21 comments on “The Black Elephant in the Room

  1. I’m not a fan of Michael Steele in the least bit, but he was definitely the best person for this job. He has the intelligence, temperment, and the sensibilities to lead the GOP in a new direction. We’ll see how well he does.

  2. Dre, you’re joking right? Do you really think the Republicans are willing to release their hold and allow themselves to be represented by a black person with a TRUE prophetic agenda? Michael Steele, Juan Williams, and crew personify the ‘dancing negro’. Black people will not fall for this stunt.

  3. Andre, if there’s anything you should have learned from this election cycle is that the Republicant’s will do anything to get votes. When Hillary was outvoted, they got that moronic idiot Sarah Palin. When Obama was elected, they got Steele. They don’t care what fools they put up, as long as they can match what the Dems are doing. As long as they keep saying “You pick a chick, I’ll pick a chick” or “I’ll see YOUR negro and raise you a negro”, the GOP will always be behind in the game.

    But I say let the RNC keep engaging in such foolishness. That will just draw more people away from them.

  4. As much as I can’t quite stomach the GOP, this was a very smart move. Clearly, they are trying to avoid being typecast as a regional party. Steele’s northeastern roots might help the GOP make a legitimate play in some of the areas considered liberally elite. Even if its not enough to turn some of those blue states red, it will give Democratic candidates something to worry about for a long time to come.

    Interesting times are ahead, for sure!

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  6. Hey Dre,
    I believe the comments here so far says it all. Black people are never going to give any black Republican a fair shake. The MSM always has, and always will minimalize any outreach by the RNC toward blacks just as they did the outreach toward women with the selection of Sarah Palin. Every black that achieves anything in the Republican party will be portrayed as a Uncle Tom or a House N****r no matter their views and every achievement will be minimalized. Just like what happened to Collin Powell or Condi Rice. Do you really think it’s an accident that Saturday Night Live, the Today Show, or Letterman all portray them the same way? Do you really believe that Sarah Palin would have been so vilified if she had a “D” after her name? PLeeease! Just look at the complete pass they were ready to give Caroline Kennedy when her entire political career was being related to Ted RFK and JFK. I often wonder how Obama (with exactly the same positions and skills) would have been treated if he were a Republican. I’d bet my house he wouldn’t be President. Certainly people like Hannity and Rush don’t help their cause with blacks, but I believe that they are right that there’s no point in even trying as long as there’s a MSM that has so much influence over minorities. Maybe they can capture 5 or 10%, but the likelyhood of blacks giving the RNC a fair shake is about the same as them demanding an apology from the Dixiecrats for supporting slavery. Trent Lott and George Allen lose their careers over not picking their words carefully but Hillary’s our Secretary of State and Robert Bird is the Presidential Pro Tempore after all they’ve said and done? There are two completely different standards and until black people see it, any effort by the Reps will be for naught.

  7. @ KC: Some of Steele’s personal issues aside (the whole GOPAC thing, which is actually pretty tame when comparing it to juicier scandals), I think he has the ability to shake things up in the GOP. Some people have been calling him a “Yes sir” for the GOP. But I think it goes a little deeper. He has far more intelligence and substance…even when I don’t agree with him 95% of the time.

    @ Kenya: I certainly wasn’t expecting the GOP to pick Stokley Carmichael. Sure. But I think Steele has a pretty strong record. He’s expressed antipathy for a certain segment of the so-called black community, yes. But so have I. Remember: Black Entertainment Television? 🙂

    @ Miss KD: “…Republicant’s will do anything to get votes.

    Who doesn’t?

    They don’t care what fools they put up, as long as they can match what the Dems are doing.

    That may have been true with Sarah Palin. But she’s an idiot. Mike Steele was a good call because the GOP may, in fact, attract a few blacks WHILE doing so with somebody who isn’t a blithering idiot.

    @ Megan: “Steele’s northeastern roots might help the GOP make a legitimate play in some of the areas considered liberally elite.

    Certain libs who still suffer from “white guilt” might be compelled to buy into the GOP’s newfound message of racial inclusion. It probably won’t be enough to make any real damage, but who knows? I mean, it’s not like Steele falls in line with the extreme wacks on the right. Being moderate provides a certain amount of grace. I think Steele will be far more embraced than some may think,

    @ HipCon:

    Every black that achieves anything in the Republican party will be portrayed as a Uncle Tom or a House N****r no matter their views and every achievement will be minimalized. Just like what happened to Collin Powell or Condi Rice

    I don’t think Condi and Colin’s black Republicanism was villified as much as their inability and/or unwillingness to challenge the Bush Administration on the war. While I tend to agree that blacks get villified when they are – for lack of a better word – submissive to a predominately white establishment, Colin and Condi enabled that establishment. You see how soon black folks did an about face with Colin when he endorsed Obama. One could say it was Obama’s endorsement that went over well. But I think he would have been just as well received if all he did on Meet the Press was talk about how much his party sucked. His contempt for the GOP aside, he’s still a Republican. But he’s a much cooler Republican today as he was merely a few months ago. Condi, on the other hand, was on board from day one to the very end.

