The Republicans are in the middle of an orgy of self-congratulation having just elected the first ever female Black Republican to Congress. Mia Love, newly elected representative of Utah’s 4th district, narrowly defeated Doug Owens on Tuesday. In that race, she outspent her opponent 7 to 1, having garnered millions of dollars’ worth of support from the New York investment bankers, the Kochs and Utah’s thriving multi-level marketing industry. This was important to the GOP. And so, on Wednesday the media took to the interwebs and airwaves to hail this important leap forward for America.
Now, ThisWeekInStupid would be over the moon if the Republican Party started addressing real problems with race in America, and we hope Representative Love will bring an important perspective. However, we thought it appropriate to point out that the GOP is about 40 years behind. The first Black Congresswoman was Shirley Chisholm, elected in 1968 by New York’s 12th district. She served there until 1983 and even sought the Democratic nomination for President in 1972. Since that time, the Democrats have elected 26 Black Congresswomen and one female Black Senator. Take a minute and let that sink in. That’s forty-six years. Babies became grandmothers in that length of time. The Beatles were still together then. There’s been a flag on the moon for a shorter amount of time than the time in which Black women in Congress only belonged to one Party.
So, congratulations, GOP. I do hope you’ll listen to Ms. Love and her perspective. But something tells me if you were really interested in being a part of progress in America toward racial and gender equality, you’d already be over here.