose skin color happened to be different.

    On a side note, I laugh every time the GOP calls themselves the party of Lincoln. Remember, Lincoln followed a policy of protecting a strong central government over states’ rights.

  23. Channing Park says:

    Paul – are you saying minorities are being duped by the sophisticated political machine of the democratic party? They are just not “smart enough” to figure it out they are being led astray?

    elderj – wish we were at a pub to discuss this topic together. You demonstrate a wonderful ability to see the nuance and complexity of understanding the motives of human beings. Personally, I believe Americans focus too much on the Bill of Rights rather than the responsibilites we bear as followers of Jesus. It’s unfortunate people feel ashamed if they need help and therefore don’t ask for it. Isn’t that what we do as believers every day? Ask for help? I know I do.

    But let’s not go and follow ‘rabbit’ trails – the original question is legitmate. The GOP is under representedy by minorities. If I were running the GOP, I would be evaluating why.

  24. eugenecho says:

    thanks for the civil conversation:

    @randplaty: i think had swann won the pennsylvania gubernatorial election in ’06, he would have been the VP selection and if not, he’d be on that very short list. he skyrocketed up the political ladder even while he was still working in the sports business. he still has a bright future.

    @[i can't copy and paste the japanese characters]: shocked? huh? i wasn’t discounting swann. great guy. i simply wasn’t tabulating him in my count. don’t read too much into that. have a great visit to seattle.

    @arthur: diversity certainly includes many things like ideology as you wrote but to pursue for ideological diversity on the large issues within the RESPECTIVE parties’ convention isn’t going to happen. but i agree that diversity needs to go beyond counting faces but still, something to think about, no?

    @doulos christou: let me first say that comparing the convention to elect the next president of the United States and going to a movie theater isn’t a fair comparison. one happens every 4 years and the other happens every hour from 11am-midnight.

    but since you brought up the comparison, i think you bring up a great question about “Where ARE the people of color?” since there’s multiple angles to the question but as we pursue this movie theater thing, i guess another way i would frame the question is, “What’s the movie?” – What’s the plot? Who are the leading actors and actresses? What’s the message?

    while i think ‘breakfast at tiffany’s’ is a classic film, i understand why some asian-americans have urged others to boycott the film. for folks to not at least acknowledge the possibility of pain due to rooney’s character’s caricature is what stuns me.

    and if i can be honest and open myself up for more angry email, the reality is that when i go to a theater, a church, or any public gathering, looking at the ethnic and gender demographic is amongst the first things that i do … for various reasons.

  25. miles says:

    Hi gang. I must admit that i don’t know a lot about politics. So I’m learning a lot from everyone on this post. I often wonder why I get a sinking feeling of slime when I hear a Republican speak. Not to be offensive at all. It’s almost like a covert sense of racism, almost like they say things that you can’t point out as being racist but it seems as though they are. Trying to make the black barrack obama look stupid. Maybe this is a harsh statement and I’m not even saying that im right for thinking that. I’m just trying to understand why during both conventions that i’ve watched, I get a creepy feeling in my stomach when I listened to the Republican National Convention. Trying to find something that i can agree with i hear a little voice saying that i shouldn’t be listening to what they’re saying.

  26. DK says:

    And there lies the difference. Most Anglo folks will go to a theater (or a convention) and they won’t even think twice about the ethnic makeup. They don’t have to but for the majority of people of color, it is the FIRST thing they will do – whether they admit it or not. And therein lies the tension, the United States IS a diverse nation but it is still being led by some as otherwise.

    Admit it or not, there are those who will never vote for a woman because of her gender and those who will NEVER vote for Obama because of the color of his skin.

    Race matters.

  27. James says:

    Actually, 100% of the delegates at the RNC were ‘Persons of Color.” This is because no human on earth is colorless. ‘POC’ is a racist term that divides people into colored and uncolored (i.e. invisible) classes. Why are people talking this way?

    POC is a nothing but a codeword that means “Anyone but you, Whitey.” Wishing for more POCs is just another way of wishing for fewer white people.

    Has anyone ever asked where all the white people are in a large gathering? Or lamented that weren’t enough of them?

  28. Paul McCord says:

    Miles–“I often wonder why I get a sinking feeling of slime when I hear a Republican speak. Not to be offensive.” Honesty isn’t your strong suit is it?

    Also, I know of no Republican trying to make Obama look stupid–unless pointing out his inconsistencies is considered to be trying to make him look stupid. What exactly did the Republicans say that was so offensive? You hear a little voice saying you shouldn’t be listening? Why, don’t appreciate opposing views or afraid that you’ll find out that what you’ve believed isn’t true?

