I am no expert on this issue; these are simply some of my thoughts and observations on party outreach.
I, for one, am proud of the RNC and RPV’s attempts of late to integrate real outreach into our party. Better late than never! However, I fear that leadership believes that appointing a few “outreach directors”, or having a diverse speaking lineup at the various conferences and conventions will suddenly fix all of the issues the party has had with minorities for so many years – It has not and it will not. Truthfully, having a diverse speaking lineup and appointing all kinds of “outreach directors” is great, but it is nowhere near a game plan for being competitive with minorities again.
What also needs to be done is the hard work, beginning on the local level. As a party, we must begin showing up at community meetings and NAACP meetings; start attending any and all events in the predominately black communities – In other words, putting your actions where your mouth is, while proving to minorities that we actually do care about them and actually do care about expanding and having them in our party.
We also need to cut out the loose lips around the fringes that are so quick to just assume and state that minorities vote Democrat because they want a “freebie” or a “handout”. When things like this are said, it just contributes to the view that Republicans think minority voters are dumb, can’t think for themselves, and just vote to get their “benefits”. The voices saying this crap will never be a part of diversifying the GOP, just discouraging it and turning off minority voters. Seriously, cut it out.
Now there is a very fine line we all must walk of pandering vs. outreach. Do we want to win their votes just to get elected, or are we actually concerned about adding some flavor to the party? I for one want to add some flavor and diversity to the party, but, that will only come about with the hard work! We must not only put in this work, but we must be sincere in our so doing! It is very easy to tell the sincere apart from the insincere.
Obama and the Democrats won the black vote by over 90% in 2012. That tidal wave of support will not change overnight, but we must begin the hard work right now, so that maybe, just maybe, in the coming years, we will win more than just single digit percentages of the hearts and minds of minorities in our Cities, in Virginia, and in America, and convince them that we are sincere about outreach.
Let’s get to work!