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Kira Davis wrote an "Open Letter From a Black Republican to Reince Preibus" lamenting the poor image enjoyed by the Republican Party in minority communities nationwide. In part, she posits the following:
We’ve had to take a hard look at the reality of how the GOP is perceived in the very communities we are trying to protect. I was encouraged to hear more and more Republicans acknowledging we have an image problem and discussing ideas on how to change that.
Then I turned on the TV and saw you discussing diversity in the GOP with some media talking head. I saw Jeb Bush making the rounds in what looks like a precursor to a 2016 run. I saw Karl Rove pontificating about diversifying the party. In short, I saw a bunch of rich, middle-aged white men talking about how we need to change the perception of the GOP as a party of rich, middle-aged white men.
Hey, don’t get me wrong. I love older white guys. My Grandpa was an older white guy and I’m not going to lie — I wouldn’t kick Sean Connery out of my bed…even now. What I’m talking about is a paradigm shift; a complete public image makeover.
Kira goes on to suggest that by putting more black faces out front in a concerted effort to change the paradigm, the GOP could enjoy a higher level of support from minorities.
In response to this suggestion and others, a tea party activist and blogger who calls himself the Angry White Dude came back (in part) with this:
So much for that content of character thing. Focus on pigment! At least if you’re talking about minority voters! That was the message black conservative Kira Davis delivered to GOP Chair Reince Priebus in an open letter. She believes the Republican Party is identified as an “old white man” party and needs to embrace diversity to win in 2014. Isn’t that nice? Even conservatives are now against evil ol’ white men! But she’s a minority. She can say such things. Say no more.
Davis’ letter is proof why her idea to wipe white men from the face of the Republican Party won’t work. Minorities vote on pigment and government social programs. So rather than vote for the best person for the job, Davis says to put that all aside. We need to vote for the best minority for the job! Then the 98% of black women who voted for Obama will be happy. Of course, they’ll still vote 98% for the next Democrat but they won’t view the Republican Party as the party of evil old white men. They’ll view the Republicans as the party of old white men who have put a few Uncle Toms on camera.
Note: I read the blog post by Angry White Dude in reponse to Kira's letter and posted a comment, which morphed into this blog post, because I truly believe that patriots on the right need a conversation. This is I hope, a step in that direction.
Dear Angry White Dude:
Wow. You really missed the point of Kira Davis's letter. While I don't agree with the entirety of it, I get the point of what she is saying: the GOP will never banish the stereotype of the "party of old white guys" by continually running old white guys and having every consultant and pundit on TV be an old white guy.
If you disagree with the ideas, then disagree! But your responses are so typical of the GOP right now. Doing the same thing over and over again is the very definition of insanity. The GOP has an image problem. She isn't advocating for promoting blacks that aren't conservative or don't have a good message, she's speaking of marketing.
AWG, you pointed out that there are already a few black radio hosts and commentators. Kira isn't discounting that - that is the point. There are a few in the spotlight. She's suggesting that the GOP highlight them ALL. Use the resources at your disposal. This doesn't translate into hating white guys or banishing them from the party. On the contrary, it takes race out of the discussion when Americans see black faces all over speaking a conservative message. It becomes normal, routine, not worthy of note. Then the Democrats can't hit us on race.
The media actively blocks out any true representation of a black Republican. They were able to effectively block out any media coverage of every black speaking at the RNC last summer because they all spoke on the same night!!! Kira is advocating for changing that paradigm through the simple act of adding more black speakers!
As far as the 2012 presidential election, Mitt Romney was the wrong candidate. John McCain was the wrong candidate. Two election cycles with two VERY old white guys that were completely out of touch with the majority of Americans on both sides of the aisle. There were other candidates that were younger, and better. But the GOP chose wrong yet again. Yes 3.5 million conservatives stayed home. But the problem with demographics and the GOP is so much bigger than squeaking by a national election by less than a million votes.
We must bring in more people - not just to win, but so that this country can win. The fabric of America is being torn apart by the proliferation of wrong headed socially ignorant liberal ideas. The only way to stop that is by returning to our core as a Judeo Christian based God honoring nation of Americans united under our Constitutionally guaranteed rights.
What I see here in these comments is a serious case of "Victim Status". The real questions is how badly does the GOP want to win. If the majority of the party is represented here: the answer is you don't want to win at all. You just want to play in the mud with the liberals yelling about how a black conservative is really actually a liberal because she's advocating for more blacks on the dais. Are you really a victim here?
Instead of hurling insults, how about some ideas? If you don't like Kira's suggestions, how about coming up with your own? Your comments are the very reason why liberals are so successful in vilifying the GOP. You sound like a bunch of angry racists. I'm an angry conservative black lady. And I would never vote for any one of your commenters.
Your tone suggests that you don't think any black conservatives, or black bloggers, or black activists are qualified, or worthy of promotion. Is that what you think? That putting a few more black faces out front of the party will hurt because it's just affirmative action that puts unqualified black activists ahead of hard working white activists?
Aren't black conservatives hard working? Don't they put up with racist attacks from blacks and whites and hispanics at a much higher rate than old white dudes? Don't get me started on how idiotic your position sounds in light of the proliferation of black conservatives and the proof how hard we work.
If your beef is with the designation "black" in front of conservative or Republican, you must not see the terrible ire this causes liberals. They work very hard to advance the idea that blacks do not exist on our side. We pump that part up because we DO exist. We are throwing our existence in their faces and using it to prove that Liberals are liars of the worst sort. They would rather lie about the existence of blacks on the right than argue the successes that liberal policy have brought. (They can't argue successes that don't exist.)
My suggestion is that you stay angry. It works for you. But leave the attacks and oversensitivity to being a white guy out of your discourse. You don't have a leg to stand on here. Kira is the very last person you should toss the reverse race card at. Put on your big boy pants and work your butt off generating some fresh ideas.
You can see the whine fest that Kira's letter initiated here.