MSNBC "Comedian" Who Laughed at Romney Family Adoption Defends Himself

Posted: Dec 31, 2013 3:20 PM
MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry issued an unconditional apology for the segment in which she and her guests laughed at the idea that a Romney family member adopted a minority child, but the same can't be said of her guests. Dean Obeidallah, one of the panelists and a self-described comedian, writes that he'll "apologize to the Romneys but not the wingnuts," writing for the Daily Beast:

Upon seeing the photo, I commented: “It really sums up the diversity of the Republican party, the RNC. At the convention, they find the one black person.”

My joke was about the lack of racial diversity we see at the Republican National Convention—a topic lampooned for years by comedians. Little tip to GOP: If you can fit the name of all black leaders in your party in one tweet, you aren’t racially diverse.

Mr. Obeidallah is relying on a false impression of the Republican Party that's frequently pushed by the mainstream media and MSNBC host-types. Unfortunately for Mr. Obeidallah, it's far from the truth:

Tuning in to the Republican National Convention this week, viewers could be forgiven for thinking they had switched on the Democratic convention of yesteryear, what with all the up-and-coming women and minority politicians taking the stage. It’s a contrast with Democrats, who will trot out a bunch of timeworn white guys next week in Charlotte to help make the party’s case to the nation.

As Republicans work to project the image of a party evolving with the country, they have tapped a diverse group of speakers: Govs. Susana Martinez of New Mexico, Brian Sandoval of Nevada, and Nikki Haley of South Carolina, Senate candidate Ted Cruz of Texas, Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who will introduce Romney on Thursday. Also notable is Utah congressional candidate Mia Love, who could become the first black Republican woman elected to Congress.

Now, it might be that a progressive would accuse the Republicans of tokenism. That's a pretty embarrassingly low place to reach, and it deprives these politicians of agency. I'd recommond actually talking to some of the GOP's rising stars like Nikki Haley, Ted Cruz, and Tim Scott before accusing them of merely acting as tokens for the Republican Party.

If these race-baiting progressives really cared about diversity, they'd be commending the leadership of the Republican Party for naming minorities as important spokespeople and reaching out to communities that the GOP has failed to try to reach in the past. But they don't. They care about homogeneity of thought, and think that it's not "diversity outreach" unless it supports the same pegs as the Democratic Party does.

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