Mitt Romney has no African American support

A new NBC/WSJ poll released yesterday shows that Mitt Romney has 0 support among African American voters.

Quel surprise. To be fair, however, Republicans have fared poorly with African American voters for decades and while the GOP in previous national electoral contests made modest efforts to reach out across the divide to African American voters in the last decade, the current language in this campaign does not. By defining American (see: Anglo Saxon gaffe) and with state GOP efforts pushing for voter ID laws that disproportionately affects communities of color, it seems the GOP has abandoned any meaningful effort to connect with African American voters.

Meanwhile, on the voter suppression front, Ohio GOP Election Official Doug Priesse, in response to the criticism from democrats that the Ohio Elections Board decision to not extend early voting hours in Democratic districts said this on Sunday to the Columbus Dispatch:

“I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine,” said Doug Preisse, chairman of the county Republican Party and elections board member who voted against weekend hours, in an email to The Dispatch. “Let’s be fair and reasonable.”

He called claims of unfairness by Ohio Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern and others “bullshit. Quote me!”

Emphasis is mine. Priesse later dialed that back (not surprisingly) with a kind of non apology apology, issuing a statement to the Huffington Post that his comments were “misconstrued” and  “if my comments, either in their original form, or as repeated in other ways, have caused anyone discomfort, I regret that.”

Regrettable, indeed. In this current political climate, the desperate reversal and legal maneuvering around federal protections to the right to vote, Laura Conway wonders out loud if  1965 Voting Rights Act would pass today. An extreme thought game but like Laura, I too wonder if the protections hard fought by African Americans would survive in this batty semantic game of state versus federal rights.

I wonder how many paid African American supporters Romney/Ryan can get to Florida before they encounter flight delays.

SYREETA MCFADDEN is a Brooklyn based writer, photographer and adjunct professor of English. Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, BuzzFeed, The Huffington Post, Religion Dispatches and Storyscape Journal. She is the managing editor of the online literary magazine, Union Station, and a co-curator of Poets in Unexpected Places. You can follow her on Twitter @reetamac.

Syreeta McFadden is a contributing opinion writer for The Guardian US and an editor of Union Station Magazine.

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