Wednesday, March 04, 2009

In defense of Michael Steele

Republicans are angry over RNC chair Michael Steele's reaction to CNN host D.L. Hughley saying that the National Republican Convention looked like Nazi Germany. Newsbusters has the full description here.

Hughley should have simply said there are too many white faces and not enough of color at the RNC, instead of describing it as "Nazi Germany," but a while back I inferred that the Obama followers reminded me of Nazi Germany because of the adulation and swooning of Hitler, and the spooky Nazi symbol everywhere. Check out the pics here.

Now, I didn't mean that Obama followers were like the Nazis in thought or practice, just in how they swooned over one man. Hughley (I hope) didn't mean that the Republican National Convention had the beliefs of Nazis. What he meant is that we were a sea of white faces.

And he was right.

And Michael Steel knew he was right. Maybe instead of getting angry with Michael Steele, we should be angry at ourselves for not reaching out to minorities and sending the message to minority communities that they are welcome here.

I talked about this in my conversation with Sen. John Cornyn, and we both agreed that we need to stop being the party that says "Look at us, we are family values, free market, low taxes, pro-business" and just expect minorities to come to us.

It's time for us to come to them. And not just at election time. We need to be a part of their communities and their concerns. We need to show up and speak at their Churches, their festivals, and their local community meetings.

The Hispanic community is the largest minority in our country and it's growing. They are a natural fit for the Republican party. They are pro-family, pro-life, and entrepreneurial. We completely alienated them in the recent election cycle allowing the immigration debate rhetoric to become anti-Hispanic.

We alienate blacks by never showing a concern for the problems many of them face in the inner city and by never showing up to speak to them.

Could Steele have handled it better? Of course. He should have said "We are hardly Nazi Germany and I find that insulting, but we do need to expand our party with miniorities."

Republicans getting angry at Steele is about the most counter productive thing we can possibly do. We finally have a strong face of color leading our party, and an opportunity to bring in people of color into our party, and we decide to get angry with him because he acknowledges the obvious of our over abundance of whiteness??

No. We need to face it and do something about it. Starting now.