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Nominating minorities

By Ben-Peter Terpstra - posted Thursday, 17 April 2008

Michael Rowland: “Winning the Democratic Party nomination is one thing, but the big question remains: is America ready to elect its first black president?” (ABC’s AM, March 5, 2007)

Kerry O'Brien: “Is America ready to vote for its first woman President? How much more help than hindrance is it for her to have Bill Clinton at her elbow?”(ABC, broadcast June 25, 2007)

Forgetting that born-again Christians abolished the slave market, Phillip Adams writes in The Weekend Australian (August 18-19, 2007) that he feels “sorry for the Americans” because there are so many religious types. And because secularists add a lot to the gene pool. Indeed, according to Adams, the ABC’s alpha intellectual, the US “feels safer with a loony president who hears the Almighty talking to him - rather than relying on the razor-sharp insights of the disbeliever”.


Meanwhile, most Americans are happy to vote for a purple man. Or a purple woman. Yet, perhaps one should ask some alternative questions such as: Is the ABC’s 7.30 Report ready for a real black woman? And, can we - please - nominate an African Australian to replace the ABC’s Michael Rowland?

But, for history’s sake, see if you can detect a pattern here:

  • 1865: Attorney John Rock (a registered doctor), becomes the first black member of the Supreme Court bar. He is a Republican;
  • 1870: Pastor Rhodes Revels becomes America’s first black Senator. He is a Republican;
  • 1872: Louisiana gives America her first nonwhite Governor. He is a Republican;
  • 1884: John Lynch, a Congressman, becomes the first black to preside over a national convention. He is a Republican;
  • 1901: President Teddy Roosevelt upsets Democrats when he invites the first African American to dine in the White House. He is a Republican;
  • 1916: Jeanette Rankin becomes America’s first congresswoman. She is a Republican;
  • 1925: Florence Khan, becomes the first Jewess to serve in Congress. She is a Republican;
  • 1938: former President Herbert Hoover becomes the first American statesmen to rebuke Hitler in person. He is a Republican; and
  • 1964: Margaret Chase Smith (not Hillary Clinton) is the first woman to seek the White House for a major party. She is a Republican and also the first female elected to the US House and Senate.

“Ready?” It may surprise the establishmentarians, that Bush’s, supposedly backward, party is the most multiracial in world history. So, why question America’s readiness? But, in 2008, even Today Tonight is asking the question. “Is America ready?”

In one way, there’s nothing astonishing about 2008’s diverse field of candidates. On the Democratic side, they have Obama, a biracial nominee. His mother was white. His father was black. And, on the Republican side, Alan Keyes, an African American, stood up for the Republican ticket, though the major networks tried to hide him.

And in 2008, Team Republican also felt like running an Italian American and a Mormon, but chose John McCain, a disabled war veteran. And, how does Adams’ party compare?


As David Barton reveals in Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black and White:

In fact, the first 42 blacks elected to the State legislature in Texas were all Republicans. And in Louisiana, the first 95 black representatives and the first 32 black senators were Republicans. Similarly, in Alabama, the first 103 blacks elected to the State legislature were Republicans; in Mississippi, the first 112; in South Carolina, the first 190; in Virginia, the first 46; in Florida, the first 30, and the same in North Carolina; and in Georgia, 41 blacks were elected to the State legislature - all as Republicans.

That means Australia’s Labor Party is not even close to America’s Victorian-period Dream Teams. Moreover, it means that Australia’s “Dream Ticket” - or Kevin Rudd, a Howard look-alike and Julia Gillard - is a dream. Or, Mr and Mrs White Tea Table, 1778.

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About the Author

Ben-Peter Terpstra has provided commentary for The Daily Caller (Washington D.C.), NewsReal Blog (Los Angeles), Quadrant (Sydney), and Menzies House (Adelaide).

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