    Do you really believe that Sarah Palin would have been so vilified if she had a “D” after her name?

    Dude, Palin’s cruxifiction had nothing to do with that “R”. The chick was a lame brain.

    Just look at the complete pass they were ready to give Caroline Kennedy when her entire political career was being related to Ted RFK and JFK.

    Pass? I seem to recall several people lambasting Kennedy for not having experience. Most of the attacks were about her inability to communicate effectively (the whole “You know…” thing). But, compared to Sarah Palin who was just completely clueless, Kennedy wasn’t as bad.

    Trent Lott and George Allen lose their careers over not picking their words carefully but Hillary’s our Secretary of State and Robert Bird is the Presidential Pro Tempore after all they’ve said and done? There are two completely different standards and until black people see it, any effort by the Reps will be for naught.

    I don’t disagree with that at all. I’ve argued before that blacks should not blindly offer their support for Dems. But I also challenge the GOP not to throw in the towel altogether. Little are they aware, but they have half of what they need to lure black people right in their hip pockets: moral conservatism.

    I won’t package all black people up in one group, but I know that blacks are generally a moral, church going people. Bush’s spread in ’04 showed that black folks would put morality at the forefront of their voting (i.e. gay marriage). But where the GOP falls short is in their social conservatism. Socially, blacks are very liberal, which makes the GOP’s battle uphill when they start peddling the bootstrap mantra. In so doing, they put themselves in a bad spot with black folks. If the GOP would find a compromise in that arena, I strongly believe they could secure A LOT more votes. Instead of using one or two successful blacks as the token “If he can do it, you can” model, their willingness to let loose some of those old-school conservative social ideologies might make the GOP more attactive.

  8. Hey Dre,
    “You see how soon black folks did an about face with Colin when he endorsed Obama.”

    The one and only thing that any black Republican can do that would give them any creds with the majority of blacks is turn on the Republican Party-period. Your point only reinforces my opinion.

    “Dude, Palin’s cruxifiction had nothing to do with that “R”. The chick was a lame brain.”

    “Lame Brain?” She has a degree (which I’m sure you’ll dismiss), She went from a average mom to a mayor and then to a Governor and then to a Vice -Presidential pick, (which I’m sure any “lame brain” could do.)

    “But, compared to Sarah Palin who was just completely clueless, Kennedy wasn’t as bad.”

    I’m not so sure you compared their resumes to come to that conclusion. Really? An art major compared to an ex-mayor and Governor and you honestly came up with Kennedy wasn’t as bad?

    All I’ve ever done is try to get people to see their media for what it is-whether FOX or MSNBC. The very idea that Palin was a Lame brain was based on her culture and her accent and by the MSM who jumbed on every little quip will giving Joe the Gaffe Machine a complete pass. Why didn’t they ever treat Joe as a “Lame Brain”????

  9. One last point Andre,
    I don’t believe it’s the social conservatism that is sinking the Republican Party. The Republican Party will never win by being “Democrat Light”. It’s the corruption and lack of fiscal conservativism that cost them the election. On immigration, the polls are on their side, on family, the polls are on their side, on Gay Marriage, the polls are on their side-even in California, on national security, the polls are on their side. The people reacted to a bad economy, bad fiscal responsibility, corruption, lack of oversight on Wall Street and an over-reaching foreign policy. I think your misreading the results, this had nothing to do with social conservativism. However, I will concede your point on reaching out to the more family, christian oriented section of all minorities. That was pretty much Karl Rove’s strategy.

  10. HipCon,

    She has a degree (which I’m sure you’ll dismiss)

    You’re correct. I am dismissing this. Not because of the whole four schools in six years (or whatever the count was). Graduating with a four year degree in four years is a rarity these days. But it was in frickin’ sports journalism!!!! With that kind of background, apply for ESPN. Leave the VPOTUS to political scientists and Constitutional law scholars. Further, I don’t see Palin’s rise from local to state to national fame as an indication that she’s politically astute. Being popular and likable enough to get elected doesn’t equate to having the skill sets necessary to do the job. Hell, look at OUR mayor.

    Meanwhile, Caroline Kennedy – along with Joe Biden and Barack Obama – were JD’s. Now I never said Kennedy was necessarily qualified to be in the Senate. In fact, I’m elated that she has the sense to pull out. She would’ve been way over her head. But she at least had the intellectual curiosity necessary to learn the job. Oppositely, Sarah Palin was just…DAMN!

    I seriously hope you’re not defending Palin. You know she’s an idiot.

    Now…back to this black republican thing:

    The one and only thing that any black Republican can do that would give them any creds with the majority of blacks is turn on the Republican Party-period. Your point only reinforces my opinion.

