Michael Steele was on hand here in Indianapolis for the auspicious election of Audra Shay to the presidency of the young republicans. Besides the funky optics of Audra Shay's election, after she co-signed the racially inflammatory remarks of Eric Piker, I didn't think there was anything else particularly remarkable that occurred at the event. I was mistaken.
Michael Steele had the opportunity to speak with bloggers during his visit and was asked a question about achieving greater diversity in the GOP. Watch below for his answer:
This is an EPIC FAIL moment for Steele personally and the GOP as a party in terms of messaging to blacks and minorities in general. Steele has repeatedly been described as an articulate man, and I have no doubt that he has a command of the English language and that is why this is EPIC FAIL material. "Y'all Come"? "I've got the fried chicken and potato salad?".
For the love of God, why does Steele trade in this stereotypical language? If anybody ought to be paying attention to the language they use as they try to create a better relationship between blacks and the GOP, its the RNC Chairman. However, Steele, because he is black, clearly believes he gets a pass to play with these types of stereotypes. Didn't we just get get treated to Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor getting lectured by Cong. Grassely about how his career would be over if he had made a comment akin to her "wise Latina" statement? How is this any different? A white RNC chair would be excoriated for a comment like that, but Steele gets a pass because he's black? Steele clearly thinks so, because he uses this kind of language frequently.
The other EPIC FAIL here is that there is no plan on diversifying the party. Steele goes into this geriatric spiel about how republicans opposed slavery and if you believe in markets, freedom, blah, blah, blah, the GOP wants you and we don't care about how you want to live. All of that is really just an elaborate dodge of the question. He articulated no plan and that's because there isn't one. All there is is the same old tired rhetoric about how the GOP is really the party that supports black people and minorities in general, doled out with a generous helping of the same old stereotypes straight from the mouth of the RNC Chairman himself. I can hardly blame GOP rank and file folks like Eric Piker, or leadership such as Audry Shay or Councilman Fraggo in California for co-signing and passing on racially inflammatory material; they take their cues from Chairman Steele himself.