”Please send some folks to the convention that look like Florida. Could you help a brother out? No more national conventions with [only] 36 people of color in the room.”
– Michael Steele, Chairman, Republican National Committee, speaking at a meeting of Florida Republicans in early April.
They say that, to solve a problem, you first have to know what the problem is.
But after you know what the problem is… you need a way to solve the problem, otherwise, the problem doesn’t go away.
I’ll give this to Michael Steele: he’s not afraid to say what the problem is. As discussed in Blacked Out: African Americans Near Invisible at the Republican Convention,
The 36 black delegates to the 2008 Republican National Convention in Minneapolis/St. Paul is the lowest total in 40 years for a Republican National Convention. These delegates represent 1.5 percent of the total number of delegates, substantially below the record setting 6.7 percent in 2004. (Editor’s note: The United States is 13% African American.)
Steele’s statement is useful, insofar it as it acknowledges the GOP’s obvious problem in attracting minorities, and signals that the Republican Party (or at least, that Michael Steele) wants minority input and participation.
The question is: where do they go from there? What is their plan to attract African Americans and Hispanics to the fold?
I have yet to hear it. If you have, drop me a line and let me know.