Back in high school, I had a geometry class with one of those teachers who was a spineless weenie and could never control the students in his classroom. After a few months of having his lessons overwhelmed by loud chatter, one day he snapped and started yelling at the loudest of the troublemakers. Rather than shut up and pay attention, the response by some of the students was to call him a racist. The next day, stunned by this attack, one wall of the teacher’s classroom was decorated with a huge picture of Martin Luther King Jr.
That bit of pandering is what popped into my mind when I saw the “Delegate Diversity” page on the site for the Republican National Convention :
When the Republican Party hosts its first-ever national convention in New York City next month, it will welcome the most diverse group of delegates in party history.
Under the steady and optimistic leadership of President George W. Bush, the Republican Party is celebrating a milestone achievement in our party’s connection with America’s minorities. Since the 2000 convention, there has been an estimated 70 percent increase among minority delegates.
With President George W. Bush leading the ticket, the Republican Party has experienced historic growth in minority delegate representation. This year, African-American representation is up an estimated 65 percent and Asian-American representation is up nearly 40 percent. This August, Hispanic delegates will be the largest minority group represented, adding another 15 percent to the 100 percent surge Republicans saw between 1996 and 2000.
President Bush’s policies are producing results for all Americans and minority voters are joining the ranks of Republicans across the nation working to re-elect our president. Republican minorities make up a record 17 percent of total delegates and alternates, up from 10 percent just four years ago.
Jeez, the Republicans are really bending over backwards to prove they’re not racist. They even go as far to trash the Democrats for not having as high an increase :
Percentage Increase Of Ethnically Diverse Delegates between the 2000-2004 National Conventions
Graph reflects overall percentage increases in reported convention numbers.
After looking at this graph, I immediately thought “Wow. I had no idea the Democrats were so racist.” So I decided that I should check out their “Minorities Love Us!” page. Since the GOP one is prominently featured on their homepage, I figured the Dem one would be easy to find as well. So I looked and looked, but I can’t seem to find it. (You can look for yourself here)
Nevertheless, numbers don’t lie, right? The Republicans had a much larger increase than the Democrats, so it’s clear that diversity is more important to them. Since a whopping 17 percent of the Republicans delegates are minorities, I wonder what the senate percentage is. After searching on Google, I found this :
The convulsive 1968 convention in Chicago blew the lid off the old system.
. . .
The commission, chaired initially by then-Sen. George McGovern of South Dakota, recommended eliminating the winner-take-all system that worked in Humphrey’s favor, and required the nominating process – whether caucus or primary – to be more open, more inclusive, and more in tune with what voters said they wanted.
Under those changes, women, youth, blacks and other minorities were represented according to their proportion in state populations. Delegates were allocated proportionally, according to primary or caucus outcomes.
. . .
This year, nearly 40 percent of the more than 4,350 delegates are minorities, with record numbers of blacks, Asians, American Indians and Hispanics, according to the senate National Committee. About half are women.
So there’s the difference. The Republicans have 17% and the Democrats have “nearly” 40%. The Democratic party has a system that ensures that delegate demographics reflect the diversity of their states (what the GOP derides as a “quota system”). The Republican Party pats itself on the pack for improvements while still having less than half as many minority delegates. They may be proud of having the greatest improvement in their party’s history and a greater percentage improvement than the Dems from 2000-2004, but it’s all in an effort to hide the fact that, compared to the Democrats, they’ve got a lot more improvment to do.