Colby King: GOP Only Has Blacks at Conventions to Sing 'God Bless America' or Lead Prayers

September 1st, 2012 12:19 AM

After Yahoo's Washington bureau chief was fired Wednesday for saying the Romneys are "happy to have a party with black people drowning," you would think media members would be more careful accusing Republicans of racism.

Apparently not, for on PBS's Inside Washington Friday, Colby King, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist, actually said Republicans "always have African-Americans on the [convention] podium. Either it’s somebody singing 'God Bless America,' or praying, you know, before or after" (video follows with transcript and commentary, file photo):

GORDON PETERSON, HOST: Beginning this broadcast you may recall, we played a brief clip of former Florida governor Jeb Bush who said in a CNN interview this week that from a political point of view across the country over the long haul, Republicans need to be more respectful of voters they are trying to attract. Do we read that as more respectful of Hispanics Colby?

COLBY KING, WASHINGTON POST: Well, I don’t see how you can avoid reaching that conclusion. What do you do when you have a governor like Jan Brewer of Arizona who supports these very repressive anti-immigration measures? This is the party, this is the party's platform. It’s so strong on anti-immigration, which can be interpreted as anti-Hispanic, that it doesn’t matter what faces they put up on the screen during the convention. The fact is on the ground, the Republicans on the ground are very, very anti-immigration, which is really anti-Hispanic.

PETERSON: When it comes to Hispanics, there is a number you have to reach if you’re going to want to be President of the United States.

KING: And then, and just to add to that, they have just written off African-Americans.

PETERSON: There were African-Americans on the podium.

KING: Oh yeah, but they always have African-Americans on the podium. Either it’s somebody singing “God Bless America,” or praying, you know, before or after. That, you know, the entertainment value’s always there for us.

PETERSON: But this time they had Cardinal Dolan of New York praying at the end.

NINA TOTENBERG, NPR: And they had Artur Davis, who is, you know, switched parties. But I think both parties love to put these flippers on, but I find them sort of unattractive when they get up there, both sides. But what’s really interesting is you did, I used to see at least some minorities on the floor. There was almost, you know, every time they went to the floor of the convention, it was an extraordinarily white group. Go to any restaurant in Fairfax County and it wouldn’t look like that.

Interesting how King and Totenberg forgot former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, Sarasota Springs, Utah, mayor Mia Love, and Jane Edmonds, the former Massachusetts secretary of workforce.

Of course, it really doesn't matter how many minorities Republicans feature at their conventions.

To folks like King and Totenberg, minorities only count when they're at Democratic events.