Don’t expect Mitt Romney to come bearing gifts to the black community when he speaks to the NAACP at their 103rd convention on Wednesday. You see, he has had a long and troubled history with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAAC), though I will give him credit for giving a speech to the mostly pro-Obama crowd. Mother Jones has an interesting article about Romney’s troubled history with the NAACP during his tenure as Massachusetts governor. Of course, like his offshore accounts and failure to release more than one full tax return, Mitt Romney will feign ignorance about the problems he has had with the NAACP — “um, it wasn’t me.”
Mother Jones: Former head of the Boston NAACP, Leonard Alkins as saying “There was no relationship between the NAACP in Boston and Governor Mitt Romney and his administration. The only time that the NAACP had any interaction with the administration and the governor was to protest when he eliminated the affirmative action office.”
In one of his early acts as governor, Romney dumped the state’s office of affirmative action and replaced it with the office of diversity and equal opportunity. In doing so, he invalidated half a dozen executive orders establishing affirmative action policies for women, minorities, veterans, and people with disabilities; diversity training programs; and equal opportunity standards for state contractors. Romney’s executive orderreplaced all of this with what was essentially a broad—and, Alkins says, “toothless”—commitment to “diversity.”
Romney didn’t inform civil rights groups about his plans before scrapping the affirmative action office, and the reaction from activists was harsh. The Massachusetts Black Caucus accused Romney of attempting to “virtually dismantle affirmative action in Massachusetts state government.”
It will be interesting to see if Mitt Romney can get some of the black vote, considering the unemployment rate in the black community inched up to 14.4% in June. Don’t hold your breath though, he still seems ill-at-ease around us. I can’t wait to hear his speech because his campaign employee’s train-wreck interview with Roland Martin this morning could be a hint of the possible fiasco his speech will be.