The interesting thing about the GOP to me is they seem to have this attitude that if they don’t acknowledge it, then it’s simply not true. It’s a great strategy on the surface, but inevitably it always leaves them looking extremely insincere. At this years Conservative Political Action Conference or CPAC they had a “Black” man Allen West, Republican Congressman from Florida, as the keynote speaker. To them it meant that conservatives aren’t racist, no matter how low their attacks on President Obama go (Communist, Illegal Alien, Muslim, N-Word), because one of their best friends, Allen West, gave the keynote.
This is the same tired argument that the Tea Party gives, that despite the racist rhetoric, signs, and t-shirts, the Tea Party isn’t racist because they have black members. Instead of actually having a real intelligent conversation about racism and white supremacy, the GOP strut out this years token black to show their “diversity“. And diversity to them means parroting all of the GOP talking points and leaving any independent thinking at the door. So Allen West’s speech was just like all the other “conservative” speeches you’ve ever heard.
Just a quick side-note, if “American culture” is made up of the various groups and nationalities that came over or were forcefully brought here, isn’t it inherently multicultural? I know… that’s common sense.
But, this is where the conservatives both succeed and fail. They succeed by giving the same speech and talking points over and over again so those buzz words stick in your head and their audience reacts like Pavlov’s dogs. They fail because there’s no substance behind any of their slogans. If the camera panned the audience you would be able to count the black folks on one hand. But instead of Republicans having a honest conversation as to why African-Americans, a community considered as a whole conservative, avoid the GOP like a KKK rally, they would rather trot out their latest window dressing.
All Allen West can hope for is that he lasts longer than Michael Steele, last years singular black face in the Republican Party. Steele seemed ill equipped for even the simplest takes of the RNC chair, but the reality is he got the position because we have a Black President. The same reason CPAC feels the need to highlight Allen West who was as stiff as a unoiled tin man. It’s like some perverted attempt at Affirmative Action and sadly a way they can attack black politicians while not seeming overtly bigoted.
It seems those on the right would rather pretend they have no race problem at the same time smiling at patting themselves on the back because they gave a “brother” the podium. But the reality is, just saying America is exceptional wont make it so, and having a “Black” keynote speaker doesn’t mean you’re not racist.