Minorities And The GOP
September 18, 2007, 06:57 PM
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Andrew Sullivan thinks that the GOP should be reaching out to minorities:

The GOP And Minorities

16 Sep 2007 12:46 pm

Stories like these are not good for the GOP. Even an appearance of indifference to the interests, questions and concerns of African-Americans, Latinos and gays is political poison in the long run. But the discomfort level of the leading GOP candidates with anyone but straight white males is palpable.

The story he`s linking to is this one:

Smiley: GOP candidates ignore minorities

By Jill Lawrence, USA TODAY WASHINGTON

Three of the four leading Republican presidential candidates turned down invitations to a PBS debate this month at a historically black college [Morgan State University]in Baltimore, leading moderator Tavis Smiley on Thursday to accuse them of ignoring minority voters. Smiley told USA TODAY the rejections are part of a pattern, noting most GOP candidates declined invitations to address several black and Hispanic groups, including a Univision debate for a Latino audience.

Of course, it`s not just that the GOP isn`t reaching out to minorities, it`s that minorities aren`t reaching out to the GOP—the USA Today story says that

Republican presidential candidates typically receive less than 15% of the black vote in general elections and tend to oppose policies important to some minority voters, such as affirmative action. Right now they are competing for conservative primary voters.

Republican presidential candidates typically receive less than 15% of the black vote in general elections and tend to oppose policies important to some minority voters, such as affirmative action. Right now they are competing for conservative primary voters.

In effect, although some people at PBS, which is hosting the debate, and at Morgan State University would claim to be non-partisan, they GOP candidates are being asked to debate at Democratic forums, with a Democratic moderator, in front of a Democratic audience.

No wonder they`re unenthusiastic. And of course, the audience and the moderator could make things unpleasant for the candidates in a number of ways—check out this story from June`s Democratic debate, also hosted by Tavis Smiley:

WorldNetDaily: Tavis Smiley: Blacks too `emotional` to obey rules Friday, June 29, 2007

Democrat debate host says audience couldn`t control itself Posted: June 29, 2007 6:50 p.m. Eastern

© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

Debate moderator Tavis Smiley

The moderator of Thursday`s Democrat presidential debate said he did not ask the mostly black audience to refrain from applauding candidates` answers, because blacks are too "emotional" to obey such a rule.

Asked by C-Span host Brian Lamb why he didn`t enforce a no-applause rule for his PBS-sponsored debate like other debate formats, moderator Tavis Smiley explained: "Because black people are an emotional people. I know it wouldn`t have worked."

Smiley says the black audience attending the 90-minute session at Howard University would not have listened or complied with such a request for silence, suggesting African-Americans are unable to control themselves.

He made the remarks on Friday morning`s Washington Journal program aired on C-Span.

The nationally televised debate featured eight Democrat candidates, including Sens. Hillary Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois.

Smiley, a black talk show host and liberal political activist, made the observation in the wake of widespread violence during Juneteenth celebrations across the nation.

Police reported stabbings, shootings and beatings – including the fatal mob beating of a Hispanic man – at festivals commemorating the black holiday in Milwaukee, Wis.; Austin, Texas; Syracuse, N.Y.; and other cities.