The Republican National Convention is now in full swing in Tampa, despite hurricane Isaac that threatened to drench the area.
Upon watching the coverage of the convention I was struck by quite a site. An elaborate stage fully equipped with a debt clock and adorned with a sign that says "We built that." A dig of course at our President and his statement that was taken out of context, spun by the right wing media, and thrown back in his face.
Another thing that I noticed was in the crowd, it was a sea of white. There were also no black speakers, no black staff, just white...everywhere. Except a for a poor camerawoman that was attacked.
There's a good explanation for that of course, the purpose of the convention being to formally nominate Mitt Romney who currently enjoys 0% of the black vote. That's right, zero percent. Nada, None.
So why attend a convention for a guy you obviously do not like?
There's a bigger problem here than just that. Romney wasn't even going for the black vote, automatically assuming that they will vote for Obama just because he is black. That's one reason African Americans are turned off by the Romney campaign and the Republican party in general, but there are many others.
The big part is the makeup of the party leadership. There are very few African Americans in leading roles. Yes I know about Michael Steele, who was former head of the RNC, and Herman Cain. There are actually a fair but small number of black Republicans, just not in leadership positions.
A good bet is because of the rhetoric we have been hearing, coming from the likes of Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, and some of the dishonest racially charged ads from the Romney campaign and super-Pac ads.
Santorum's famed blah people gaffe, is a great example of Republican politicians being too honest about how they really feel. He says that he wasn't going to say black but what other word would he have been trying to say? When you really think it about there's really nothing within that context he could have been trying to say that caused him to get tripped up.
Newt Gingrich also attacks President Obama with a racially charged attack by dubbing him the "Food Stamp President." The motivation behind this attack fits into the narrative that food stamps go to mostly lazy black people, which simply isn't true. There are simply more white people on food stamps than blacks, and not because either of us are lazy mind you, but because of the whole recession that nearly destroyed our economy. According to a recent report the need for food assistance has increased 76% since the start of the great recession. A byproduct of millions of people losing their jobs.
Then there's the welfare ad, an homage back to the Welfare queen attacks by Ronald Reagan back in the 80's. Which is of course has been proven a blatant lie by every fact checker out there. Nonetheless the red meat thrown out there by the Republican establishment this election is just a continuation of the southern strategy that has worked well for the last 40 years.
We also have to take into account Romney's religion of Mormonism. Mormons believe that being black is a curse from god for Cains defiance. That the "Lamanites" (Sons of Cain) are not equal to that of white people. So one has to wonder if Romney himself believes that or not.
Now after saying all these things I have to keep it real. I know that not all White Republicans (& Mormons) are racist, I know that there are African Americans that believe in small government conservatism. I'm just pointing out how the current Republican racial dynamic is slanted towards trying to secure the racist white vote. This strategy is not only detestable, but it excludes an ever growing part of the population that would otherwise vote Republican.
There's one last thing I want to point out. How the demographics of the nation are changing.Which means white people will begin to become a minority in this country. I for one welcome diversity. We're all human beings after all. But unless the Republican Party finally abandons its racist southern strategy and begins to bring more diversity into the party, the Republican party will become a minority party.