Baratunde's Official RNC 'Negro Count'

Democracy Now
Democracy Now

Last week we heard that, according to an NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll, Mitt Romney had zero percent of black voters behind him. Today, as he gears up to become his party's official nominee at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, that number probably hasn't changed much.


But according to Colorlines, Baratunde Thurston is taking a lighter, more personal look at the GOP candidate's African-American support (or lack thereof) with an "official RNC Negro Count." That's right: The comedian and How to Be Black author is on the scene, counting the black people … one by one.

"I don't know if you're a reporter or a delegate or someone Mitt Romney paid to be here, so I just want to give the GOP the benefit of the doubt as much as possible," Thurston told Democracy Now on Monday.

Last we checked, he'd tallied 89 — 20 of whom were confirmed GOP members (not members of the media, security or vendors).

For former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, the facts behind the "Negro Count" stunt are no laughing matter. Asked about how to sell his party to people of color in an interview with The Root DC, he said, "You want to make a broad case that is expansive and respectful of America's great diversity and that we welcome everybody to join us because we think politically this is a good home for them."

But when it came to the question of how to make that "broad case," he was less certain. In response to a question about why there aren't more minorities in the GOP, he said, "I can't tell you. I don't know. You have to make the effort. You have to be engaged." If that's an approach shared by the current Republican leadership, we won't hold our breath for the number of African-American Romney supporters to skyrocket.

You can follow @Baratunde on Twitter to get the latest.

Read more at Colorlines.