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News Media Blind (Again) to GOP Racism

 

The news media have failed once again to report a significant story about an example of the racism always so obvious at Republican National Conventions.

That story this time is not about the usual paucity of black delegates participating in the GOP’s quadrennial presidential candidate nominating confab (evident to anyone viewing video of the convention floor) or about Republican leaders lamely decrying Democrats for "falsely" claiming the GOP exploits racial prejudice.

Rather, the story persistently missed by mainstream news media this time concerns the failure of the GOP to include black-owned businesses in the economic opportunities arising from its nominating convention.

This exclusion belies the GOP proclamations that it is a champion of both business opportunity and of even-handedness.

The recently concluded Republican National Convention in Tampa Bay pumped an estimated $153-million into that region’s economy.

However, very few black businesses around Tampa received any revenue from RNC-related expenditures.

The presidents of the Tampa Bay Black Chamber of Commerce and the Sun Coast African American Chamber of Commerce both said economic exclusion ruled at Tampa’s RNC event.

Black faces were hard to spot at the GOP Convention in Tampa, even among concession businessesBlack faces were hard to spot at the GOP Convention in Tampa, even among concession businesses

 

“There was no big tent of inclusion,” said Tampa Bay Black Chamber head Willis Bowick. “The RNC had no real outreach to black businesses here.”

David Venson, president of the Sun Coast African American Chamber of Commerce, said a few blacks businesses received contracts, mainly food service, but it was very minor.

“The RNC provided opportunities to white-owned businesses first. There were very limited opportunities for blacks, and those opportunities were not even made available until the last minute,” Venson said.

Bowick and Venson were interviewed a few hours before Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, esponding to a question about charges of racism consistently leveled agaiinst the Republican Party, told CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley that he supported “civil rights and equal opportunity.”

Tampa Black Chamber head Bowick voiced a belief held by many blacks that both the Republican and Democratic parties “take advantage of the African American community…”

The exclusion of black owned Tampa Bay businesses from that recent RNC paralleled the black business exclusion that was evident during the 2008 RNC in Minnesota –- exclusion which was also overlooked by the mainstream media at the time.

Only the black-owned Minnesota Spokesman-Reporter newspaper reported on that 2008 black business exclusion.

“None of that convention money trickled down. We have significant businesses that could have benefited that didn’t,” Spokesman reporter Charles Hallman said in an August 2008 interview about his coverage headlined: “Republican Convention Host Committee overlooks Black businesses.”

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