    The racism is charge is getting way out of hand. Put J.C. Watts, Condi Rice, Steele, or any number of other blacks up on the Republican ticket and you’d see a flood of Republicans anxious to vote for them. Why is always race when someone disagrees with you? Maybe, just maybe, people won’t vote for Obama not because of the color of his skin but because of this positions. Maybe it isn’t his father but his inexperience that people don’t like. Maybe it isn’t his ethnicity people reject but instead they don’t trust him. Or is that just too simple a reason? Race matters to those who want to make an issue of race. For the majority, the man, his principles, and his policy matter.

    And we’re putting too much emphasis on the Bill of Rights? I’ve never been a fan theocratic government. I’ll take the Bill of Rights, thank you.

  29. DK says:

    Paul,

    And just last week or so, J.C. Watts blasted the Republican party:

    “We’ve done a pathetic job of building relationships within the African-American community,” Watts said of the Republican Party. “We take the evangelical community for granted. We use push-button issues to get them to go vote.”

    Watts, who started his own lobbying, consulting and public affairs companies after not seeking re-election in 2002, said the party has to become more diverse.

    All the major GOP presidential candidates this year were white men; Democrats had a black man, a woman and a Hispanic man, Bill Richardson, said Watts.

    “I’ve just gotten to the point that I’ve said, ‘OK, you want me to serve the meal, you’ve gotta let me help buy the groceries,’” said Watts, who served eight years in the House.

    Watts told the mostly white crowd the party has to be more inclusive.

    “Did you have any say on what your skin color was on the day you were born?” he asked them. “If you did, I’ll be your agent and we can make a whole lot of money.”

    Watts said he is disappointed none of the major presidential candidates, including Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, had black people in key positions on their staffs.

  30. Paul McCord says:

    And your point is? My point wasn’t that the Republican party is perfect or that Watts or anyone else thinks it is. I agree that the Republicans should be doing much more.
    That doesn’t negate the fact that there’d be a flood of Republicans voting for him if were on the ticket.

  31. DK says:

    Paul,

    Agreed. You’ve made my point and we agree. I enjoyed what J.C. Watts said…I simply want to see more. In my opinion, they are going to be increasingly disconnected to a fast changing landscape. That’s my point.

  32. Paul McCord says:

    I would encourage you to check out the National Black Republican Association and some of the other Republican groups of color–there are lots of them. They are working with the RNC and other ‘mainline’ Republican groups to make radical changes. And that isn’t to say they don’t have frustrations within the party. The fact of the matter is it isn’t that the Republican party doesn’t want them–it’s that the power structure of the party, just like that of the Democrat party and every other organization for that matter–is protective of their position, power and authority. They are in a word, human and unfortunately act like humans (referring to some of the least attractive characteristics of humans). The old guard of both parties will have to have their backs broken either by age or by force of overwhelming numbers. That’s one of the reasons that many of the old guard in the Republican party i’arent too enthralled with Palin–she poses a real viable threat to them.

    By the way, you may have noticed by my picture that I’m not black (surprise!). But just to clarify that I’m not here as a representative of the Republicans: I’m fairly well informed of the work of black Republicans because I’m doing research on a book about black conservatives, and not surprisingly, most are Republican. Consequently, the post about people of color on the floor of the convention caught my attention.

  33. miles says:

    Want to apologize to any Republican that read my post. Paul’s right; honesty isn’t my strong suit. Sorry if i offended u.

  34. Well, it’s not exactly like the Republican platform is friendly to people of color. Skewed toward the wealthy and connected, anti-immigration, against affirmative action. The Republican party is WASPs (eg. the Bush family), not dark skinned folk.

  35. Paul McCord says:

    thoughtbasket,

    Please, let’s get some reality here:

    1) skewed toward the wealthy and connected. Nope. Our corporate tax rate is the second highest of all industrialized countries which is one of the major reasons jobs are leaving;. Small and mid-size businesses hire the majority of people. Raise the tax on capital gains and personal income taxes and much of that capital will dry up, going into bonds or going overseas, driving more people out of jobs. Even Obama agrees with that. His reasoning for raising taxes isn’t that it’s good for the economy but because it ‘isn’t fair’ for those who have made money to have so much of it. as they when others are in need.

    2) anti-immigration? Hardly. Anti-illegal immigration, yes. Anti-legal immigration, no. Most of the American population is anti-illegal immigration also–for good reason.

