Home Opinion OPINION: So much for diversifying the GOP

OPINION: So much for diversifying the GOP

Yesterday was a bad day for those Republicans who want to diversify their party. After the way GOP members of the Senate Judiciary committee treated Ketanji Brown Jackson, Republicans have lost Black women for another 25 years. And the NC GOP’s rising African American star, Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, paid for an abortion back in 1989 despite virulent anti-abortion views.

In the modern Republican Party, African Americans who work hard, play by the rules, and reach the top of their profession are people to be scorned. African Americans who are bigoted, bullying, and hypocritical are put on a pedestal. They put down an accomplished woman like Ketanji Brown Jackson and raise up a hypocrite like Mark Robinson. That’s probably not a winning formula for attracting Black voters to the GOP. 

As I watched clips of Jackson’s confirmation hearing, I cringed at the way Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz addressed her. I was taken back to my childhood in rural Anson County where I watched groups of White men treat African Americans like that. Whether those Republicans recognized it or not, they tried to make sure that Katanji Brown Jackson knew that she’s not quite their equal. I’ve seen it dozens of times. I suspect every African American, at least those from the South, saw the same thing. 

Republicans will, of course, deny it. It’s hard to pin down, but it was in the mannerism of their discourse. They were condescending in a way that indicated to Jackson, “You don’t belong here.”  They interrupted her while she was trying to answer their questions. Lindsey Graham even cursed at her. Brown shouldn’t be treated with kid gloves, but shouldn’t have been treated like that, either. And, again, African Americans watching knew it, especially women. 


As for Mark Robinson, I’ve always thought he would eventually implode. I suspect the abortion is just the tip-of-the-iceberg. He’s a man who plays to an audience and his audience is the most extreme wing of the GOP. Self-righteous bigots tend to be massive hypocrites. The strict standards to which they hold other people don’t usually apply to themselves. 

Yesterday, Republicans damaged any efforts to attract African Americans to their party. Instead of celebrating the first Black woman nominated to the court, GOP Senators were full of disdain. They showed America that they don’t value diversity and have little respect for a woman as accomplished as Judge Jackson. Even those who were respectful tried to put her into a box in which she doesn’t fit. They may not even be aware of what they did, but, I assure, you African Americans across the country know. 

Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Mills spent 20 years as a political and public affairs consultant. Republished from PoliticsNC.com.


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