RNC: I find black people, don't get food
The 2008 Republican National Convention was officially the whitest on record
. I was trying to do a very wide range of interviews, and had done so. But one demographic seemed to be missing from the major areas, even the major press areas, such as this one:
Talk Show Row, Wilkins Auditorium
the vast majority of the press was very white, very conservative
banners read: "America's Conservative Talk Giants"
Roy Wilkins Auditorium, RNC 9/3/08
Way in the back corner, behind the curtain of the shot above, I found AirAmerica and another person of color.Davey D
of Hard Knock Radio and his own Hip Hop News
out of San Fancisco/Oakland. He had been out with the protestors for 3-4 hours and had a lot to say. I was sorry that my iPod was running out of power; I could have talked to him for much longer. (mp3, 8:13)
The next day, the last day of the RNC, everyone was in party mode. Gustav put a damper on the first day but Palin had brought some energy to the event and anticipation for McCain's acceptance speech was running high. But first, some chow, GOP style: Sumptuous and private.
Huge catered affair at the top level
only for VIPs
Xcel Energy Center, RNC 9/4/08
All the hockey arena private boxes were parties
private parties, with guards
Your credentials included the suite number
Xcel Energy Center, RNC, 9/4/08
Before the speech proper, I wandered the Xcel Center. Lots of food, all behind curtains, closed doors or with guards (all polite and many very pretty). Even though you were cleared for credentials and had to go through several layers of security just to get inside the arena, paranoia vied with excitement as the main emotion of the evening. I wasn't sure whether they were more afraid of someone disrupting McCain's speech (which happened) or someone copping a few shrimp (which didn't).
Ah, finally, a black person with credentials to get into the arena to watch the speech. Not a delegate, but a guest. And not just a guest, but an author!William Owens, Jr
, author of Obama, Why Black America Should Have Doubts
. He was doing a brisk business selling books up in the private box section, in the well-traveled ring around that level. (mp3, 4:54)
Just a few more left! Hope you all are enjoying the coverage, however delayed.