(For my convention wrap, see the full post on the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund blog).
Invisible Obama in Eastwood’s chair? How about invisible you and me. That may have been the only time the Republicans really talked to people of color all convention week.
As far as people of color were concerned, it was a convention of model minorities, but without many Asian Americans. Sec. Rice, Sen. Marco Rubio, New Mexico’s Gov. Martinez were essentially just hood ornaments for this GOP. With Gov. Bobby Jindal tending to Isaac, Gov. Nikki Haley was the most prominent Asian American speaker. But she spoke more like a true Southerner than a South Asian, extolling the virtues of discriminatory voter ID practices and harsh immigration laws.
Here’s what surprised me most. Usually there’s at least one speaker who uses the litany that mentions “black, Latino, Asian American” in context of the diversity of the American people. But the rhetoric here was devoid of any of that in almost every speech at the convention. Indeed, it was anti-diversity. Even Romney’s speech would rather have a generic America, where race was whited out.
When he spoke of an America he wanted to “restore,” he said:
“And does the America that we want succumb to resentment and
division among Americans?
“The America we all know has been a story of many becoming
one. United to preserve liberty, uniting to build the greatest
the economy in the world, uniting to save the world from
“ Everywhere I go there are monuments and now for those who
have given their lives for America. There is no mention of
their race, their party affiliation, or what they did for a
That’s as close as we get to showing up on the radar at a GOP convention
The America Mitt Romney wants restored is really a step backwards in time, maybe to pre-1965, before immigration, before civil rights. Factory defaults, please.
That’s not the America we’re in. But that’s appears to be the kind of country Romney feels comfortable being a leader of.
Maybe that’s because of the kind of people who are Republicans these days. When Romney talked about restoring an America to one that “will care for the poor and sick, will honor and respect the elderly and will giving a helping hand to those in need. That America is the best within each of us.That America we want for our children,” the line fell flat.
Made me nostalgic for George Bush’s compassionate conservatives. But those people are moderate Democrats by today’s GOP standards.
When the Democrats show up in Charlotte, they’ll likely seem a whole lot more reasonable, diverse, and understanding by comparison.
After this GOP convention, the message is clear. You’re as invisible as Obama was in Eastwood’s chair. That was you.
If you’re black, Latino, Asian, you didn’t show up in their convention. You weren’t real. My big takeaway? Romney is all-gender all the time. He seems to have pretty much conceded the diversity vote.