    3) against affirmative action–not all but most in the Republican party are. it’s time for it to go away. The programs, resources and help are there for anyone who wants it to prepare themselves for a better life. Many don’t and you can’t force them to take it. Now, if they choose not to take it are the remainder supposed to support them? And as far as affirmative action, if one is discriminated against the courts can and will take care of that–for free. You earn based on ability.

    If personal responsibility, work, legal immigration, and taking advantage of the opportunities that exist are not for dark skinned folk, then we’ll never progress past where we are. Fortunately, millions of dark skinned folks have taken advantage of the opportunities and are doing very well. Millions more are on their way. There are millions of people of color in the Republican party that would very much disagree with your assertion

  36. Channing Park says:

    From a person who was the first asian in Muskogee, OK in 1973, I naturally notice the ethnic make-up of any crowd I am in. I also lived in Orange County, CA – which is very ethnically diverse. But the question is: when you are in an ethnic enclave, are you afraid? uncomfortable? or enjoy the experience?

    @Paul You’re right. There has been significant frustration articulated by black conservatives. The other question is: with the huge influx of hispanics within the states who are also socially conservative, what has the GOP done to recruit them? I know Bush received a majority of support from Hispanics in the last two elections but I only saw one speaker who was hispanic and very few faces.

    @James – POC came into being as the ethnic map has changed in the US. In 50 years, I doubt if POC will even be used. Personally, I’m discouraged with Obama being refered to as African-American. As a multi-ethnic person (Korean/German/Irish), I really can’t claim any ethnic group without ignoring another. Obama is in the same boat and so is Tiger (3 great looking guys, if I may say so ;-) ) My hope is race will cease to be discussed and we’ll focus more on economic status…especially where college enrollment is concerned.

  37. Paul McCord says:

    Channing,

    I’ve met hundreds of black Republicans and a ton of Hispanics. But one of the interesting things–more with blacks than Hispanics, but at least to some extent experienced by both–is that a great many of the black Republicans will voice their political affiliation when in a group of other conservatives but won’t tell their co-workers, many won’t tell their extended family, much less come out publicly, for fear of being ridiculed for not being a Democrat. Fortunately for me there are thousands who don’t have this fear (otherwise it’d be really difficult writing a book if you couldn’t identify individuals), but there are still some great stories that can’t be told because people won’t give permission to identify them.

    This reluctance to be publicly identified as a Republican or even as Libertarian makes it even more difficult to recruit. Certainly there are many people of color actively recruiting for the Republicans, but when a good portion of your base of color isn’t willing to admit their political affiliation, it makes it even more difficult.

    It’s also unfortunate that the Republicans didn’t have more Hispanic speakers during the convention. I live in Texas and there are a ton of great Hispanic Republicans that could have been tapped to speak. Same goes for Florida, California, New Mexico and just about every other state. They blew that opportunity.

  38. Channing Park says:

    @Paul – I live in the Dallas area so I know of what you speak. I think that is part of the frustration for Independents with the nomination of Palin. They saw some incredible female Republicans with a ton of experience (Hutchinson being one) get passed over.
    As for “illegal-immigration”, it is a very complex issue and needs to move beyond the “we can’t afford it” mantra. Might need to create another topic ;-)

  39. Paul-
    If you are writing a book about black conservatives then you shouldn’t be scratching your head about why minorities have little interest in supporting the GOP. Your cavilling defense of Republican policies fails to acknowledge how those policies have been argued for; ask yourself if the immigration debate has been articulated with the nuance you express by prominent conservative media figures. Ask yourself what Rush Limbaugh and company sound like when they talk about affirmative action. For that matter, listen to James whining about being called ‘whitey’ in his imagination; tell me that doesn’t sound hostile. Yet you can see similar sentiments expressed by conservatives with growing frequency. The most radical elements of the right wing are openly racist and are still courted by prominent Republican politicians. For example, Bob Jones University didn’t drop it’s ban on interracial dating until after George Bush spoke there in 2000. And that’s just off the top of my head.

    None of this is to say that every Republican is a racist or even that the GOP is inherently racist; that would be absurd. But the GOP can’t have it both ways; playing divisive hardball and pushing voters race buttons when it suits their interests is not going to pay dividends of minorities embracing their party. If you really are curious as to why your party appears hostile to minorities, try looking at it from the outside instead of trying to come up with reasons as to why someone would have to be irrational or stupid not to join you.

