Mitt Romney and the Black Vote… : ThyBlackMan

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Mitt Romney and the Black Vote…

November 28, 2011 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Sooner or later, presumptive GOP presidential nominee frontrunner Mitt Romney will have to publicly answer which Romney will show up on the issue of race and diversity if he indeed gets the GOP nomination and snatches the White House in 2012. Will it be the Romney that claimed in an interview on Meet the Press in 2007 that he got teary eyed when he heard that his Mormon church’s ruling elders publicly declared that blacks would no longer be barred from the Mormon priesthood? Mitt Romney didn’t directly say it but he strongly hinted that the moment stirred strong emotions in him because he never went along with his church’s decade’s old racial bar.

“I was anxious to see a change in my church…. My faith has always told me that and I had no question that African Americans and blacks generally would have every right and every benefit in the hereafter that anyone else had and that God is no respecter of persons.”

Now contrast that with the Romney that former GOP congressman J.C. Watts, a staunch black conservative, recently ripped for having a virtually lily white campaign staff. Mitt Romney was unmoved by the knock and flatly said that he hires  the best persons that he can find. He underscored that with the rhetorical emphasis “What’s the charge? Is there something wrong with that?”

Nothing, nothing that is if Mitt Romney’s political ambitions didn’t extend any further than seeking to win a GOP seat in a GOP-friendly congressional district in the GOP’s hard-core voter geographic vote base in the Heartland and the Deep South. The presidency is a far different matter. The teary-eyed Romney that chaffs at racial bigotry can’t trump the Romney that glibly condones it in picking his campaign staff.

Mitt Romney’s record on diversity as Massachusetts governor gives a strong hint of what his White House would look like. When it came to appointing minorities and women to judicial posts, his record was atrocious. The Massachusetts Women’s Bar Association repeatedly lambasted him for his near-exclusive white male statehouse. Mitt Romney, partly in response to the public pounding and partly with an eye on a presidential run where he knew his state record on diversity would be closely scrutinized, made a slew of appointments of minorities and women to the state bench in his last year in office.

Mitt Romney’s successor Deval Patrick, a Democrat, and the state’s first African-American governor, wasted no time in knocking Mitt Romney for his blatant race and gender blind spot on appointments. In his inaugural address he made it clear that he would make diversity and inclusion a huge part of his administration. Romney, not surprisingly, did not attend Patrick’s inaugural.

Late night comedian-talk show host Jay Leno was bothered enough by Mitt Romney’s blind spot on diversity to ask him point blank in an interview during the 2008 GOP presidential primary campaign what he thought about diversity. Mitt Romney gave the GOP formula answer and said that he supported it in government and corporations. Leno wasn’t satisfied and pressed him on what his administration would do to promote diversity. Romney wouldn’t budge from the stock retort that discrimination is wrong. That’s even less than the bare minimum response to racial bigotry that any candidate for public office is required to give.

The embarrassing litany of Mitt Romney’s race-tinged gaffes that include the metaphorical reference to hanging Obama, a joke about Obama’s birth certificate, using the racially offensive word “tar baby” to describe a public works project, and an animal reference in a pose with an African-American doesn’t tag Mitt Romney as a racist. He apologized or pleaded ignorance in every case. But it does touch off warning bells on race.

The loudest bell is what Mitt Romney will have to do, or more particularly who he’ll have to satisfy, to seal the GOP nomination. Mitt Romney will have to do a massive sell job to Christian evangelicals, ultra-conservatives and Tea Party leaders that he’s really at heart one of them. To appease them, he has little wiggle room on race. The mere mention of race, let alone diversity, emblazons red flags among conservative hardliners. They relentlessly bait him as a flip-flopper and closet moderate who will dump conservative principles at the drop of a hat. There’s no likelihood that Mitt Romney would pick the nettlesome Watts as his VP running mate as the influential ultra conservative blog redstaterusa.org dared him to do in 2007 when Mitt Romney was fighting hard for presidential nomination. The Watts for VP call though was done more to needle Obama than any serious interest in promoting diversity in a GOP White House.

Mitt Romney’s actions, not tears about Mormon Church bigotry and protestations against discrimination, tell much about what to expect with a Mitt Romney in the White House. And that’s not much.

Written By Earl Ofari Hutchinson

One can find more info about Mr. Hutchinson over at the following site; TheHutchinson ReportNews.

Also feel free to connect with him through twitter; http://twitter.com/earlhutchinson

 


Comments

3 Responses to “Mitt Romney and the Black Vote…”
  1. craig says:

    i think romney is wishy washy but he might be better than obama

  2. John says:

    Mitt Romney must answer the question now. Don’t wait till he gets the nomination. Mitt is two-faced and can’t be trusted.

  3. Hannah Rebekah says:

    More of the same…the Dems trying to divide Americans by using the race card…how pathetic. This is not the only way this president has shown he is a divider. It is true that blacks did not have access to the priesthood in the Mormon Church until the 70s even though there had been black members since it’s beginning who worshiped along side white members. To be honest there were a few blacks at the beginning who did have the priesthood and there were black members with Brigham Young when the Mormon pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley.
       
    What they left out of the indictment against Mormons not giving blacks the priesthood is how many black members the Mormon Church had in spite of this, studies before the ban was overturned showed Mormons were more racially tolerant than other religions. That many of the other Christian sects did not change their stance until the 90s and many still don’t worship with blacks. They don’t point out how the early Mormons advertised for free blacks to join as members of the Church which brought on persecution by those in favor of slavery and the mobs wrote the Mob Manifesto in response. The Mormons were driven from state to state because of their views on blacks and being against slavery. The Missouri Extermination order was put out making it legal to kill Mormons.

    The KKK hated the Mormon Church. In the early 1900s there was a massacre of Mormon missionaries in Cane Creek, Tennessee where the bodies had to be snuck out of the state. The only thing that could be considered intolerance by the Mormons is the Black ban of the Priesthood which it is amazing how many blacks stilled joined the Church fully understanding it. What’s even more amazing is that after the ban one of the most prominent Black Panthers of the 60’s joined the Church who wrote the Black Manifesto, Soul on Ice:

    http://blacks-priesthood.blogspot.com/

    Obama has been a divider and the biggest flop of any president in American history. It’s time to flip the flopper. Romney will undo the damage Obama has done and unite Americans again. That’s why Obama is so afraid of Romney.

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