Sorry — the more extensive coverage we had planned didn’t quite work out. But here’s something to chew on, at least.

So CNN and the Republicans tried hard but glimpses of racism were still to be seen in the recent debate. The debate featured white men talking to white men in front of a white audience (I counted 3 black people in the live crowd, how bout you?) How white was it? Well, neither the Democratic nor the GOP versions of the debates were particularly diverse. Both featured a majority of white men. Only CNN and YouTube can tell us if that actually reflects the demographics of the thousands of videos submitted.

Of 34 total questions aired, 24 were from white men (including 2 cartoon versions) in the GOP debate. That’s 71%. For the Dem debate, counting was a little more challenging since one video aired combined video submissions from several people. Still I’d estimate 22 of 38 questions aired were from white men (I did not count the snowman as white because snow does not have an ethnicity) or 58%.

Further, there were 8 questions shown that featured African-Americans during the Democratic debate and a measly 2 in the GOP debate. Hmm.

Also, strikingly — astonishingly, no questions whatsoever during the GOP debate on:

Healthcare in America
Climate Change or Environment
Iraq Troop Withdrawal
Afghanistan and Pakistan — Resurgence of the Taliban
Racial Profiling
Voting Machines and Voting Rights
The Failure to Capture Osama bin Laden

I just don’t understand. Particularly the first 5 or 6. These are critical issues. Shame on CNN. Of the 5000 questions submitted, are you really saying that no one asked the Republican candidates about these issues? Or are some of these, like healthcare, Darfur and climate change, questions the chickenshit candidates refused to answer as a condition of participating since most Americans would be disgusted by their answers. Both debates however featuring white guys holding their guns, however. Which is interesting. Also, it seemed to me as if the Dem questions came from more folks living in urban or suburban environment as opposed to rural or ex-urban America.

Most Racist:

Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter and their giant border fences. Because the Berlin Wall worked sooo well, let’s build one here! Come on now, y’all.

Mitt Romney and his disingenuous Bush-like sneering and smirking about prouding wanting to deny high-performing long term resident illegal immigrants who want to become U.S. citizens help to go to college. Or referencing Bill Cosby while discussing black-on-black crime. Or shrugging while saying he just doesn’t question the citizenship of people working at his home even if they look different from him or have an accent. Jerk. Could Romney have been more condescending in answering the black on black crime question in talking about black fathers? No, I don’t think so.

Least Racist:

In response to this excellent and well-phrased question from a brother, Mike Huckabee who touted the high percentage of African-Americans who voted for him in Arkansas (48%!) and said why — it had to do with appointments and employment, with special programs designed to help African-Americans with healthcare issues impacting us disproportionately and being in the community long before the Oct prior to an election. Then he shocked me and broke it down for the ignorant hillbillies of his party, saying with what sounded like earnest passion, concern and frustration:

“Our party had better reach out, not just to African-Americans, but to Hispanics and and to all people in this country. I don’t want to be a part of a Republican party that is a tiny, minute and ever decreasing party but one that touches every American, top to bottom, regardless of race.”

Now you might think that a stirring, visionary message like that would be received by resounding applause and a standing ovation. Well, you could hear the crickets chirping out behind those hillbillies’ outhouses and the head/ass-scratching of confusion…Sad, really.

Runner-up for Least Racist:

Fred Thompson in response to the question on the confederate flag. I was actually heartened that at least one person really got it from the African-American point of view. Fred, you get a partially raised black gloved Fist of Justice from me at least on that question. Just partially, though.

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