Politics: The GOP candidate showed the content of his character at the NAACP convention by not pandering to blacks beset by illegitimacy, poverty, crime and joblessness — and an indifferent president who stayed away.
For refusing to pander to black voters in his speech to the NAACP convention, Mitt Romney was accused by MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell of pandering to his white base.
The speech, O’Donnell insisted, was part of a GOP “Southern strategy” used to appeal to “racial and racist voting.” Over at the Daily Beast, Michael Tomasky came unhinged, contending that Romney’s attempt to describe the plight of black Americans under President Obama’s hope and change, and offering real solutions to fixing the government that oppresses them, made him “a spineless, disingenuous, supercilious, race-mongering pyromaniac.”
Romney knew he’d be booed when he said he’d get rid of ObamaCare, the job- and growth-killing behemoth that is the fruition of the cradle-to-grave nanny state on which many people have become increasingly dependent. He knew his accurate description of minority joblessness in this third recovery summer wouldn’t bring applause. He told the truth anyway, even if it didn’t get him one more black vote, and even if the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People attendees, for whom advancement has been replaced by dependence, couldn’t handle the truth.
“In June,” said Romney, “the overall unemployment rate remained stuck at 8.2%” — but the rate for blacks “actually went up, from 13.6% to 14.4%.”
He noted that black students account for 17% of students nationwide, with 42% of those trapped in failing schools. He spoke of “neighborhoods filled with violence and fear (and) empty of opportunity.”
And on a matter that separates most black church leaders from Obama, he pledged to defend traditional marriage as the president embraces the gay version.
Romney’s speech didn’t pander to anybody.
Nor was it demeaning or insensitive to his audience. He merely pointed out that Obama’s philosophy of dependence on government was not the answer to their need for jobs, education and stable communities.
“The president will say he will do those things, but he will not, he cannot, and his record of the last four years proves it,” Romney told the dubious crowd, adding: “If you want a president who will make things better in the African American community, you’re looking at him.”
The fact is that after decades of Great Society paternalism, 72% of black births are to unmarried women; blacks, with 12.6% of the nation’s population, account for 50% of murder victims; and a young black male is likelier to be killed on the streets of Chicago than in the hills of Afghanistan.
Under President Obama, not much has changed, and much has gotten worse. Regardless of its political impact, Romney’s candor was refreshing.
Published at Investor’s Business Daily July 12, 2012.
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