Watch Mitt Romney address the NAACP above [Video credited to NAACP]

Governor Mitt Romney was invited to speak before an audience of NAACP members at an annual convention on Wednesday, offering his plea for their support in November.

He was respectfully received and inspired polite, reassuring applause at first, but it was the pledge to repeal Obamacare that led to his swift demise.

The audience proceeded to “boo” him for 14 seconds, which I’m sure felt more like an eternity.

But the mere mention of Obamacare was not his only downfall- his controversial assertion that he would be the best president for the African-American community in light of the first black president earned mixed reviews.

NAACP Chairwoman Roslyn Brock gave a statement on the behalf of the organization, concluding, “Unfortunately, much of his agenda is at odds with that which the NAACP stands for, whether the issue is equal access to affordable health care, reforming our education system, or the path forward towards marriage equality.”

However, if you ask Romney, the hospitable standing ovation at the end of his speech, coupled with the support of an ambiguous group of “black leaders,” signify the start to growing his support among blacks.

There are conspiracy theories circulating that argue Romney wanted to get booed, spoke beyond his audience on purpose- that he was actually speaking to his conservative right base outside the room in order to show his policies won’t simply bend to the will of the black community.

But this theory is far-fetched, as he has no reason to rile up that base any longer- he’s got the nomination, so he’s got them already.

Mitt Romney clearly made attempts to portray himself as an inclusive candidate too often to validate such theories.

For instance, he implored the audience to “look into his heart,” to trust his good intentions for the country and for African Americans, specifically.

He explained, “I hope to represent all Americans of every race, creed and sexual orientation; from the poorest to the richest and everyone in between.”

He tried to talk to them and not beyond them and was successful for a time. But it was the hostile language of the word “Obamacare-” a derogatory term created by its opponents on the right that was an absent-minded, insensitive and personal dig at the president who most of the audience supported in 2008.

Had he stuck to the official title of the health care bill, continued on to say why it should be repealed and what bill would take its place, he would’ve garnered a much more positive response.

It was a matter of respect, not only to the president, but the representatives of a community that largely approve and benefit from the provisions implemented by the ACA.

Regardless of Romney’s language blunder, his speech left much to be desired.

In true Romney fashion, he stuck to vague generalities, leaving his speech empty of any specific policy details.

No details on how a replacement health care bill would function or how education in the impoverished communities would explicitly improve from his future administration.

Even so, at the very least, many would’ve appreciated some general comment on the subject of voter suppression in this country and how it’s disproportionately impacting black voters.

Or perhaps a vague mentioning that he’s aware of these voter purges going on in vital swing states across the country and has some half-hearted intention to put an end to it, despite the fact that such purges work greatly in his favor.

Maybe if he made this speech about respecting the black vote, no matter which way it goes, and not just about collecting it, it would’ve been a true success.

If the idea behind an NAACP appearance was to garner black votes, perhaps a brief discussion on their overtly challenged, constitutional right to cast a ballot is in order.


Video credited to

As if serving as president for the past three-odd years isn’t proof enough, it seems some Republicans are still interested in the Reverend Wright and William Ayers ties to President Obama.

Just to recap and make a short story shorter, Obama was a member of Reverend Wright’s church for 20 years, of which, the controversy lies in the sporadically racist and unpatriotic remarks of Pastor Wright.

William Ayers, a former member of the radical, left-winged 1970’s organization called Weather Underground had been linked to Obama in that they both served on not-for-profit committee boards in the past.

In 2008, Republicans attacked Obama’s judgment in choosing to sit under the leadership of Reverend Wright and accused him of “palling around with terrorists” for his minor associations with the reformed Bill Ayers.

For some reason unbeknown to anyone with any satisfactory level of intelligence, Sarah Palin has offered her uninspired opinion on the 2012 campaign. Her advice? Resurrect the controversies that riddled the ’08 election against Obama. And never mind the fact that they failed then, and will no doubt fail now.

Why anyone would ask the loser of the ’08 campaign as to how Romney can win in this election is beyond me, but not beyond Fox News.

Fox News anchor Sean Hannity recently had General Colin Powell (who endorsed Obama in 2008) on his show and tried desperately to get Powell to speak against the Bill Ayers and Wright associations. Needless to say, he failed.

