(The Root) — Looking back on the week of speeches and events at the Democratic National Convention, the one thing that became crystal clear is this: The Democratic Party is the only party that represents America.
Being here in Charlotte, N.C., I was able to observe a lot from the ground. I engaged with politicians, activists and leaders within the Democratic Party. I listened to the messages that were consistently on display each night. When it was all said and done, my first thought wasn’t “Yay, Democrats!” — it was “seriously, Republicans?” I found myself angrier with the Grand Old Party than I normally am (*cough* Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney, Reince Priebus, repeat *cough*).
The DNC speakers consistently spoke to the communities that I’m a part of and communities I care about. I was in awe of our first lady, Michelle Obama. I was riveted by San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro. I saw tons of people at the convention who looked like me. When a camera focused on a black person in the arena, it wasn’t just a rotation of the seven they could find.
The Democratic Party represents my America.
It is constantly mentioned that America is browning. In just a few decades whites will be in the minority, yet the Republican Party still hasn’t actively attempted to court more people of color. During a recent segment on MSNBC’s The Melissa Harris-Perry Show, a panel of black Republicans explained how there’s a bunch of black folks who are actually conservative but they’re just scared to admit it. What they didn’t acknowledge: the legitimate issues that many have with the GOP that cause this situation.
When a political party seems to actively ignore or demean minority groups, then yes — there may be a bit of animosity toward that party and those who support it. When a political party parades out members of our communities to gain “We understand diversity, too” merit badges, anger is justified.
I’m not trying to paint the Democratic Party as some sort of minority utopia. Obviously there are issues within the party and the party’s platform when it comes to actively dealing with the disparities we see with poverty, incarceration, health care and more. There’s racism within the Democratic Party because, well, this is still America. But the party is inclusive of those of us working to fix these things. The party hasn’t put its finger in its ears while chanting “lalalalala — bootstraps — lalalala.”
But let’s be honest. Some folks in our communities aren’t going to dig deep into the policy discussions that were on display at the Republican convention or the DNC. Some folks in our communities aren’t concerned with framing, rhetoric and messaging. This is a hard fact. But what many of them do want is at least to feel represented — as if the things that do concern them might actually be heard.
And that’s what I think was shown most of all. The #DNC2012 proved that Democrats want to represent all of us.