An MSNBC host dismissed the Republican National Convention as a “modern-day minstrel show” for featuring so many black conservative speakers during a Sunday segment on “AM Joy.”
Tiffany Cross, who was guest-hosting for Joy Reid, characterized the inclusion of minority speakers as an attempt by the Republican Party to make its mostly white base feel less racist.
Cross’ statement was preceded by a video montage of speakers including Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, and former NFL star Herschel Walker.
“That was not a ‘Saturday Night Live’ sketch,” Cross said. “Welcome back to ‘AM Joy.’ I’m Tiffany Cross. If you watched the Republican National Convention last week, you’d almost think that the Republican Party was the one welcoming people of color, given the big display of diversity. The convention featured more than a dozen African-American speakers alone.”
“But don’t be fooled that the party of Trump has suddenly warmed to the same people that Trump’s policies and sometimes his rhetoric directly harms,” Cross continued. “As friend of the show Elie Mystal wrote so eloquently in The Nation, ‘Republicans invited a cadre of professional black friends to validate Donald Trump and make white people feel a little less racist while still very much supporting white supremacy.’ I mean, I watched the Republican convention, and seeing the slew of black speakers that they had, it really did look like a modern-day minstrel show to me.”
This writer’s perspective
What would members of the media have said about the Republican National Convention if there had only been white speakers? Many of them probably would have criticized the event as being racist for ignoring minorities. Now, when they invite too many minorities, they’re accused of only doing so to make white people feel less racist.
Cross’ attack hits the minorities themselves more than the alleged racist white people who arranged for them to speak. To speak at a national party convention is a significant honor, and there were some genuine and powerful moments, including the speech from Alice Johnson, who received a full pardon from the president the next day.
To call it a “minstrel show” is a needlessly nasty and insulting way for Cross to make her point, but it was clearly intentional. Minstrel shows, which date back to the early 19th century, featured white performers in blackface, and Cross’ attack is just another version of what Democratic nominee Joe Biden has said — if you’re not a Democrat, you ain’t really black.
(H/T: The Daily Wire)