Probably, like most of you, Iâ€™ve been watching the republican primaries with the peripheral interest of a circus sideshow. As Gingrich, Santorum and Romney duke it out, Iâ€™ve heard such alienating phrases as, â€œI want African American people to demand paychecks, not food stamps,â€ (Gingrich), â€I donâ€™t want to make black peopleâ€™s lives better by giving them somebody elseâ€™s money,â€ (Santorum), and Romneyâ€™s flub about not caring about the unemployedâ€“never mind that blacks make up 12 percent of that group. And to put icing on the cake, a recent report indicated that 29 percent of republicans from the Deep South think interracial marriage should be illegal, and it appears none of the presidential hopefuls have chosen to disabuse them of this notion. Surprise, surprise.
All this pandering to the extreme right wing of the party has backfired because the ignorant comments, Freudian slips, and allusions to swipe at womenâ€™s hard-won reproductive rights impacts not only blacks, but other minorities and white soccer moms. Rick Santorumâ€™s recent comments about how Puerto Ricans should speak better English is just another on a long list of buffoonish remarks aimed at minorities. Santorum single-handedly managed to offend both Hispanics and black people part of the African diaspora.
But it looks like republicans donâ€™t too much like it when â€œoff colorâ€ remarks are thrown in the other direction. At a recent fundraiser for President Obama, Robert DeNiro joked about America not being â€œready for a white First Lady.â€ Newt Gingrinch was outraged, OUTRAGED!! He said DeNiroâ€™s comments were inexcusable, and wanted the president to apologize for DeNiro; I guess because an apology from the mega-star wasnâ€™t sufficient for Mr. Gingrinch.
Republicans have essentially given up trying to win â€œthe black vote,â€ so there seems to be little self-editing happening. Lenny McAllister, senior contributor at Politic365.com and radio host of â€œGet Right with Lenny McAllisterâ€ (www.LMGILIVE.com), and frequent guest on CNN, says that the recent antics in the republican party aree less about alienation, and more about a failure to connect. â€œThere hasnâ€™t been a concerted effort to reach minorities [in the republican party] for 40 years.â€
McAllister, who is a member of the group, Hip Hop Republicans, worries that this continued failure to connect will prevent republicans from leading a more diverse America, and the country continues to â€œbrown.â€
But thereâ€™s good news for Obama fans: Although McAllister thinks the president should get a â€œC-â€ for his first term, he still predicts a narrow win against Mitt Romney, whom he believes will be the single man standing after the republican primary.