Last week’s Conservative Political Action Convention (CPAC) was the annual gathering of the tribes of Right-Wing Nation. Everybody who’s anybody in that crowd was there if they were on the good side of the event’s organizers. Anybody on their bad side wasn’t invited.
Apparently Blacks are on CPAC’s bad side. The 2012 election results revealed the grim truth that the Republican Party has become an old, male, White and Southern vessel, much ado was made about how more had to be done to make outreach to those Blacks, Latinos, Asians and other people of color whom don’t find the Grand Old Party one they feel welcomed to be part of. With that backdrop, CPAC conducted a minority outreach panel discussion.
The problem was there weren’t many minorities in attendance. Or anybody else either.
The panel’s theme was GOP outreach to minority communities and the panelists were Virginia Senate candidate Ed Gillespie and three Black political strategists: Jason Roe, Elroy Sailor, and Robert Woodson. All benchwarmers and nobodies.
None of the Black conservative All-Stars were there. Ben Carson and Allen West would have showed up but couldn’t take a break from the shoe shine stand. Mia Love was watching some White woman’s kids. David Webb was parking cars. Tim Scott was bussing tables and Artur Davis was frying chicken. Herman Cain and Crystal Wright couldn’t get off their day jobs at McDonald’s. Those burgers ain’t gonna flip themselves!
Conservatives don’t have a diversity problem. They don’t even believe in diversity. They believe they have a messaging problem. They have a lack of Blacks who think as they do and can carry their message back to other Blacks. An auditorium of row after empty row of chairs may look embarrassing to those outside of CPAC, to those inside CPAC, it’s not embarrassing at all. Opening their arms to invite more people of color in sounds nice in theory, but as a priority it isn’t one.
For years Carson, West, Cain and their ilk have yammering like kindergarten kids cranked up on too much sugar in their cherry Kool-Aid how Blacks are taken for granted by Democrats. How Blacks are played for suckers by Democrats. How Democrats treat Black like slaves and keep them on their plantation.
Here was an opportunity to show 30 million African-Americans what the conservative alternative is and they LITERALLY COULD NOT BE BOTHERED TO SHOW UP! Outside of the Republican National Convention, CPAC is the biggest gathering of American conservatives and if they don’t care how old, how White and how unrepresentative of the country their movement is people of color won’t either.
A word about Dr. Ben Carson placing third in the CPAC presidential straw poll behind Senators Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. Big deal. Carson is the current Great Black Hope of the White Right with some fantasizing he would be a Hillary stopper as he could dent her percentage of the African-American vote.
That’s a fantasy shattered by the reality that Carson would have to step out of his CPAC/Fox News comfort zone and actually face skeptical audiences unimpressed by his vagueness and real journalists who won’t pitch him slow rollers across the plate. If “lack of experience” is a rap Republicans have hung around Barack Obama’s neck, he looks like a Washington lifer compared to the callow Carson who has never run for any elected office, never served in a presidential administration and doesn’t seem to have any policy positions. Even Horny Herman Cain was more qualified.
Carson is the featured Flavor of the Month. He soaks up the adulation of the White Right like cornbread does gravy, but like cornbread, he’ll crumble under the pressure of an actual presidential campaign.