Crystal Wright is a contributor for The Root DC and is the editor of the political site Conservative Black Chick.
A reporter asked me inquisitively recently if the Republican Convention was hosting any black receptions in Tampa this week.
I responded “the Republican Party doesn’t do identity politics. We're all Americans.” This person explained the Democrat Convention
was hosting lots of black parties and receptions. I said Republicans aren’t about dividing and conquering groups to pluck off votes like Democrats; they are about uniting people around the party’s message of limited government and “equal opportunity” for all Americans.
The two conventions varying ideas on networking and socializing mirror the two presidential candidates’ diametrically different campaigns. Mitt Romney talks of bringing Americans together while President Obama relentlessly injects class, race, and sex into his rhetoric. Of course there will be parties at the Republican Convention, lots of them along with other cool events. While there are a few events designed for gay, black and Hispanic/Latino Republicans, all are welcome and most of the “parties” and receptions aren’t “segregated” along ethnic, racial or gender, except perhaps the fashion shows.
An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll concluded recently, that no blacks will vote for Mitt Romney. The poll talked to 100 blacks out of 1000 Americans and called it statistically significant. They’re more black Republicans voting for Mitt on Twitter than that. In light of this news, perhaps I should host a black Republicans for Mitt Romney happy hour in Tampa and take photos just prove to Democrats we exists.
Identity politics aside, I’m looking forward to attending my first Republican National Convention this week, particularly to hear the line up of speakers, which reflect a party of inclusiveness. As a woman, I’m excited to see the first black Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice speaking along with Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, the first Indian woman elected governor , Senator Kelly Ayotte (N.H.) and New Mexico Governor Susann Martinez, the first Latina woman elected Governor.
This doesn’t look like a party waging war on women or minorities, as Democrats would have you believe. These women also debunk the perception the GOP is “the party of old white men.”
Former four-term Alabama Democrat Congressman Artur Davis, newly minted Republican and Mitt Romney supporter also will speak at the convention. After losing his run for Alabama Governor in 2010, Davis underwent a political transformation from being one of Obama’s most ardent black supporters in 2008 to one of his staunchest black critics in 2012. In 2012, Davis announced on his blog, the “Democrat label” thanks to Obama’s extreme policies no longer fit him and if he was to run for office again “it would be as a Republican.”
With black support of Obama slipping, I understand the symbolism in asking Davis to be a primetime speaker but he’s only been a Republican since May. I and many other conservatives think Rep. Allen West was more deserving of a speaking slot. West has given voice to black conservatives, inspired blacks to run as GOP candidates and excited blacks to question their loyalty to the Democrat party. Davis makes me wonder if he became a Republican out of political convenience. He admits he’s considering running for either a Virginia Congressional seat in 2014 or 2016 or for a Virginia state legislature seat in 2015.
I’m eager to see what Davis has to say. I hope he makes the case why other blacks can’t afford another four years of Obama and should follow Davis’ lead. Overall, it promises to be a week filled with excitement and hopefully Hurricane Isaac will spar Tampa her wrath. After a bruising primary season, the road to the nomination as been hard enough on Republicans.
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