The annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) wrapped up on Saturday and NPR’s Weekend Edition Sunday felt the need to slam conservatives and its CPAC attendees as “overwhelmingly white.”
It gets worse. Brakkton Booker, a producer for NPR's Washington Desk, posted an online version of the story with the obnoxious headline “Black GOP Stars Rise In A Party That’s Still Awkwardly White." Booker offered a lengthy recap of the party’s "abysmal" standing with minorities.
After detailing the different minority speakers at CPAC, including Dr. Ben Carson and Senator Tim Scott (R-SC), Brakkton railed against how jokes made by CPAC speakers:
Hide an awkward truth. Even as some black candidates are hitting their stride, the Republican Party's standing among African-Americans is abysmal. Mitt Romney won a mere 7 percent of the black vote in 2012.
The NPR report didn’t bother mentioning that the GOP won 7 percent of the black vote in a year where his opponent was the black incumbent president, Barack Obama. Is NPR suggesting that Hillary Clinton is going to win 93 percent of the black vote if she chooses to run for president in 2016? NPR never addressed this detail, or noticed that Republicans have won the presidency despite attracting a small chunk of the black vote. They don't tend to offer pieces worrying about Democrats holding the white vote or the male vote. No one can ever be "awkwardly" a color other than white.
The "awkwardly white” narrative continued with an anecdote from a CPAC attendee, finding that one is apparently "awkwardly black" if you sneak into conservative gathering in fear of being "vilified" by black friends and family members:
Antawan Copeland, an African-American who is attending his first CPAC, says he's been a Republican for at least 15 years.
"I don't think they've made any new strides in my neighborhood," Copeland said. "I don't see everyone in the black community rushing out to become Republicans."
So just how far does the GOP need to travel? Look no further than Copeland's fiance, Carol Smith. Carol is actually her middle name; she doesn't want to give her full name, she says.
"Because I'm not ready to be outted," she says. "I'm not ready to come out of the Democratic closet."
Smith says she's gotten a warm reception from CPAC attendees, but the social stigma of the Republican label is too much to bear right now.
It's hard, as a black woman, she says, to say she's no longer a die-hard Democrat.
"In private, no, but in public, yes," she says. "When I have these conversations with friends and family, I'm vilified."
NPR never bothered considering that stories like this make it hard for African American conservatives to be open about their political beliefs. When a major news organization blares that the GOP is “still awkwardly white” is it any wonder that conservative minorities would be hesitant about expressing their beliefs for fear of being mocked or shamed by their friends and family? Instead, NPR willingly peddled the liberal narrative that only the GOP has a race problem instead of providing a balanced look at CPAC and its attendees.