NOT A GREAT WEEK FOR GOP GOVERNORS AND DIVERSITY…. We learned late last week that new Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) has picked 22 officials for his cabinet — 17 white men and 5 white women. He’s the first Ohio governor from either party to have a cabinet lacking any racial or ethnic diversity in a half-century.
Monday was a holiday, just not the one Gov. John Kasich’s staff had on its mind.
The Republican governor issued a resolution on Monday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., except instead of recognizing the slain black Civil Rights leader on Jan. 17, 2011, Kasich signed a document that recognized him on March 17, 2011 — St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday devoted to the life of an Irish apostle.
This was obviously an unfortunate clerical error, and I suspect it was an embarrassing, not a deliberate, slight. Accidents happen, and I’m more concerned about Kasich’s all-white cabinet than his St. Patrick’s Day proclamation on MLK Day.
But it’s also a reminder that this hasn’t been a great week for Republican governors and respect for diversity. We learned late last week about Kasich’s cabinet, which was right around the time Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R), in response to NAACP criticism, said, “Tell them to kiss my butt.” And this occurred shortly before Alabama Gov.-elect Robert Bentley (R) delivered a message to his non-Christian constituents: “I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister.”
All of these developments occurred over the course of five days.
When Republicans ponder why they struggle with outreach to minority communities, they may want to reflect on these incidents.