(The Root) — If they could just get those pesky Hispanics! That's the overwhelming narrative in the aftermath of the defeat of Mitt Romney. Apparently the obvious logic is that Republicans just need Hispanics. If the party decides to work on immigration, perhaps it can sway them to join the dark side — er, the Grand Old Party.
Oh, and perhaps Republicans should deal with women differently. Stop talking about rape and abortion so much. Then Republicans can gather their vagina army and destroy the Democrats. "Republicans used to carry Asian Americans," Newt Gingrich said. Yeah! Asians! Yeah! Who else can the Republicans get?
Apparently not Negroes.
The deafening silence about blacks joining the GOP in the postmortem of Election 2012 is amazing. It seems almost as if Republicans have no desire to reach out to blacks. "We" don't even seem to be on the minds of many conservatives. They can or should get Hispanics — Cubans, specifically — and others because they're pretty conservative, too! Not like blacks … unless you look at the large swath of the community that has deeply conservative values. Have Republicans never heard of the black church? That place where they preach about marriage, children in wedlock, marriage between a man and a woman and various other conservative values?
In this past election cycle, the value of small businesses was constantly praised and elevated to near sainthood. Black folks start and own many small businesses. You don't think they'd like to see tax reform? You don't think these groups would be interested in growing and expanding? The black community is so primed to be spoken to by Republicans, it's scary!
Oh, but then the GOP would have to stop all the shenanigans.
For a party that should be able to reach a large portion of the black community, Republicans consistently alienate many who would otherwise be prime for the picking. My mom is a proud Christian who deeply believes in her faith. She's pro-life (although she still has a hard time with men trying to tell women what to do with their bodies). She's pro-traditional marriage, no matter how much I poke at her about it.
She'd also eat her beautiful church hat before she'd vote Republican. She looks at them as the party of old, rich white men who govern for the betterment of old,rich white men. She thinks they're largely made up of prejudiced folks who look down on black people. I often sigh when I talk to my mom because I think she's older and sometimes just out of touch. But could I make a reasonable argument that she's just crazy when it comes to the Republican Party?
Now, I don't believe it consists only of old, rich white men. That's just not true. The party is made up of a bunch of types of white people. Eighty-eight percent of those who voted for Romney were white. Then, when you look at the type of nonsense that was spewed during the GOP primaries and then from Republicans during the general election, it makes perfect sense as to why my mom and many other minorities flee from the Grand Old Party.
But why are us Negroes not even in the thought processes of many of the Republican leaders? Women? Hispanics? Asians? Sure. Blacks? Eh …
Could it be that the current leaders of the GOP have already conceded that they'll never actually speak to the needs of a majority — hell, even a solid chunk — of the black vote? Is the idea of dealing with affirmative action as something other than keeping white people down too much for them? Is the power of dog-whistle racism in elections too much to let go of in order to not completely piss off myriad black voters?
Would the idea of even pretending to understand the oppression that blacks have lived under for hundreds of years — and that continues to permeate our lives even now in issues like the prison-industrial complex, stop and frisk and the failed drug war — just be too much for conservatives?
With all the rethinking of the party but all the silence on the blacks, I'm going to assume that the answer is yes. Excuse me while I'm left with virtually no choice but to vote Democrat.
Elon James White is a writer and satirist and host of the award-winning video and radio series This Week in Blackness. Listen Monday to Thursday at 1:30 p.m. EST at TWIB.FM and watch at TV.TWIB.ME/LIVE. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Tumblr.