The Republican Presidential "front runners" continued tonight their season long practice of carefully avoiding every debate or speaking opportunity organized by or for African Americans.
Of course they always have their handy "scheduling conflicts" apology and strongly dismiss any hints that their absence is "racially motivated." However, their actions speak much louder than their words.
Their apologists in the media (especially Fox News) point out that few blacks participate in Republican primaries. And while that may well be true, there is a growing sense of "unfairness" that is affecting Republican primary voters. Another word might well be embarrassment.
Tonight supposed Presidential candidates Romney, McCain, Giuliani and Thompson will all skip the Morgan State University Debate in Baltimore. It seems to me that these candidates have decided to write off the Black vote. Worse, they have no intention of facing any tough questions or meaningful discussions about race relations.
Clearly they are happy to let Bill O'Reilly carry the water for them.
But what they don't realize is that many, many Republicans see this as unfair, mean spirited and demeaning. Republicans like to feel they are a fair lot. They might not get but 5% of the ultimate Black vote, bu they want to say they reached out to the minority community.
And Republicans don't want to be embarrassed by their candidates. And this is getting embarrassing.
I think most Republicans and most Americans echo the words of Kansas Senator Sam Brownback who did appear in tonight's debate: "I think this is a disgrace that they are not here. I think it's a disgrace to our country. I think it's bad for our party, and I don't think it's good for our future."
Frankly I see it as stupid.
There is no reasonable excuse for writing off 18% of the American Public. And they are close to abandoning the Hispanic vote, too. In addition to skipping the Black debates, the Republican front runners have snubbed La Raza and Univision, too.
Unless we see a dramatic change in the Republican strategies I'm predicting Hillary Clinton will win with a 40 plus state sweep.
But please keep in mind that the Democrats are also failing to behave like reasonable adults as they continue to avoid Fox News televised debates or appearances.
Of course after last night's MSNBC debate where every single Democrat front runner promised to continue the Iraq occupation at least through 2013, they may all be headed to Fox News anyway, at least in spirit.