Under the surface at the RNC convention, there is a concern about the count. Beyond the official delegate count for the Romney Ryan ticket, there is another count folks are expressing quiet concern about: the number of African-American delegates at the Republican National Convention.

The interest in the numbers stems from a recent Wall Street Journal poll stating the GOP has 0% percent of the black vote. Recently, the Democratic polling group of Brilliant Corners found the black numbers supporting Romney are around two percent.  Meanwhile, former President George W. Bush got around 9 percent of the black vote during one election and 11 percent of the black vote during his other presidential contest. The number is considerably lower than that of the nation’s 37th president, Richard M. Nixon. He received 40 percent of the black vote when he became president in 1969.

One black reporter from a black media outlet conducted her own unofficial tally of black delegates the first night of the convention by going to each black person at the Tampa event asking if they were a delegate to get as much of an accurate count as possible.

The issue was so noticeable that the RNC convention camera scanned the crowd to show diversity, particularly when black speakers addressed the conventioneers.  

While the Convention was underway, results of a study on just how many black Republican delegates are attending the convention is released. David Bositis of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies finds the numbers of black GOP delegates in 2012 is 47, up 2.2 to 2.3 percent. The numbers in 2008 for black GOP delegates was 36. That number is down from the high of 167 in 2004.

Why are the black numbers so low? Michael Steele, former head of the Republican National Committee, revealed, “Black America will have questions with the ticket as it relates to funding for HBCU's and health care as well as other issues to include teen pregnancy and incarceration rates."

Meanwhile, at the convention, Steele believes Mitt Romney will win the presidential election in November.  "It is our opportunity to advance a new conversation. The country is tuning in."

Robert Gibbs, Senior Advisor to the Obama 2012 presidential campaign is on the ground in Tampa, saying, “This election is more important [than 2008].  If we turn this president out, we will go back to a set of economic policies that were calamitous to this country. We can’t, quite frankly, go backwards."

Gibbs also says, ”I would tell this to black America, that this is a huge election for you. It is important to get involved and not sit this one out, to get registered and learn why this is so important to you.”

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, in an exclusive interview with American Urban Radio Networks hours before her speech, says, "Let’s not get trapped in the sense that we belong to one party. Let’s have people spread among the parties who can insist the parties are addressing all the issues that are of concern to us."


Rice makes it clear where her allegiance lies this campaign. “I understand. I was as proud as anyone with the first black president of the United States, Barack Obama. I am still very proud that we have done that as a country. For me, it’s now about who can get this economy turned around, who can have a robust voice in American leadership abroad.”

The conservative, first African-American female former Secretary of State supports the Republican party's big umbrella approach, as a party for all people.

There are others within the GOP calling for more blacks to join the party.

Former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Victoria Jackson is a staunch Romney supporter who says , “I wish all blacks would come to a Tea Party.  We are very desperate for blacks to join us."

She frequently attends Tea Party events, and believes “there is no racism in the Tea Party that is a lie the left is telling…they are just desperate because Obama has done nothing good."  

Jackson is blaming Obama supporters for fueling what she terms an "ideological battle."

She says we are all one America without labels. "The word 'African-American' divides us… we don't need a hyphen."


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6 thoughts on “The Elephant in the Room

  1. navi12 on said:

    GOP may have impressive numbers in terms of black delegates at this convention but the article did point out how those numbers were down from the 2004 level. What is going happen with these black delegates when they get back to their hometowns? How much sway will they have with the black communities in their areas in selling Mitt Romney? Michael Steele, when he was head of the Republican National Committee tried to make the Republican Party more inclusive. The powers that be wasn’t having it and Steele didn’t help himself with those occassional gaffes and run-ins with folks like Rush Limbaugh.
    To Victoria Jackson, the Tea Party in your hometown might be devoid of racism but it is premature to conclude all Tea Party chapters are that way. Think about the state right next to yours and their Tea Party chapter.

  2. The small few of blacks that make it in this education system say the rest that don’t are laze and need to stop whining screw them. This is what will happen if we educate our-self’s. SURPRISED THIS WASN’T ON THE NEWS RIGHT !

    The entire senior class at Chicago’s only public all-male, all-African-American high school has been accepted to four-year colleges. At last count, the 107 seniors had earned spots at 72 schools across the nation.

    Mayor Richard Daley and Chicago Public Schools chief Ron Huberman surprised students at an all-school assembly at Urban Prep Academy for Young Men in Englewood this morning to congratulate them. It’s the first graduating class at Urban Prep since it opened its doors in 2006.

    Huberman applauded the seniors for making CPS shine.

    “All of you in the senior class have shown that what matters is perseverance, what matters is focus, what matters is having a dream and following that dream,” Huberman said.

    The school enforces a strict uniform of black blazers, khaki pants and red ties — with one exception. After a student receives the news he was accepted into college, he swaps his red tie for a red and gold one at an assembly.

    The last 13 students received their college ties today, to thunderous applause.

    Ask Rayvaughn Hines what college he was accepted to and he’ll answer with a question.

    “Do you want me to name them all?”

    For the 18-year-old from Back of the Yards, college was merely a concept–never a goal–growing up. Even within the last three years, he questioned if school, let alone college, was for him. Now, the senior is headed to the prestigious Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga. next fall.

    Hines remembers the moment he put on his red and gold tie.

    “I wanted to take my time because I was just so proud of myself,” he said. “I wanted everyone to see me put it on.”

