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Politicians are easy to hate, and even easier to hate on. They make great targets for critics and pundits alike, with everything they say being subject to anal scrutiny and over-analyzing. This is true of all politicians, but when you run for President, from your tax returns to your secretary, nothing goes unnoticed or untouched (am I right, Bill Clinton?) Mitt Romney has harboured his share of verbal onslaughts for some time now, whether for being Mormon or having ridiculously thick hair. The man shows no signs of slowing down now that he’s going toe to toe with Barrack Obama for the title of Supreme Leader of the White House.
At an NAACP speech last week, Romney was met with a torrent of boos from a sea of black voters like he was a sexy teen in a horror movie, when he stated he would do away with Obamacare should he be elected President, along with all other ‘frivolous’ spending measures (say goodbye to the weekly White House Cat Fashion Show, everybody). But Romney took what was coming to him with a smile, a smile that was probably crafted by some of the best and most expensive orthodontists America employs; because really, Romney does not care about black people. Mike Meyers looks really uncomfortable right now.
I’m not saying this because I believe it. I’m simply translating what Republicans meant when they stated that Romney was “making a statement just by speaking to the oldest U.S civil rights group.” Democratic consultant Karen Finney said, “You’ve got to credit for showing up—for being willing to go—no question.” What a revelation. It’s like when your mom tells you to include your younger siblings in a game—you do it because you have to, but really, you’re not too jazzed about it.
Yet this is right in stride with Romney’s character as a suave, elite, monstrously wealthy white man, who once said, “I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there.” Unemployment is about 14.4% among African Americans, which means there’s a lot of black voters who have free time in the middle of the day to go boo Romney, who in turn isn’t concerned about their welfare. It’s tit for tat, people.
Although Romney’s family has a history that supports civil rights, this issue can hardly be seen as decisive for Mitt in his present bid, especially with a number of voter identification laws in many states that will limit minority voting. This election is over the economy, which may sound callous, but it’s the truth. Even amidst the boos, Romney was simply imploring to the crowd that he was the man that can supply jobs, rather than the one who will work on civil rights issues. He bombed harder than Michael Richards at the Laugh Factory, and he’s sure to be met with more boos along the campaign trail, and he’ll definitely keep on smiling.