MINNEAPOLIS — Just 36 African-American delegates are at the Republican National Convention this week. Four are from North Carolina.
So it was no surprise that the delegation tackled race at this morning's breakfast, especially in a year with an African American on the presidential ballot — albeit for the other side, Barb Barrett reports.
State GOP chairwoman Linda Daves told delegates the party should do more to reach out to African Americans, but she praised the black attendees in the delegation. Among them are Tim Johnson, chairman of the Buncombe County GOP party, and Ada Fisher, who has just been elected to the Republican national committee for the state.
Also attending as a guest is William Owens, Jr., of Fuquay-Varina, who stumped at this morning’s breakfast for his new, $17 book, "Obama: Why Black America Should Have Doubts."
"I want to say to my white Republican brothers and sisters, if you ever want to understand why African Americans are supporting Obama, you should read this book," he told the group. Owens said that once America deals with racism, then blacks can get past a "victim mentality."
Former Sen. Bob Dole also was at the breakfast, and he reminded reporters that he was the Senate majority leader when the Martin Luther King bill passed declaring a national holiday.
"That wasn't Ted Kennedy; it was Bob Dole," Dole said. But he, too, said the Republican party needs to do more to recruit people of color.
"We can't be one color, one ethnicity," Dole said. "This party, we've got to be a party of diversity."