    The achievement might not merit a mayoral visit at one of the city’s elite, selective enrollment high schools. But Urban Prep, a charter school that enrolls using a lottery in one of the city’s more troubled neighborhoods, faced difficult odds. Only 4 percent of this year’s senior class read at grade level as freshmen, according to Tim King, the school’s CEO.

    “I never had a doubt that we would achieve this goal,” King said. “Every single person we hired knew from the day one that this is what we do: We get our kids into college.”

    College is omnipresent at the school. Before the students begin their freshman year, they take a field trip to Northwestern University. Every student is assigned a college counselor the day he steps foot in the school.

    The school offers an extended day–170,000 more minutes over four years compared to its counterparts across the city–and more than double the number of English credits usually needed to graduate.

    Even the school’s voicemail has a student declaring “I am college bound” before it asks callers to dial an extension.

    Normally, it takes senior Jerry Hinds two buses and 45 minutes to get home from school. On Dec. 11, the day University of Illinois at Champaign- Urbana was to post his admission decisions online at 5 p.m., he asked a friend to drive him home.

    He went into his bedroom, told his well-wishing mother this was something he had to do alone, closed the door and logged in.

    “Yes! Yes! Yes!” he remembers screaming. His mother, who didn’t dare stray far, burst in and began crying.

    That night he made more than 30 phone calls, at times shouting “I got in” on his cell phone and home phone at the same time.

    “We’re breaking barriers,” he said. “And that feels great.”

  3. Just want to be free of pain on said:

    while I do agree with your point in many areas we must understand that Pres Obama is working from the ground up with crap as far back a the Reagan years.As far as Sharpton as his group they all SUCK….Blacks are seen as Lazy, Whiners thats because of how we have been treated since being here some of us are just broken with no sign of help to get to the next level and when you as a blackman speak up you are a whiner in white american but if you are white then you are standing up for change…As a black man I concentrate on the messages all the time they mean nothing to me,,not a damm thing…. I am a Negroe thats wide a wake and thats the problem I hear you I see you and you are doing nothing for me and my family,,,,hey lets start another round of conversation I like your point of view…..tell me this why do the gasoline produces still get tax breaks with the amount of profits they are making?

  4. Hiawa23 on said:

    Not sure why it’s the elephant in the room, as we can clearly see as we have seen over the years, there haven’t been many black faces represented at these conventions. People need to be responsible for themselves and their own bad life choices. Neither party will deliver for blacks, but I tell you one thing, the repubs sure are not thinking about you and many of them think you are lazy. Machelle Bachman said our kids were better off born into slavery than now. I voted for Obama, will vote for him again, as i can’t get with the repubs agenda. He’s done alot for minorities especially those who want to continue their ed with pell grant funding, funds for HBCU’s that the repubs wanted to cut, the payroll tax reduction, but a president is only as good as the Congress who surrounds him, & the repubs have filibustered everything so there was little Obama could get done without their support. I am one who was raised that if you got a good education, you would be okay, I did that thanks to my parents, didn’t have kids I couldn’t take care of so I have done okay. Frankly, I find it odd, that many black folk are waiting for someone to save them. That person aint coming, rich white folk run this country, & black issues are not even spoken unless they spill out in the white neighborhoods. I think we all see the system , the obstacles that we have faced, but many of our people’s ills have been self inflicted. Quit looking for someone to blame & get yourself together, cause there is no savior coming to save you.With our changing global economy, you are going to have to have some skills to just make it going forward. It baffles me why education is not more of a priority in our communities as that is the great equalizer.

  5. DUKODY1 on said:

    You Sound Like Them. Who is them? Negroes need to understand one thing when it come to politics, neither one of them represents you. What is the difference between a White Democrat or a White Republican? They are just like Obama, none has the interest of Black folks. You already know what Obama thinks of you. Negroes, let’s face it, you are last with a so-called first Black POTUS and will always be last with White Repubs and Dems alike. But you can’t blame the Repubs. Romney has went to Black leaders and laid out his plan for All Americans. But these current FAILED SHAMEFUL Black Leaders are AFRAID to Challenge Obama. Agree or disagree with his political plans, Romney will bring jobs and equality back for All Americans. Obama had four years to begin the process of recovery. Instead we have gone backwards and deeper in debt, so deep that Obama don’t have a clue how to get us back on track. That is why Gibbs, Sharpton, Axelrod and all his croonies uses the scare tactics of racism to fool you. With well over 96% of Blacks still supporting Obama, The big question needs to be, what will the Democratic National Convention deliver to Black America. Obama diss Blacks everytime someone ask him about AA. Blacks are seen as Lazy, Whiners, to Obama. Obama pictures Blacks the same way his grandparents did while they raised him in Kansas. That is the Questions Blacks should be looking for. Negroes, forget the numbers, concentrate on the messages these Dems will put out and see what pertains to you. We already know what Obama will say now that Hope and Change is a FAILED PROMISE. All He has left is it’s their fault, they will take this and they won’t do this. All Scare Tactics to separate Americans. Romney, like him or not, will never blame Americans, He will respect you, and will never call you LAZY, Irresponsible. That’s not the language of a LEADER, that’s the words of a FAILED INCOMPETENT COMMUNITY ORGANIZER. ALL Americans deserve better. Make this Vote Count for You, your kids, your grand kids, your families. Obama is just another Politician that happens to have the same skin color, but not the same interest. Wake Up Negroes.

  6. Just want to be free of pain on said:

    Ms Rice please its that kinda talk that lets white people keep us on the side lines,,,at this point we all (blacks with and blacks without) need to stand up together…YOU SOUND LIKE THEM……COME BACK TO THE LIGHT WE NEED YOU,,,

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