I watched pretty much all of the live coverage of the first full night of the Republican National Convention. I even watched it on C-SPAN so I wouldn’t get the spin of my usual (and favorite) talking heads! I truly wanted to hear what so many of these Republicans were going to say, and I hoped I’d actually hear something I’d like.
What I saw, though, was striking.
The Republican National Committee obviously made a serious point of having diversity of all sorts on the stage — women, women of color, men of color, men of girth, young women, older speakers. If you only saw what was happening on that stage, you would think that the Republican Party truly is a big tent kind of gang!
Those are just a few examples of the GOP’s diversity parade. But if you watched the cutaways to the crowds, it was a sea of white people. Had the diverse delegates all taken a potty break at the same time?
Now, I have nothing against white people. I’m actually one of my favorite white people! But a political party can’t expect to broaden its scope if there is a major lack of diversity in its delegates — the true party faithful who worked hard enough to be rewarded with a slot as an official delegate at its party’s Political-Palooza!
Of course, there are exceptions. But I was watching and I didn’t see much other than a bunch of Caucasian folks. But that’s not the only reason I’m questioning the GOP’s commitment to inclusivity. These were the same folks who threw nuts at an African-American camera person for a major network covering the event, yelling, “This is how we feed animals!”
Should we give those two delegates the benefit of the doubt that their outburst was less about racism and more about their hate of the media? I’m not really feeling that generous today. Especially as the mom of a daughter of color who already perceives that the world seems like us white folks more than her. I can explain it and spin it all I want when I have my parenting hat on, but at the end of the day, I have to be honest with my daughter, who’s getting ready for the seventh-grade.
There are hateful, racist people who will do things like throwing food and calling people names. And, sadly, that sort of behavior will only go away if the settings in which they occur are more diverse.
We’ll see how many faces of color we see tonight during Paul Ryan’s VP nomination acceptance speech. I’m not holding my breath.
Image via iStockPhoto/Steve Christensen