Hot on HuffPost:

See More Stories

The GOP's Minority Outreach?

5 years ago
  0 Comments Say Something  »
Text Size
The Republican Party is always talking about outreach to minority communities – and then a Republican gets in the way.
In South Carolina, after a gorilla escaped from the Columbia zoo last Friday, longtime GOP activist and former state election commission chairman Rusty DePass made this comment on his Facebook page: "I'm sure it's just one of Michelle's ancestors -- probably harmless."
Not having the courage of his lame convictions, he killed the page on Sunday, but not before it was captured by FITSNews, a local political Website.
What followed was even worse. First, DePass issued one of those non-apology apologies: "I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest." Then he blamed Michelle Obama. "The comment was hers. Not mine," he said, using tortured logic about evolution. No one could find any such statement by the First Lady.
The NAACP in South Carolina still wants a "proper" apology. Good luck with that.
Polls show Michelle Obama is more popular than her husband. She is an attentive mother. She has become a presence in schools and community activities in Washington and across the country. She is an advocate of hard work and the value of education. The Queen of England loves her. Women head to the gym to look like her. And DePass is talking trash about her.
Lindsey Graham, one of South Carolina's U.S. senators, has said he is "deeply troubled" by comments about race made by Judge Sonia Sotomayor.
So Senator Graham, since statements that speak of the need for diversity on the bench upset you, I know you'll be demanding a clear apology from DePass – a South Carolina colleague -- for his comments comparing the First Lady of the United States to an animal.
Meanwhile, in Tennessee, Sherri Goforth, a legislative aide for Republican state senator Diane Black, sent out an e-mail with images of the Presidents of the United States, with Barack Obama rendered as a pair of eyes on a black background. Goforth told the online site Nashville Is Talking: "I went on the wrong e-mail and I inadvertently hit the wrong button."

"I'm very sick about it, and it's one of those things I can't change or take back." Next time, I expect she'll be sure only her racist e-mail buddies receive the joke. Goforth got a reprimand but kept her job.

When it comes to race, it is not that the GOP is tone-deaf. To the contrary, the party knows the song by heart. It has been playing it since the Southern Strategy scooped up voters looking for a home after LBJ signed civil rights legislation.
You'd think the last election would have been a wake-up call. African American, Hispanic, Asian American – every minority community – voted overwhelmingly for Barack Obama. Retired Gen. Colin Powell – an African American and a Republican -- appeared on "Meet the Press" before the presidential election to clearly explain why he planned to vote for Obama. In May, Powell was disrespected by former Vice President Dick Cheney -- he of the five draft deferments -- when Cheney sided with radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh in a feud between the two.
Recently, we had the spectacle of former GOP congressman Tom Tancredo saying a respected judge "appears to be a racist." That was, of course, before an actual racist apparently shot up a museum dedicated to tolerance and killed a man.
And then we were treated to extended coverage of a feud between Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and late-night host David Letterman over a tasteless joke he made about her daughter. Palin was rightly upset. Democratic and Republican officials piled on, until the comedian issued a real apology. (She accepted it.)

Republicans – Palin included – said the families of politicians should be off limits, although when they went on to add that Democratic political families are never touched, their outrage seemed more than a tad partisan. (Remember the Chelsea Clinton and Amy Carter jokes, anyone?)
Now Republicans have a chance to make it clear that respect for family goes both ways -- that their party will no longer be the place where racist jokes are excused with a wink and no one pays a price.
Outbrain - The Most Trusted Content Discovery Platform

Get Your Content Discovered.

Promote your content on premium websites

Learn More ›

Outbrain Amplify:
Get your content discovered

Your content will be promoted on the web's largest and most respected media properties, including CNN.com, Slate and ESPN. We make sure it's seen precisely when people will find it most interesting.

Learn More

Outbrain Engage: The solution for a modern publisher

Outbrain Engage is a full stack software solution that empowers an entire media organization to more effectively manage its online content and programming experience.

Learn More

The world's largest content discovery platform

We bring together premium publishers and marketers of all sizes (including many of the world's leading brands) into the world's largest and most vibrant content marketplace. Learn more about Outbrain ›

561 Million

The global audience reached by Outbrain each month*

190 Billion

The total recommendations we serve consumers monthly

80%

Of the world’s leading brands use Outbrain

* Audience reach according to comScore, September 2014. Leading brands via Ad Age DataCenter / Kantar Media, 2014.

Andy Blau
We selected Outbrain not only because the revenues were higher than others, but because its engine drives better recommendations than others.
Andy Blau
Senior Vice President, Group General Manager
Time Inc.
Dan Horowitz
It's less about buying traffic than it is about reaching the right people with relevant headlines to get them to your content.
Dan Horowitz
EVP and Senior Partner
Fleishman-Hillard Digital
Katrina Craigwell
Our goal is always to deliver content that adds value to the conversations being held by the end user. Outbrain allows us to do just that.
Katrina Craigwell
Global Manager of Digital Marketing
GE
Bailey Foote
The fact that we’re able to drive these kinds of transactions with consumers at scale and with increasing efficiency has made Outbrain paramount to our marketing strategy.
Bailey Foote
E-commerce Manager
The Line
Neal Moore
You cannot leave it to chance that someone will find and engage with your content. Outbrain can put your content in the midst of the world’s most prestigious publications.
Neal Moore
CEO
Click2View
Zach Zavos
Having links to our content appearing directly on premium publisher sites helped us establish our brand.
Zach Zavos
Co-Founder
Conversant Media
Mike Brito
Outbrain is one of those [critical] components helping us deliver the right messages to the right contingent at massive scale and in real time to counter a crisis.
Mike Brito
Group Director
WCG

A global footprint of service

We operate offices in 11 global territories and we partner with publishers and marketers in over 55 countries, including the U.S., UK, France, Brazil, India and Japan. Come join us ›

Our New Approach to Comments

In an effort to encourage the same level of civil dialogue among Politics Daily’s readers that we expect of our writers – a “civilogue,” to use the term coined by PD’s Jeffrey Weiss – we are requiring commenters to use their AOL or AIM screen names to submit a comment, and we are reading all comments before publishing them. Personal attacks (on writers, other readers, Nancy Pelosi, George W. Bush, or anyone at all) and comments that are not productive additions to the conversation will not be published, period, to make room for a discussion among those with ideas to kick around. Please read our Help and Feedback section for more info.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum Comment Moderation Enabled. Your comment will appear after it is cleared by an editor.

Follow Politics Daily


  • Comics
robert-and-donna-trussell
CHAOS THEORY
Featuring political comics by Robert and Donna TrussellMore>>
  • Woman UP Video
politics daily videos
Weekly Videos
Woman Up, Politics Daily's Online Sunday ShowMore»
politics daily videos
TV Appearances
Showcasing appearances by Politics Daily staff and contributors.More>>