    James-
    Here in America until very recently people who were of mixed race didn’t even have the option of legally being ‘white’. The ‘one drop rule’ persisted until the Loving Decision of 1967. It has always been easy for the overclass to pretend race doesn’t exist. When your race grants you privilege it’s easy to start believing you earned it all by yourself. It has long been more difficult for people of color to ignore race as it has been the defining factor of their lives in America for a very long time. When one looks at the statistics for education, incarceration, and mortality rates it is clear that race is still a defining factor in people’s lives. While things have significantly changed for the better when one considers things like the rise in membership in white supremacist groups it should also be obvious that race cannot be ignored at this point in the development of our society. Perhaps in another generation things will be different, but for now we are surrounded by people who were alive when the ‘one drop rule’ was the law of the land and have not forgotten the old ways. This is not to say that everything should be seen through the lens of race, but that it is dangerously naive to pretend that that perspective is not there. Thank you for an interesting post.
    Winston Delgado

  40. Paul McCord says:

    furious buddha,

    When did I say anyone was irrational or stupid for not joining the Republican party? Those are your words, not mine. Are their racists in the Republican party? I’ve met a few. Are their racists in the Democrat party? I do know some of them too–and just to be clear, they’re not all from Texas or the South. And just to be clear, I know both Republican and Democrat racists from all colors.

    Neither party is devoid of racism; neither is devoid of idiots; and neither is devoid of self-serving hypocrites. I personally don’t think that is the majority or the norm in either party and to try to suggest is as some do is the height of foolishness.

    And I never said I’m scratching my head about why minorities don’t support the Democrat party. I think the black, Hispanic and other minority individuals and groups I know have laid that out very well for me. Their reasoning will undoubtedly differ from yours, but they have well reasoned arguments–the very fact that there are so many that won’t acknowledge it publicly is pretty good testament to the hold the Democrats have–and the peer pressure they face–on their family, friends, co-workers and acquaintances.

  41. Paul McCord says:

    Sorry, shouldn’t be writing while talking. Obviously the line should have read “And I never said I’m scratching my head about why minorities don’t support the Republican party.” I promise I’ll proofread prior to hitting the ‘submit’ button next time.

  42. Dennis says:

    Here’s some diversity for you:

    Wikipedia — Wasilla – 85% White, .1% African American (yes, that is a decimal point), 5% Native American …

  43. Paul McCord says:

    And the point is? If you want to start throwing out silly, meaningless stats we can do that all night. Let’s keep the conversation off the ridiculous and to some substance. How about I throw out the stat that 92% of blacks voted for Obama in the primary and imply say that shows a great deal of thought on their part. About as absurd as your stat.

  44. Tom says:

    Fun thread.

    The bottom line is that the conservative movement and the Republican Party, at this point, mostly attract white people with some interesting and potentially important exceptions.

    The progressive movement and the Democratic Party seem to be able to attract everybody.

    The conservative and Republican approach these days is thoroughly committed to individualism, and in my mind, the progressive approach is committed to individualism disciplined by a diversity of communal obligations and identity.

    No easy answers here.

    Individualism has done a ton of good and freed lots of people lost trapped in communal cages .

    I think it’s ironic, though, that current American conservatism is aligned against traditional ethnic and community obligations and memory (except for white people) when the whole idea of conservatism is to give communal memory a vote. If anything can be said about traditional conservatism, giving ‘the ancestors’ a vote is at the heart of it. Nobody’s ancestors–beyond a generation or two in America–were individualists.

    But maybe lots of conservatives really aren’t conservatives. I think a lot of the old labels don’t make sense anymore.

  45. Paul-
    Please forgive me for putting words in your mouth. I was referring to your closing statement in the previous post where you said, ‘if personal responsibility, work, legal immigration, and taking advantage of opportunity are not for dark skinned folk, then we’ll never progress from where we are’. That’s a tremendously condescending statement no matter how you cut it. If you really are trying to reach out to people, it’s not helpful to insult them by saying they’re lazy and irresponsible. Considering that the affirmative action programs you oppose are supposed to create opportunities for ‘dark skinned’ people (your words, not mine) these sorts of statements carry a kind of cruel irony to them.
    Peer pressure is what causes teenagers to smoke, not what causes adults to form political opinions. At least one would hope not. However, I would certainly agree that many minority individuals catch flak for becoming Republicans. In the African American community these individuals are often characterized as being an ‘Uncle Tom’ or an ‘Oreo’. An excellent example would be Clarence Thomas, who benefited from affirmative action and spent his legal career railing against it. This is not the sort of thing that will seduce most African-Americans into voting Republican.
    Regarding your stat: Are you saying that the majority of blacks don’t think?
    Winston Delgado

  46. RK says:

    Wow! Paul: I’m surprised that you write as though you are the expert on minorities in the conservative world. Yes, from what you write it seems that you are gathering information from a particular group of folks. Have you sat down and spoken to minority Democrats? If so, have you done it as extensively as you have with those you say you’ve spoken with? Just curious. I figure you’d need both perspectives to come to any reliable conclusion.

