As I walked into the Tampa Bay Times Forum last night, the home of the Republican National Convention, I was bombarded by the voice of the Black Eyed Peas singing “Tonight is going to be a good night!” will.i.am, Fergie and the boys were definitely not in the building, but I knew for damn sure this was a sock-hop for the Grand Old Party because there were certainly a lot of grand old people trying to stay on beat to the pulse of that club-smash. That’s how the night began. And it ended with an old guy talking to a chair. Oh, I got a feeling! I got a feeling that the Money Mitt Team were kicking themselves when gun-slinging Clint Eastwood quietly rambled on about an invisible Barack Obama and something about Oprah crying. But Mitt came out, not on his white horse which I was hoping for, and delivered a vision for America that probably sounded good to old guys who talk to invisible people in chairs.
But what was really invisible last night in Tampa was a true representation of the New America: an America that celebrates our diversity and embraces all of our citizens. When your idea of appealing to Latinos is to have a few white guys speak a few words of Spanish or hand out signs that read “Hispanics for Mitt” to non-Latinos in the Kansas delegation (I can’t make this stuff up), chances are you’re still talking to invisible people. When your idea of appealing to African-Americans is to demonize them with coded language and racist metaphors, chances are you’re still talking to invisible people. When your idea of appealing to women is to question whether rape is forcible or legitimate, chances are you’re talking to invisible people. When your idea of appealing to the gay community is to…nevermind, you’re not interested in appealing to them. There are a lot of invisible Americans to the Republican Party. That is precisely their problem. Thank you Mr. Eastwood and Mr. Romney for reminding us of that.
The party ended and the music died down, but not before the Republicans boldly claimed that they built this country, that they deserve better, that they are the only ones who believe in America and that they own this country. Dear Republicans: it’s not your country or my country. It is our country. You can’t take back what belongs to all of us. Money Mitt and his boys can celebrate all they want about how much money they can make and then ultimately make invisible in off-shore bank accounts, but no matter how rich you are, you cannot buy us! We, the New America, don’t need your money to build an America that is inclusive, compassionate and full of new ideas. An America where no one is invisible and everyone is counted! This is the America that we yearn for. This is the America that we will become! And now that the Republican party is over, tonight is gonna be a good, good night!
Michael Skolnik is the Editor-In-Chief of GlobalGrind.com and the political director to Russell Simmons. Prior to this, Michael was an award-winning filmmaker. Follow him on twitter @MichaelSkolnik