Republican Party 99% White, Behind Facade of Diversity

Common Dreams Progressive Newswire, Sep. 1

One Percent of Republican Legislators in the States and Washington are African-American or Hispanic.

The uninformed viewer watching TV coverage of this week’s Republican national convention in New York might come away thinking that the President’s party is built upon a solid commitment to inclusion of racial minorities. Once again, as it does every four years, the Republican Party is trying to portray itself as a “big tent,” with room for every American.

But a new book about America’s political divisions notes that the 99 percent of all Republican legislators across the country and in Congress are white. The national Republican Party, whose base is in the South, the Plains and the Mountain states, looks to white men as its power base and source of leadership. Even when Republican states have significant minority populations, the elected Republican representatives rarely are drawn from those communities.

The Great Divide: Retro vs. Metro America, a new look at political divisions in America by educator-entrepreneur Dr. John Sperling, calls those states “Retro America,” and notes: “Its whiteness and maleness are mirrored in the Republican Party.”

Of 3,643 Republicans serving in the state legislatures, only 44 are minorities, or 1.2 percent. In the Congress, with 274 of the 535 elected senators and representatives Republican, only five are minorities—three Cuban Americans from Florida, a Mexican American from Texas and a Native American senator originally elected as a Democrat.

“President Bush’s home state leads the way. Texas, with a minority population of 47 percent, has 106 Republicans in the state legislature, but there are 0 blacks and 0 Hispanics among them,” Sperling writes. “No major corporation doing business with the government could be so white without being subject to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) action!”

An advertisement appearing in the New York Times and Washington Post this week describes this “Retro Republican Reality.” For more information and to download chapters of the Sperling book, go to www.retrovsmetro.org.

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