    I would call myself a moderate democrate with some conservative views. Race is an issue whether or not you want to admit that, and it is a bigger issue for the RNC. You can make lots of excuses for minority Republicans not being represented at the RNC, but after a while, come on. Let’s be real.

    What draws me to the Obama/Biden folks is their decency. While I read Mile’s apologize, I’m surprie you did not. Your remark about “honesty isn’t your strong suit, is it” comment was pretty harsh. It’s one thing to question his remarks as being flawed; its quite another to accuse someone of being a liar, and with sarcasm. You like to criticize other people’s comments on this blog as “silly, meaningless” just because you don’t agree with it. I think we’re adults here, and we can have civil discussions without personal jabs into our character. I expect you may retort, “your words, not mine”. I don’t think it takes a linguistic expert to get the gist of what you are saying and implying by those comments.

    What is implied about the person who is accused of making statements that are “silly, meaningless”?

    Your discussion approach here is what many people find offensive about Palin’s speech. It’s not just what she says, but it’s how she says it and her body language, such as the pause, then laughter (this is something you do when you are riduling and putting someone down). Many would agree that her speech was not merely questioning her opponent’s qualifications, but also belittling his experience as a community organizer, not to mention belittling the DNC’s approach to running their convention (remark about fake columns…really was that necessary) those who support him (you are also doing this with your remark about the fact, according to you, that 92% of African-Americans voting for Obama in the primaries implies that they lacked thought. I am assuming that statement was sarcastic. While you may accuse others of being ridiculous and without substance (your choice words), I would like to say that sarcasm also isn’t helpful in a discussion (which was another tactic used by Paln). In fact if you look at the definition of sarcasm in the Webster dictionary you will find the following: “to tear flesh, bite the lips in rage, sneer”. I hope we can discuss in an honest, yet respectful manner.

  47. RK says:

    For that matter, I hope that McCain/Palin and Obama/Biden can continue their future debates without personal jabs and sarcasm. I believe that it takes a strong person to not retaliate with the same personal jabs. Go Obama/Biden!

  48. [...] Jim Wallis and Eugene Cho are concerned about the lack of diversity represented in the crowd at the Republican [...]

  49. [...] 2.  How come the music at the respective conventions are so different?  And we discussed this, but where’s the diversity in the RNC? [...]

  50. Paul McCord says:

    furious buddah–affirmative action? Yes, I oppose it. Programs to help men and women gain the skills they need to succeed/ no, I don’t oppose them. And, by the way, ‘dark skinned people’ were your words, not mine. I picked that phrase up from your post. Regarding the stat, as I said when I quoted it, to throw out that stat and claim that they are voting without thinking is as absurd as quoting the demographic stats for Palin’s hometown–one has no relevance because it isn’t true, the other has no relevance because it is only a matter of accident that that is where she was born and grew up and was only brought up to take a swipe at her without overtly attacking her, implying at best that she can’t understand diversity because of her background or at worst that she is a racist.

    RK–no, I’m not the expert on black conservatives, but think I’ve learned a great deal about their thinking and the situation they are in working within the Republican party. And, no, I haven’t spent a great deal of time speaking with black Democrats–although, naturally, I’ve spent a great deal of time speaking to former black Democrats, as most of the black Republicans are former Democrats. And the book doesn’t come to conclusions in the traditional sense of that phrase. Instead of writing ‘about’ the black conservative movement, the book is relatively short bios and interviews about the opinions, the ‘why’ of hundreds of black conservatives–bus drivers, housewives, executives, business owners, construction workers, police officers, etc. The exception to the short bios are the longer bios of some of the major figures such as Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Larry Elder, John McWhorter, etc.

    Also, I never made excuses as to why they aren’t represented. I simply said there are millions of minority Republicans and that some don’t want to have public exposure. I’ve never addressed why they aren’t at the convention–I can’t answer that because it isn’t a question I’ve asked because it hasn’t been germane to my interviews.

