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Monday, October 1, 2007

Blackout And Brownout

Here is a great article from the folks at The Center for American Progress Action.org. At least there are a few organizations in America who are not scared to talk about the politics of race or as Internet black political and social activist Francis L. Holland Blog would say - the politics of Color Arousal.

Blackout And Brownout

Blackout and Brownout

Roughly one-third of the U.S. population -- 100 million people -- is composed of minorities, "reflecting the continuing evolution of an American national identity that transcends ethnic and religious boundaries." But as America moves toward greater diversity, many conservatives are resisting this change, advocating instead for religious and ethnic homogeneity. After top GOP presidential candidates skipped a minority-focused debate last week, the media asked if conservatives were "writing off many black voters." But snubbing the debate is just the tip of the iceberg, as many conservatives have been actively preaching intolerance for several years. While there are certainly conservatives who value religious and cultural diversity, a sizeable portion of the right wing has engaged in a shameful "pattern" of marginalizing Americans of different races, ethnicities, and religions. "No one should be elected president of this country in 2008 if they think that along the way they can ignore people of color," said talk show host Tavis Smiley. "If you want to be president of all America, you need to speak to all Americans."

'OUTRAGED' AND 'EMBARRASSED': Last week, Smiley moderated a Republican presidential forum, where candidates -- for the first time -- answered questions from "a panel exclusively comprised of journalists of color." The event was mired in controversy, however, as the four Republican frontrunners -- former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, and former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson -- skipped the debate due to "scheduling conflicts." (Giuliani, for example, held a $2,300 per plate fundraiser with actress and model Bo Derek.) The conservatives are "trying to go through this entire primary process and never have to address voters of color and never queried journalists of color," Smiley said. Other candidates were upset by the poor showing. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee said he was "embarrassed," and Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) felt "outraged." The Washington Times opined that "some run-of-the mill fund-raiser" should not be "more important...than building up their relationships with black and Hispanic voters." Former congressman J.C. Watts called the move "stupid." President Bush appeared to condone the snub, saying general election candidates should reach out to people of color, while giving primary candidates a pass. This marks the third minority-focused debate that conservative front-runners have ditched, also missing a gay issues and Spanish-language debate. The Spanish-language forum was scrapped completely after only McCain agreed to participate. In fact, conservatives are being increasingly identified by Hispanics "with pushes to crack down on border enforcement and illegal immigrants already in this country." Presidential candidate Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO), for example, has suggested mass deportation of undocumented immigrants. More HERE

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