African-Americans at the RNC: scarce

Dr. Michael Eric Dyson speaking in Denver last week.

Last night, during CNN's coverage of the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, commentator Jeffrey Toobin noted that the three main speakers of the evening -- former Senator Fred Thompson, President George W. Bush and Senator Joe Lieberman -- were all "old white men" whose homogenity contrasted sharply with the diversity on display at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. The numbers bear out this claim: The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that only 36 of the 2,380 Republican delegates this year are African-American -- a 78 percent decline from 2004 and the lowest number in forty years. The total makes a sign put up in Minnesota by the recent Denver visitors from The Daily Show -- "Welcome rich white oligarchs" -- seem more like dispassionate description rather than comedy.

Given the small number of African-Americans on hand, I'm guessing there are few events taking place in and around the RNC like the one viewable below -- an address by Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, sponsored by the College Democrats of America, who argues that Democratic nominee Barack Obama uses hip-hop generation methodology to present his message of change. But I could be wrong -- so if there's a "John McCain is dope" seminar getting underway this week, please let me know.

Click "More" to check out Dyson's theory. -- Michael Roberts

Here's part one:

And here's part two:

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts