CNN Contributor Martin Blasts GOP: ‘They're Scared of Black Folks'
CNN contributor Roland Martin took aim at Republicans on Friday's "American Morning, since Congressman Tom Tancredo was the only GOP presidential candidate to appear at a recent NAACP forum. Co-host John Roberts asked Martin, "what do you make of this idea that nine of the 10 Republican candidates took a pass on this convention?" Martin's response was blunt: "Of course, conservatives won't like this, but the bottom line is, the GOP, they're scared of black folks. I mean, it's as if they can't even talk to them."
Martin, a regular contributor on CNN's "American Morning," and a liberal talk show host based out of Chicago, has been given regular opportunities on the morning show to give left-wing lines about various issues without a counter-balance from a conservative. He continued his offensive by citing President Bush's single appearance before the NAACP in his several years as president, and Rudy Giuliani's "terrible history with black folks in New York" as the reason there was "no doubt he [Giuliani] was going to ignore the NAACP."
To his credit, Roberts followed up to Martin's answer by asking, "Let me just play devil's advocate here. They are afraid of African-Americans, or do they just think that the NAACP has been sort of historically hostile to Republicans?"
No, no, because over time, when you look at Republicans in terms of the ability to reach out to African-Americans, that is sort of this apprehension there. Of course, there's history there. The whole southern strategy, Richard Nixon, in terms of trying to ignore black voters, appeal to white voters in the South. And so, that was part of their strategy. Ken Mehlman, when he ran the RNC, he apologized for it.... Republicans have always had a difficulty in trying to speak to African-Americans. And let me tell you, John, issues like immigration, which Republicans are against, nine out of 10 of my callers will be absolutely against it. The issue of education, the issue of gay marriage, there are issues there the Republicans can dialogue on. But you can't continue to say, well, we want to reach out to black voters, we don't want them simply voting Democrat, but then you never talk to them. So, you have to cross that line. And so, frankly, not talking to them makes no sense. That was an opportunity that they lost.
One could predict, however, that the mainstream media, possibly including Martin himself, would have criticized Republicans for using "wedge issues" like immigration and gay "marriage" as a means to reach out to blacks.
The major detail that wasn't mentioned during the segment was the reason why President Bush didn't appear before the NAACP until 2006. When he was a presidential candidate, Bush appeared before the NAACP in July 2000. Just over three months later in October, the NAACP ran a race-baiting TV ad which featured the daughter of James Byrd, who was dragged behind a pickup truck for miles and was murdered. She blasted then-Governor Bush's decision to not support new "hate crimes" legislation in Texas. "When Governor George W . Bush refused to support hate crimes legislation, it was like my father was killed all over again." The media was largely silent in response to the ad.
It goes to show that Roberts was right to ask Martin if Republicans think that the NAACP has been "historically hostile" to the GOP.