In October 2012, just as presidential campaigning had reached fever pitch, I was raking leaves in the front yard of my northern-Virginia home when I noticed a pack of volunteers clad in “Romney 2012” T-shirts canvassing the neighborhood door to door, engaging residents and drumming up support for their candidate. When my house was next in line, I set aside the rake and started down the driveway toward the group. They walked right past me without so much as a friendly smile or neighborly “Hello.” How curious. Returning to my yardwork, I watched as they dutifully stopped at my neighbor’s house and deposited campaign materials at the front door. And then the band made its merry way down the road.
As a black guy, I couldn’t really fault the group’s practical decision. After all, why spend time and campaign resources on me when nine in ten blacks routinely vote for the Democratic presidential nominee and when the nation’s first black president was seeking reelection? But as an American, I was furious. The message this group conveyed was that my vote — the right to cast it was one of many rights of citizenship I spent a career in the military protecting — was not worth pursuing. The snub meant they were unable or unwilling to make a case for their candidate because I had a different appearance. So much for party outreach. Perhaps I’m being too sensitive about this. To see bigotry in a run-of-the-mill slight is to buy into the prevalent but lazy narrative that the Republican party is racially intolerant — a parlor game of zero interest to me.
Read the full article HERE.