As long as the Republican Party continues to be dominated by the same ol’, same ol’ white male staffers, consultants, and aides, they will continue to alienate the black community. As long as the Republican Party continues to “showcase” blacks that have absolutely no connection to the black community, have no understanding of communications, or no understanding of political strategy, i.e. Stacey Dash, they will continue to be rejected. So, needless to say I was totally mortified at the comments of Trump’s former campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, as reported by Buzzfeed last week (one day after his removal from the campaign). According to Buzzfeed, “Lewandowski was asked about the campaign’s failure to return phone calls from prospective volunteers, and also about Trump’s plans to win over minority voters. On the second point, Lewandowski said he made the decision that the campaign would not launch outreach initiatives “pandering” to specific ethnic groups, because Trump’s message was aimed broadly at the entire country. If I hear one more Republican claim the Re- publican Party should not engage in “identity politics” or what they wrongly refer to as “pandering,” I am going to scream. This is one of the most idiotic notions I have ever heard and is a major reason the party has such a difficult time attracting blacks and other minorities.
Let me first start by defining “identity politics.” IP is simply recognizing that various constituent or demographic groups exist and that they should be identified as such, and that a relevant strategy to target them based on their group profile should also be created.
Many Republicans think the world should be colorblind, that we are all Americans, and that all of our issues are the same.
The Democrats go way overboard in the other direction where everything is separated into various groups. This totally dilutes what being American is all about. But to simply recognize the differences within our country is just plain common sense, not un-American. So, while Corey was denouncing “pandering,” the very next day Trump met with over nine hundred evangelicals. Is that not pandering? Oh, my bad, it’s only pandering when it involves blacks or Hispanics. If it involves evangelicals, veterans, or the border patrol union, it’s called campaigning.As one who makes his living from understanding the art of strategic communications and public relations, I have tried ad nauseam to enlighten Republicans on this issue, to no avail. McDonalds’ and Cadillac advertise to whites differently than they do to blacks or Latinos, though they are selling the same product to everyone. They will now use hip-hop music in their ads when trying to reach certain demographics versus classical music or use certain athletes/entertainers that resonate with a particular group.
Memo to Republicans: if you don’t or can’t see that you have no blacks on your staff and very few engaged with the party, then there is a problem. Either you are colorblind or simply blind to people of color. In either scenario, there is a huge problem.
Follow Raynard on Twitter @raynard1223.