At GOP.com something new is happening,” proclaims RNC chief Michael Steele as he walks across the top of the new GOP.com web site of the Republican National Committee, “and that something new — is you!” Notice anything unusual? That’s right — black people! And when you refresh the page, you’re likely to see even more of them! Look:
They also have women of varying hues. We sat here clicking away for a good long time and the white-male-to-other ratio of the navbar imagery was about 1-to-6. It’s still in beta, of course; we can’t wait to hear about the focus groups.
“The developers of the new website,” says RedState, “hope to capitalize on the organic activism that gave way to Tea Parties across the nation…” We wonder if the folks in the tricorners will recognize themselves therein. Check out the color scheme of the “Heroes” page:
Katie bar the door, it’s majority-black! Which is odd, as a recent Gallup poll shows only two percent of African-Americans identify themselves as Republican, and the number of black delegates to the last National Convention was actually down from the previous election year.
We suspect the new, black face of the GOP is not about recruitment (despite hopeful stories carried in sympathetic outlets) but about image — heading off the impression that the Republicans are the cracker party, engaged in an endless Southern Strategy that, in the age of Obama, has only gotten more intense.
Readers may find Chairman Steele’s musings at the new site’s “What Up?” page. No, we’re not kidding. Next up: a plea for greater African-American outreach from Hot Ghetto Mess (“We’ve got to do better!”). Warning: comments about the “liberal plantation” may get their own sitelet.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 13, 2009