However, I also know that it's not true that every person of color, every multiracial person, is a Democrat. Bobby Jindal, Michael Steele, and Marco Rubio would certainly disprove this idea. Yet I can't help noting the contrast--an obvious contrast that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have certainly milked on their respective shows--between the RNC in Tampa last week and the DNC in Charlotte this week.
This is a crowd shot of the RNC 2012 -- it's a photo I found that was part of this article, "Mia Love and Susana Martinez: RNC 2012 Showcased Diversity On Stage, But Not Among the Crowd."
There is a very telling quote from the above article:
Drury Hoover, a GOP delegate from Hope, Ark., said she noticed the homogeneity of the convention crowd. "Somehow we need to attract all of the people in the country, not just what is apparently the Caucasians," she said, gesturing toward the crowd. "Because there are seemingly few of any what we would call minorities. Not many of you who are Oriental," she added, referring to a Huffington Post reporter, "not many blacks."[Aside: Yes, apparently the GOP delegate from Arkansas believes that people of Asian ancestry in the 21st century should be referred to as "Oriental" -- since I've already ranted about this in a previous blog post, I won't repeat all the ways in which this phrase is tone deaf, except that imagine if she were talking about African Americans at the RNC and instead used the phrase "Negro"--'nuff said]
So even delegates at the convention noticed the overwhelming whiteness, confirmed in part by the fact that African Americans comprised 2% of the convention attendees.
And honestly, it's not just the lack of African Americans in the crowd--it's the lack of real diversity--of other racial groups (I've seen "Arab Americans for Obama" and "Sikhs for Obama" signs), of mixed race Americans, of proud and out queer people.
So because pictures say a thousand words, I leave you with images from the DNC. I know it may be tempting to think that I've only selected images that show diversity, but if you've watched any of the DNC coverage, you'll notice that it's impossible to find a shot that is as homogenous as what was on display at the RNC. And I haven't even selected photos of the prominent speakers that have graced the stage: Gabby Douglas & Gabby Gifford both led the pledge of allegiance (different days--although I joked that maybe you had to be named "Gabby" to get this honor), Tammy Duckworth, Kal Pen, Julian Castro, Craig Robinson, Maya Soetoro-Ng, and Deval Patrick.
Finally, I just have to give a plug for the speech that Deval Patrick gave on the first day of the convention. I know the media has concentrate on more high profile speakers like Michelle Obama (who was AMAZING) and Bill Clinton (whose charisma is so strong it came pouring out of my television), but in the middle of his speech, Patrick had this to say to the DNC base--and for any Democrat, for any liberal-progressive, for anyone who truly believes that the United States is and should be a mixed race America, they're words worth remembering and living by:
"If we want to win elections in November and keep our country moving forward, if we want to earn the privilege to lead, it's time for Democrats to stiffen our backbone and stand up for what we believe. Quit waiting for pundits or polls or super PACs to tell us who the next president or senator or congressman is going to be. We're Americans.
We shape our own future. Let's start by standing up for President Barack Obama."