    And, nope, doesn’t take a linguist to figure out what I’m saying, it’s pretty transparent. And it doesn’t take a linguist to recognize snide remarks that are intended to be slights without being overt or are disingenuous and shouldn’t be tolerated on any forum. If there is to be a discussion, then discuss. On the other hand, if the object is to try to ridicule and appear innocent, then what’s the purpose? My comments weren’t like Palin’s at all. Hers were mockery (Biden, Obama and other speakers at the Democratic convention used the same rhetorical technique, so let’s not pretend they didn’t–both parties were speaking primarily to their base and partisanship, mockery, and satire are expected and used freely), was not. I didn’t mock, I pointed out very directly the intent of the words used.

    And to revisit my statement. It was sarcasm but not in the sense you appear to have interpreted it–I said that if I said that 92% of blacks voted for Obama in the primaries without thinking, that statement would be as absurd as his implication that because Palin comes from a town with little diversity, she either can’t understand minorities or she is a racist. Please, go back and re-read the sentence.

    I believe that I am discussing in a honest and respectful manner. No, I won’t ignore those who degrade conversation through cheap rhetorical tricks, but other than that, where have I been disrespectful or dishonest? Certainly, there have been a couple of my sentences that were either not well written or not well read, but those aren’t being disrespectful or dishonest–they simply need further explanation. That happens in conversations.

  51. Nancy says:

    Wondered this same question myself Thursday night during McCain’s speech. I was so involved with trying to actually see some diversity that I couldn’t concentrate on the speech. And you are right, I counted less than 10 as well.

  52. Paul-
    I was quoting you when I used the phrase ‘dark skinned folk’. The part where I wrote ‘you said’ and then put quotation marks around the sentence that followed (which was a verbatim transcript of of something you posted a few lines back in this thread) should have been the clue. I’m going to do that again so be prepared, these are your words:

    Paul McCord said:”How about I throw out the stat that %92 of blacks voted for Obama in the primary and imply(sic) say that shows a great deal of thought on their part. About as absurd as your stat.’

    After I asked you about this sentence, you said:

    Paul McCord said: ‘…to throw out that stat and claim they are voting without thinking is as absurd…’

    Perhaps you are unfamiliar with this form of discussion, Paul. I can read what you write, even after the conversation moves on. It’s a handy way of keeping everyone honest.

    Even holding in mind that conservatives tend to be awkward when attempting sarcasm and irony, it is difficult for me to reconcile the statement you made with your rephrasing of it. It seems to me that you were saying that because blacks voted overwhelmingly for Obama it would be absurd to say that they put a great deal of thought into their votes, which is the opposite of what your explanation of that sentence was.

    I only have the rules of English grammar and the context of this discussion to guide me. I can’t actually know what you are thinking, which is why I have to rely on my poor abilities to interpret your choice of particular words in the order in which you put them. I can’t read your expression, body language, or tone. I’m not accusing you of being a racist, but I am trying to point out to you that when you are expressing patronizing and condescending messages to other people they pick up on it and don’t react well to that attitude. Do you understand what I mean by that? Were you able to tell that these were my words? Did you recognize your words in the above? If my own computer skills weren’t so poor I would color-code them so that you would be able to discriminate better between them.

    Winston Delgado

  53. [...] in the Life Great comment thread here. I really like this blog and am adding it to my blogroll. I think you’d like this guy, [...]

  54. Paul-
    In reviewing this thread, I see that indeed you did not introduce the phrase ‘dark skinned folk’. However, it was someone who called themselves ‘thoughtbasket’, not me. Perhaps you meant to say ‘you’ as in ‘you liberals’ or ‘you people’ but any attribution to me is incorrect. In any case, this does not change the fact that the sentence surrounding the phrase is still condescending.

    You (Paul McCort) said:’If personal responsibility, work, legal immigration, and taking advantage of the opportunities that exist are not for dark skinned folk, then we’ll never progress past where we are.’

    I’m not accusing you of racism, Paul. But the implications of this statement are stunningly obnoxious at the very least.
    Winston Delgado

  55. RK says:

    Thanks furious buddha. I think it is important to remain honest, and if one does say or do something, one ought to own up to it.

  56. Paul McCord says:

    Winston,

    Three things:

    Here is my original sentence: “Let’s keep the conversation off the ridiculous and to some substance. How about I throw out the stat that 92% of blacks voted for Obama in the primary and imply say that shows a great deal of thought on their part. About as absurd as your stat.” Now that statement says 1) the stat of Palin’s hometown’s demographics is absurd and 2) to state the stat that 92% of blacks voted for Obama in the primaries and to IMPLY or SAY that they did so with a great deal of thought (yes, as sarcasm) is also absurd. I’m sorry the sarcasm was lost in my sentence–I thought it obvious–obviously, it wasn’t obvious.

