By Raynard Jackson (NNPA Newswire Columnist)
Five years after the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) infamous “autopsy” report was issued, the party’s standing within the Black community, continues to get worse.
This autopsy report was the RNC’s cynical attempt to provide political cover for the party’s incompetence after Mitt Romney’s devastating presidential election loss to former President Barack Obama in 2012. Republicans got destroyed in every conceivable demographic group imaginable.
Did the party really need a study or autopsy to find out that the Republican Party is an old, White, male party? Really?
We already knew that.
Let’s be very candid, the Republican Party, as an institution, doesn’t have the bandwidth or the interest in diversifying the party, despite the demographic shifts taking place in our country.
Message to the Republican Party: the continuation of your “all-White” strategy is no longer workable. The all-White strategy says, we can ignore the minority vote and simply focus on increasing White turnout to make up the difference.
Our gubernatorial candidate for Virginia’s governorship last year, Ed Gillespie, proved that this strategy no longer works. Blacks are 21 percent and Hispanics are 6 percent of the vote in Virginia and Gillespie decided to write off 27 percent of the electorate in pursuit of the all-White approach. How did that work for him?
Gillespie got his butt kicked by the Democrat 54 percent to 45 percent.
According to exit poll data from the Washington Post, Gillespie received 12 percent and 32 percent of the Black and Hispanic vote, respectively. Put another way, Gillespie received only 19 percent of the non-White vote.
Of the Black vote, Gillespie received 17 percent of the Black male and 8 percent of the Black female vote.
The party and campaigns continue to hire staffers and consultants, who aggressively push an all-White strategy. This was and is personified in people like Matt Schlapp and Ian Walters, both of the American Conservative Union. I detailed their racism towards former RNC chairman Michael Steele in one of my recent columns.
As though the Schlapp affair wasn’t bad enough on its own, Schlapp has continued to throw gasoline on the fire with no rebuke whatsoever from party leadership.
Schlapp recently appeared on the daytime talk show “The View” and the issue of Michael Steele came up. Not only did he continue his racist rants toward Steele, he even used racist language when referring to his own employee, Ian Walters, the person who made the original comments about Steele.
He called Walters a “dark-skinned conservative.” I am not kidding you, this is a direct quote. Just watch the video. Schlapp then went on to refer to Walters as my “dark-skinned” colleague.
Herein lies the problem with the Republican Party; they continue to remain silent and give a pass to racists such, as Schlapp and Walters, but are quick to denounce Rev. Al Sharpton or Black Lives Matter, when they make similar stupid statements.
Where does a 50 year-old like Schlapp get off on referring to an Indian American as “dark-skinned?” That is the language of an 80 year-old, White southern male.
So, Matt, is Michael Steele now a “Colored?” How about “Negro?” How about “Afro American,” or just simply, “boy?” Matt, do you still shop at “KKK and Beyond?”
Racism is not genetic. So, my question to Matt and Ian is this: Who taught you this behavior and this mindset? Matt, surely you didn’t learn this at your alma mater, Notre Dame University did you?
Those who have followed my columns know that I rarely use the race card, but Schlapp’s racism must be called out by everyone of good conscious.
Again, CPAC and the ACU both have one Black on their respective boards and neither have shown the guts to call out wrong when they see it. Guess they don’t want to mess up their invitation to the annual Christmas party.
Since Matt and Ian are continuing to make their media rounds selling their bigotry under the conservative banner, me and some of my friends have decided to give them an opportunity to bring their reverse minstrel show to a group of prominent, minority Republicans live and in living color.
I am working with a good friend, Aaron Manaigo, on a major conference in April for minority Republicans.
The Multicultural Policy & Political Action Conference (MPAC) has formally invited both Mr. Schlapp and Walters to be on a panel to clarify their racist remarks.
I would be stunned if they accepted our invitation, because people like them don’t have the courage to confront their bigotry head on.
Until the Republican Party addresses its racist past, there can be and will not be any constructive engagement with the Black community.
Until the Republican Party begins to reflect America, in all its diversity, Blacks will never associate with our candidates; despite many Blacks being very supportive of “true conservative” values.
Finally, Mr. Schlapp, you stated on The View, “In America, we judge the person on what they say.”
Well Matt, based on what you and Ian “said,” you are both racists!
Raynard Jackson is founder and chairman of Black Americans for a Better Future (BAFBF), a federally registered 527 Super PAC established to get more Blacks involved in the Republican Party. BAFBF focuses on the Black entrepreneur. For more information about BAFBF, visit www.bafbf.org. You can follow Raynard on Twitter @Raynard1223.