LZ Granderson analyzes race and the Republican Party

Race… it’s something we can’t just ignore, so we might as well respectfully acknowledge and discuss it.

LZ Granderson, an opinion columnist for CNN, recently wrote an article about the possibility of a black man winning the Republican nomination for President. The article starts with three examples of various Presidential candidates being asked personal questions that seemingly have little to do with their politics. This introduction to the article immediately grabbed my attention and starting his commentary with supportive facts is a good strategy. These examples demonstrate that often politicans are asked non-related questions, and a matter such as ones race/ethnicity has previously squeezed into media commentary and political discourse. So why has everyone now shied away from talking about something so monumental (and unprecedented)… a potential African-American GOP candidate?

Later in the article LZ makes a very good point about the topic of race and how frequently people are very touchy on the subject. He begins a paragraph stating, “Talking about race does not make one a racist, just as not talking about race doesn’t make it go away.” Saying this point underscores both the importance and relevance of the article’s topic, a very good strategy when trying to write persuasively. LZ’s general tone states that while other candidates are asked about personal and “non-related” issues, GOP candidate (and African-American) Herman Cain is not asked to speak about his race. It’s in the back of everyone’s mind, and likely to be a significant cause if he does not receive the candidacy, but many aren’t willing to broach the subject extensively. After stating that talking about race doesn’t necessarily indicate prejudice and ignoring it doesn’t make it disappear, LZ suggests that bringing up the race issue with the African-American Republican is overlooked is because not many think he’ll actually get the nomination. This is a bold opinion to write in the article, and consistently bringing up the reputation the Republic party has with being majority caucasian does show LZ’s liberal/democratic bias.

All in all, LZ Granderson feels that too many people are concerned with appearing offensive if asking legitimate questions about the matter of race in the presidential candidacy, and especially in the Republican party. If women politicians can be asked about the marriage, home life, and “catfights,” why can’t a black man be asked about his thoughts regarding his standing among the black community in relation to Obama’s? It’s too early right now to have a good handle on LZ’s persuasive writing style, but he does seem to add several quips throughout his commentary that add a bit of personality and humor to his opinion. For example, when stating that most everyone following the political race has thought about a possible African-American GOP candidate, he states, “You know you were thinking it, and if you weren’t you probably were not a very good student of history. Or current events.” The last sentence LZ writes does a phenomenal job both summarizing his main argument and driving home his point about the necessity of race as a topic for political discussion: “In other words, we have some real problems but we are not going to be able to ask ourselves the difficult questions that could help us fix them if the easy ones like Cain, race and the GOP are too much to handle.”


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