    And you’re right–the original wording was from ‘thoughtbasket,’ not you. I’m sorry for the mis-attribution.

    The statement regarding personal responsibility, work, legal immigration and taking advantage of opportunities was in response to thoughtbasket’s assertion that the Republican platform isn’t friendly to minorities. My point is that if the Republican platform isn’t friendly to minorities since the vast majority of it is centered around personal responsibility, work, legal immigration, and giving men and women the freedom to take advantage of opportunities, then we do have a problem because those are the means people must use to become financially independent and secure. And I don’t see where those factors are condescending or obnoxious. I think they focus on the best attributes each of us have–our ability to overcome, to succeed, to rise above our circumstances, to turn obstacles into victories. Now, if there are specifics platform items that are offensive, I’m open to hearing about them, but these are the primary planks. These are the core issues that have brought so many of the minorities in the party to the party.

  57. Paul-
    I suppose it is has been the expression and execution of these principles over the last decade or so that gives your current statements a ring of insincerity. ‘Insincerity’ isn’t exactly the right word, but it’s the best one I’ve found so far. It’s that your words don’t reflect the reality. For example, when one considers the Bush Administration’s abject failure to respond to the crisis of Hurricaine Katrina in a timely or appropriate fashion, to hear Republicans pitch the idea of ‘Personal Responsibility’ is a bit jarring. Especially when the knee jerk reaction of any Republican I’ve discussed Katrina with is to blame the local Democratic officials involved. I’ve never heard anyone take ‘personal responsibility’ for that disaster. The behavior of the GOP during their convention last week was more a case of shutting the barn door long after the horses were gone.
    Legal immigration is all fine and dandy; I don’t really think you’re going to find reasonable people who disagree that immigrants should follow the law. But as I asked you before, how have conservatives generally chosen to articulate their commitment to this principle? We both presumably have heard how Rush, Hannity, and O’Reilley utter the word ‘immigrant’. Surely you have heard the venomous Michelle Malkin expound on the subject. Whipping people up into an enraged frenzy at the ‘outsider’ is not a reasoned debate nor will it win a great many Hispanic votes.
    I find ironic to hear Republicans championing ‘work’ and ‘freedom to take advantage of opportunities’. I suppose I could ask you to provide specifics on what you mean by that, because when I’m thinking about how Republicans have done their best to dismantle and marginalize worker’s unions. I’m thinking about how Halliburton & co had the most luscious no-bid contracts in history. I’m thinking about how the Bush Justice Department hired on an ideological basis and has prosecuted fewer and fewer Civil Rights violations with every passing year. I’m thinking that some of the highest appointees in the Civil Rights division are GOP political hacks who have been accused of restricting voting rights for minorities (look up Hans von Spakovsky or Bradley Schlozman if you’re curious as to what I’m talking about.).
    Minorities and others do not reject the Republican party because they are lazy, have no sense of personal responsibility or willingness to take advantage of opportunity; it is because it is difficult to support someone who does support your interests or even wants you to be able to vote, for that matter. Quite frankly, Paul, you’re not expressing the Republican platform that is the actual one that has been constructed by eight years of George Bush and the Republican congress of 94-06. To accept your propositions at face value would be to ignore everything that has ever happened in my adult lifetime.
    I watched Giuliani and the rest of the GOP mocking Obama’s service as a ‘community organizer’. If you haven’t seen it, you should go find it. It would go a long way toward demonstrating to you how obnoxious and patronizing Republicans sound when they’re talking down to the rest of us. See, Obama was working to help people take advantage of what meager opportunites existed in their communites and to take personal responsibility for their lives, and he was doing it on their streets with them. He was trying to keep kids off drugs, out of gangs and into schools in a very dangerous place. I would love to see one of those braying elephants try to do what he did for a day, let alone for years. Watching them laugh at the community organizer while waving their little ‘Service’ placards was for me the most outstanding display of hypocricy from this years convention. (The best moment of 2004 was the ‘purple heart’ band aids conventioneers wore on the floor. See, elephants aren’t the only ones with good memories.)
    Paul, I do appreciate the civil tone of your posts and despite my use of the word ‘insincere’ I believe that you are sincere in what you are writing. It’s just that it seems you’re not fully aware of who the people you go with really are, If everything were as simple as you state it to be, everyone would be a Republican. There’s a lot more to it than you seem to be willing to admit.
    Winston Delagdo

  58. errata: above, should read ‘it is because it is difficult to support someone who does not support your interests’.

