Trending Topics

Michael Steele Just Found Out He Was the ‘Token’ Black Guy of the Republican Party

Former Republican National Committee chair Michael Steele had choice words for a CPAC official this week who alleged Steele was only elected to the position because of his race.

The controversy unfolded Friday, Feb. 23, after Ian Walters, Communications Director for the American Conservative Union, suggested the RNC only selected Steele in response to the nation electing its first Black president, Barack Obama.

“We were sort of lost as a group,” Walters told conference-goers at the Reagan dinner. “We had just elected the first African-American president, and that was a big deal … and it was something we were all proud of. And we weren’t sure what to do.”

“In a little bit of cynicism, what did we do? This is a terrible thing — we elected Mike Steele to be the RNC chair because he’s a Black guy,” he added. “That was the wrong thing to do.”

Steele seemed to be the only one shocked by the insinuation and didn’t take too kindly to Walters’ claims. During an interview with MSNBC’s Joy Reid, the longtime Republican said he had one of those “what the ???” moments upon hearing what was said about him.

“I’m surprised that people in the party still feel this way and look at the contributions that anyone would make to the party through the prism of race,” he said. “It’s unfortunate, it’s stupid … I hope it’s not a reflection of the leadership of CPAC.”

Steele said he felt the comment was a reflection of the nation’s political climate and expressed concern over the Republican party’s comfortability in expressing such racist views.

“We have allowed this element to have a voice, we have given countenance to it, we have given it the space to express itself,” he added. “There is no taking that back. You can’t deny that that has been freed up.”

Social media critics, however, argued that racism among conservatives has been an open secret for some time now, suggesting Steele should be unsurprised.

Back to top