Saturday, October 17, 2009

#BlackerThanMichaelSteele: a hashtag game that defeated itself

I have a new post up at Global Comment

image Since Michael Steele became the chair of the RNC, he has attempted to change the image of the Republican Party in the Black community. We have heard much about “hip hop conservatism” in his bid to make it appear as though the GOP are interested in racial diversity.

The GOP is very much aware that a change in racial dynamics means that the Southern strategy, which they have employed as a path to the White House, must change if they are going to remain politically relevant. Rather than making substantive changes that people can believe in, they have decided to get themselves a figurehead, a.k.a Michael Steele.

When Steele appeared at last year’s State of the Black Union, he was the only panellist to be booed. Despite his race, he has failed to make even the most basic connection with the Black community. Some would say that his tenuous position was forever destroyed after he apologized to Rush Limbaugh for comments he made on the now defunct D.L. Hugley show. Limbaugh is a demagogue who preys upon the fears of a decline in White privilege to maintain his talk radio empire. Few so clearly embody the face of White hatred as Rush Limbaugh, and it was to this man that Steele apologized.

Steele has not been able to resurrect his image since. In yet another disastrous attempt to connect with the Black community, he started a blog called “What Up.” His efforts continue to seem insincere, even offensive. Obama appealed to the Black community not because he used phrases like “yo my brotha,” but because he was authentically himself. Blackness cannot be reduced to a few catch phrases and a good jump shot.

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