In the latest failure of the GOP’s Rebranding campaign, the RNC dispatched Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) to Detroit last week for the opening of a new African-American Engagement Office. Yet even in a city that is approximately 83 percent African-American, American Bridge’s footage from an event at the Grace Bible Chapel shows Paul’s audience to be predominantly white.
As reported by the Huffington Post, “the launch event put into stark relief just how much work the GOP has to do.”
While the GOP’s outreach won’t be taken seriously without a significant recalibration of policy priorities, the choice of Paul as designated emissary to minority communities suggests a particular hollowness in their efforts. Earlier this year, Paul gave a condescending speech to the students of historically-black Howard University in which his revisionist history of the Republican Party and racial politics conveniently omitted the previous 50 years. During that speech, Paul also lied about his previous remarks opposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
So long as a significant element of the Republican Party continues trying to scapegoat minorities, suppress their vote and advocate for policies that are harmful to their community, it’s understandable that these Americans have no desire to hear what Republicans have to say.