Good old Donald Trump has chimed in as well, encouraging Romney to “go at it,” talking about the Reverend Wright attacks. And lest we forget, despite Trumps’ waltz around a possible run for president, he is not a politician. He’s a businessman and celebrity, so why his political advice is being entertained is another one for the cavemen to mull over.

But let’s entertain this argument for the briefest moment.

If Obama was an “empty vessel” as Palin puts it, and these ties have all the legitimacy that Republicans claimed back in 2008, what is that to say about Barack Obama exactly?

He’s racist against whites? He’s anti-American? He’s a terrorist himself or by way of association? What is the point of bringing up these attacks?

Because I can think of nothing more American than running for the presidential office, or giving the “OK” that initiated the demise of the leading world terrorist, Osama Bin Laden. And while Barack Obama is half black, he’s also half white, and is just as likely to be racist against blacks as he would be against whites.

But even if that’s not convincing enough, wouldn’t he have conducted an attack in his first term as president? I’ve never consulted with a terrorist, personally, but if BIn Laden were still alive, I’m sure he’d express some disappointment in an opportunity missed and consider the president terrible at being a terrorist.

Any serious political analyst will agree these sideshow issues could offer momentary advantage at best to Mitt Romney but are useless in the long run. These matter slept so soundly in their graves these past years, now it’s time to lay them to rest once and for all.

A recent discussion hosted by Fox News Channel caught my attention on the subject of the Honorable Louis Farrakhan and the appropriateness of his presence at the ninth annual African Black Coalition Conference at Berkley College. It was an event hosted by the Black Student Union on campus and garnered maximum attendance, despite petitions against his appearance.

While Farrakhan’s past writings are known for their controversial remarks and considerably racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic sentiments, the most disturbing aspect of this discussion was the lack of context afforded to Farrakhan and his audience; the highlights centered on shaming the student council for inviting him, and the audience for willingly attending. But for anyone to look at those students and condemn them for not forfeiting the opportunity to merely listen to the words of an historical black figure is simply and severely out of touch with the ever-evolving black perspective in America.

If I were given the chance to hear Farrakhan, I would’ve attended the talk, as well, and this fact makes me neither homophobic nor anti-white. The idea is mostly absurd for the simple fact that my own grandfather- once a sharecropper and migrant to the north in search of a new life- has said deplorable things certainly conditioned by his upbringing in the dawn of black civil activism, that I undoubtedly encourage him to keep within the privacy of his own home. He warns me to be cautious of the “white man” and to not be fooled by a phantom status they’ll lead me to believe that I now hold in this country. A we’ve-come-so-far-yet-not-far-enough mentality fueled by the fear that things could somehow return to their dark, inhuman roots are not in the least bit unrealistic or irrational for my grandfather and others of similar narratives. I simply brush these comments aside, listening and heavily diluting them, just as I would Farrakhan’s words. The fact is, I understand my grandfather’s perspective, as it is one I could never match, nor would I ever want to. It’s a knowledge- a seeing of things I have not seen, vivid memories of hate and restriction- a constant echoed pattern from yesterday that continue to chastise and frustrate his today.

This guilty-by-association conviction played out for Barack Obama in his 2008 campaign when it surfaced that his family had been regular members of Reverend Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ. Just like Farrakhan, Wright has preached questionable content some would consider irrelevant to religion and out of place in the pulpit. Select media heads zoned in on this relationship and attempted to color Obama as an undercover hate-monger and racist. Now, I think it’s safe to assume that every Sunday, Wright wasn’t preaching some politically, racially-charged sermon, as I confidently doubt his 250+ Christian membership, with a prioritized interest in hearing the word of God, would make such a habit of attending as they have. No one seems to consider the relative anomaly of these digressions, and most importantly, what inspires such attitudes.

There’s no excuse for racism, whether your ancestry falls onto the side of the oppressor or oppressed, but rather this is a call for tolerable consideration and appreciation of why the formerly oppressed might be resentful and above all else, skeptical even in this modern day. Those like Reverend Wright, Louis Farrakhan and my grandfather are elders to my generation and younger, and feel a duty, more or less, to maintain our guard. And furthermore, simply picking up a book and learning about black history in the U.S. is enough to inspire the building of a defense mechanism, no wild, Farrakhan rhetoric needed. But whether that guard is as strong as iron or as brittle as glass is a personal matter, so do not look to Farrakhan, look to me.