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Tokenism

By Brian Beutler

Ta-Nehisi Coates writes:

I think [Michael] Steele has a Sarah Palin problem. Remember the silly math that had Palin giving Obama fits for the votes of women? Ultimately, that line of attack fizzled because, I’d argue, a lot of women found Palin embarrassing — an obvious token who wasn’t ready for prime-time. I think Steele is twice the politician that Sarah Palin is. But the question remains — How does he get black folks to look at him as more than a token?

I’m shocked — shocked — that anybody would call Steele a token! Why just look at this comprehensive list of elected black Republicans in the United States. If Theresa Brown can break New Jersey’s Republican political white-out by becoming Burlington County freeholder, then surely we ought to reconsider our assumptions about the overall inclusiveness of the GOP.

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