A More Diverse America
By Todd A. Smith
At the Sundance Film Festival, Spike Lee stated that as America becomes more diverse, it is smart for the entertainment business to become more diverse, in order to capitalize on the dollars of different ethnic groups.
Lee stated that by 2045, America would no longer be majority-White and the current business model in Hollywood will become antiquated in the very near future.
The same can be said about American politics, but the 2012 Republican primary has shown that the GOP is not concerned about the America of tomorrow, only with the results in the upcoming November election.
As America has become more black and brown, the Republican Party seems to be stuck in neutral, oblivious to the changing times. Many African Americans and Latinos have exceeded the middle class and have reached a level of affluency that would make the Republican Party an attractive choice for political affiliation.
Furthermore, the social values that Republicans preach fit with the upbringing of many African Americans and Latinos who are stereotypically devout Christians.
However, the rhetoric coming from candidates in the 2012 Republican primary, hardly represent the future of America and shows how out of touch candidates like Newt Gingrich are from mainstream America.
In 2007, Gingrich referred to the Spanish language as ghetto speak. He said, “The American people believe English should be the official language of the government…We should replace bilingual education with immersion in English so people can learn the common language of the country and they learn the language of prosperity, not the language of living in the ghetto.”
For someone as accomplished as Gingrich, who has probably been to every corner of the Earth in his travels, to equate a language other than English to ghetto speak is the epitome of ignorance and stupidity, and not the type of rhetoric we need coming from a potential commander-in-chief.
Rick Santorum also allegedly made racially insensitive remarks about minorities during the current 2012 Republican primary. He allegedly stated, “I would not make Black people’s lives better by giving them other people’s money.” If those statements are accurate, Santorum failed to mention that by raw numbers more Whites are on welfare than Blacks and that Black people are included in those “other people” who have to give their money for government run programs like welfare.
Santorum went on to say that he did not say Black, because he rarely uses that word, preferring the term African American. He also touted his relationships with historically Black colleges and universities as proof of his open-mindedness when it comes to diversity.
Furthermore, Rick Perry, a former candidate in the 2012 Republican primary once leased out a hunting ranch named “Niggerhead” in Texas, but claims the signs with the racial slur were painted over once his family began controlling the property.
Regardless, if the allegations of racism are a true indication of the character of the candidates, America is moving in a direction of more diversity and less exclusion. Children grow up today not caring what color their friends are. As a result, America will soon be the melting pot that many have dreamed about for generations.
Nevertheless, the 2012 Republican primary is proof that many in the GOP have not gotten the memo, and that will cost them dearly in the future, if it does not cost them in November.
Smith is publisher of Regal Magazine, a publication dedicated to the African American community.