Implausibly, Michael Steele was supposed to be like a pied piper to black people, leading them to the Republican Party by… being black himself, I suppose. I guess he was hoping on a kind of “What’s the Matter with Kansas” effect.
Apparently, blacks and other voters of color have failed to materialize for the Repubs. In 2008, before Michael Steele was elected to lead the RNC, 28% of “non-white voters” viewed the Republican Party favorably. Now that number is 23%. Good work, Michael.
So here’s the quote of the day, à la Perry Bacon Jr. and Krissah Thompson of the Washington Post:
Beyond a handful of speeches by Steele before minority audiences, there is little evidence the GOP has launched an “off the hook” public relations offensive that would take the party to “urban-suburban hip-hop settings,” as Steele promised in an interview with the Washington Times shortly after taking the RNC reins.
Another tidbit of interest from the same article:
It remains likely that, after this year’s elections, the number of black Republican members of Congress will remain the same as it has been since Rep. J.C. Watts (R-Okla.) retired from the House in 2003: zero.
I’m not trying to make the point that voting Democrat rather than Republican is the way to advance racial equality. The parties are very similar in most crucial matters, such as being in the pocket of big business, bowing to Christian theocrats, promoting war, perpetuating social inequalities, believing in American exceptionalism, and worshiping the Invisible Hand. No non-affluent person could truly act in their own interest by voting for either major party.
However, it is clear that Republicans are more open in their disregard for people of color, and are willing to publicly promote policies that disproportionately harm communities of color. Democrats are similarly uncaring towards POC, but they have the decency to understand their actions are despicable and at least try to cover their intentions with respectful language. If that does it for you.
Ah, Michael Steele. Look what happens if I reflect on him for even five minutes. I turn into a seething revolutionary anarchist… or something.