  59. Paul McCord says:

    Winston,

    You may be surprised that I agree with some of your statement. And I’m not by any means naive. But your are generalizing too much. There are many stripes of Republican just as there are many stripes of Democrat. Neither Republicans nor Democrats are monolithic. Yes, there are some in the Republican party that view personal responsibility as “do it yourself and don’t ask me to help.” There are a lot of others that have a far different view.

    Certainly there was mocking and taunting of Obama and the Democrats during the Republican convention, just as there was mocking and taunting of the Republicans during the Democrat convention. Conventions are put on to whip up the base, to throw a party for one’s most dedicated adherents. Were there things said during the Republican convention you found insulting and belittling? By all means, I expet there were. But in the same token there were things said in the Democrat convention that cut the other way. Unfortunately, that’s the history of our political party conventions–and it’s true for both parties. I wish our whole process of electing officals was more civilized. It isn’t, and I honestly doubt it ever will be.

    The mocking of Obama as a community organizer was over the line, just as the mocking of Palin as a ‘red neck’ or because she is from a small town is over the line. Neither of those are factors are to be mocked, but instead to be admired. Obama for his work, Palin because few middle class people, men or women, from small, rural towns are nominated as a VP candidate. Today’s politics on both sides of the isle is dominated by the wealthy, the connected, the ‘good old boy (or woman)’ network.

    Obama may have an opportunity to break that in the Democrat party and Palin in the Republican. One of the reasons many of the old New York and DC Republicans don’t like the Palin nomination is that she is a threat to the old way of doing things.

    By no means is either party perfect and both parties have their share of self-serving hypocrites. Unfortunately, knowing human nature, that will never change. The best that can happen is each party have enough people with common sense and common decency to drive as much of it as possible out of their respective parties.

  60. Paul-
    I appreciate your response more than I can say. It is a rare occasion when I have a conversation this civil with one of my Republican brethren when we’re talking about the parties. (I would also like to thank Mr. Cho for providing us with neutral ground for our conversation. I like your blog.) However, I can’t agree with the premise that the parties are completely equal in their behaviors.
    Palin was named after the Dems convention happened. The vitriol and nasty speculation came from individual bloggers and private citizens on comment boards as far as I can tell (maybe Nancy Pelosi posted anonymous comments somewhere, but I doubt it.) while Obama himself has taken the high road regarding Palin. I don’t think you’re going to find any Democratic leaders who have characterized Palin as a ‘redneck’ (of course, Palin herself applied for a business license with the name ‘rouge cou’, a literal French translation of ‘red neck’ and her future son-in-law referred to himself as a ‘f***ing redneck’ on his Myspace page, so it’s difficult to say that ‘redneck’ is considered an offensive slur by her family.)
    The things I object to most by the behavior of the Republicans emanate from the leaders of the party itself. I saw pictures of a delegate on the convention floor wearing a hat with an alligator swallowing Obama-‘Alligator Bait’ is an older slur typically used in reference to black babies. We’ve already discussed the sneering at ‘community organizers’ by the leaders who were simulateously paying lip service to ‘service’. I don’t hold the GOP responsible for what some yahoo with a blog or a mouthbreather on a comment thread says. But I do feel free to judge the GOP on what it does in an official capacity-what it’s delegate do at the convention, what the leaders say when speaking in public, and how their elected officials do their jobs.
    I’m a Chicagoan and as such I know firsthand how racist, corrupt, and incompetent Democrats are capable of being. I remember how the established white power structure reacted to the first black mayor and how transformative his term of office was to this city. This is why I agree with you that Obama may be able to change business as usual in Washington. I’m less sure about Palin, but this is because she is an unknown for the most part. While she has been painted as a maverick outsider, it remains to be seen whether the reality truly matches the portrait. However, you are correct that the established Republican powers that be seem to be displeased with her and that could be the best endorsement of her that I have heard yet.
    One thing about McCain’s message at the convention that I agreed with thoroughly is that we must put country ahead of party. We all want a strong, thriving America. Our disagreements come down to the best way to achieve this goal, nothing more. Common sense and common decency are what we need now more than ever.
    Best wishes,
    Winston Delgado

  61. eugenecho says:

    great dialogue folks. if you guys enjoy the blog, please consider making a donation to our non-profit.

    http://eugenecho.wordpress.com/2008/07/24/inviting-all-prayers-and-dreamers/

  62. [...] count my White Brothers in one hand.  Let me stop here before I incite something similar to the Where are the People of Color at the RNC [...]

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