There's a gaping disconnect between the GOP's inclusive rhetoric and state party officials' racist behavior.
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Last month, Hasan Harnett, the state chair of North Carolina’s Republican Party, was banned from party headquarters and locked out of his email account. The party’s central committee accused him of “making false and malicious statements about other Republicans and staff,” and of attempting to divert funds. Harnett, the first African American elected to the position, questioned if the state party’s actions against him were a result of racism. “I mean seriously,” he wrote in an email to party Executive Director Dallas Woodhouse, “is this some form of ritual or hazing you would put the first black chairman of the NCGOP State Party through? Or is it because I am not white enough for you?”
The 2016 Republican presidential primary—principally, but not exclusively, Donald Trump—proves that the autopsy report is itself dead, and it occurred at the hands of the states. The GOP can never hope to attract more African Americans if it’s routinely defending itself against charges that its state officials are racially insensitive. If the party truly wishes to increase its minority support, the states will need to stop sucking the oxygen out of the room.
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