    But see, my point is: Powell didn’t break ranks with the GOP. He just called them on their bulls***. He still has an (R) by his name. More than likely, he always will. Mostly what he did when he endorsed Obama was bring his own party to task for the race baiting, hate mongering, and other antics he believed were going on. Instead of being “The Party of Lincoln” (which I think is laughable because of the issues I have with Abe. I’ll write about that later), they were the party of Rush and Hannity.

    As I’ve said before, black people – mostly because of their churchiness – are pretty morally conservative. The GOP doesn’t need to worry about that aspect. But the party’s heavy and unapologetic commitment to social conservatism is where they will always have problems with black folks. Lose that, start embracing a little more diversity, kill all the bootstrap noise, and the GOP will become a hit with black folks. At least enough of us to turn the tide politically. Colin Powell spoke out about it. I suspect Mike Steele will as well.

  11. Sorry HipCon, we must’ve been responding at the same time, because I missed your other comment.

    I don’t believe it’s the social conservatism that is sinking the Republican Party.

    It’s not the lone culprit, or even the biggest culprit. But it plays a role in the disconnect with minorities.

    The people reacted to a bad economy, bad fiscal responsibility, corruption, lack of oversight on Wall Street and an over-reaching foreign policy.

    Agreed, to an extent. But if this was entirely true, the Republican president would’ve been gone PLUS the Democratic-controlled Congress. Everybody would’ve shouldered some blame for the economic collapse. Yet, only Republicans got hammered. To me, I think voters (especially minorities) carried their deep-seated animus for the GOP with them to the booth. That animus – I believe – has a lot to do with the party’s platform of social conservatism. It made them look hypocritical when they’d chastise unemployed people or the working poor (basically telling them they need to do better), blaming them for the financial and mortgage meltdowns, while giving wealthy folks tax breaks up to wazoo when they were just as culpable for this mess.

    If Mike Steele is legit, I see a lot of things he could do to force the GOP “political boogeymen” label to fall by the wayside.

  12. “But the party’s heavy and unapologetic commitment to social conservatism is where they will always have problems with black folks. Lose that, start embracing a little more diversity, kill all the bootstrap noise, and the GOP will become a hit with black folks. At least enough of us to turn the tide politically.”

    Good point. Like you and many other black people I know, I think some levels of conservatism is good. In many ways, its like different religions. Use it to shape your personal belief system: great. Use it to beat other people over the head: not so great. What could potentially be a strong and unifying party has become an intolerant and exclusive one. Michael Steele has his work cut out for him.

  13. I think one of the least talked about aspects of Black Republicanism is the lack of support received from fellow WHITE Republicans. I hardly doubt that some of the people at McCain/Palin rallies who called Obama a n***** are none too thrilled with Steele being the face of the RNC.

  14. So I’m browsing through this post and the comments expecting to hear interesting discouse about blacks and Republicans. Then, lo and behold, Sarah Palin gets put into the conversation?! The woman has the intellectual acuity of the Charmin extra soft in my bathroom, yet she gets added to this conversation?! Come on people, let’s rid ourselves of her forever! No more talking about Sarah Palin. Ever!

  15. @J. Alex,
    Since I’m the one who brought Sarah Palin into the conversation, I’ll respond to your comment. I really don’t care that you or other people have this strange (In My Opinion) visceral hatred for Governor Palin. I myself, try not to hate people that I don’t even know (except through a bias media), but knock yourself out. My point was simply that most people get their news from only a few sources and the most listened to sources by Democrats (NBC ABC CNN MSNBC Today Show Corbert Report) tends to vilify Republicans. I was only using Sarah as a prime example. As long as that’s your only sources, you’ll never give a Republican a fair shake.

  16. “My point was simply that most people get their news from only a few sources and the most listened to sources by Democrats (NBC ABC CNN MSNBC Today Show Corbert Report) tends to vilify Republicans.”

    And you think Fox News – which consistently scores higher ratings than any of these stations – is really “fair and balanced”? Give me a break.

  17. Hey J.Alex,
    Nope, never said it was. Ever. If you followed my comments both here and on my blog you would know that I consistantly say that FOX leans toward the Republicans. As far as them getting higher ratings, that’s because conservatives only have one network so they don’t have to divide their audience like the others. Do they vilify people like Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi? Absolutely. But I don’t buy into that someone like Howard Dean is an idiot (he is a doctor after all) or that Nancy Pelosi is evil, or any of the other hate mongering that so many people seem to relish. As soon as you realize that they’re both trying to get you to hate, you will be able to see things far clearer. Hate, especially when coupled with anger, is what causes people to be easy to manipulate. Just ask Hitler, or a Klansman, or any despot or dictator.

  18. Pingback: GOP Reimaging: It’s a “Rap” « The Unmitigated Word

  19. Well, said but the republicans have to do more than that. The face of the Republican Chairman has changed, yes! but not the GOP.

  20. Pingback: My advice to the GOP « The Unmitigated Word

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