GUEST COLUMN: Colorado has ignored Black Republicans

By: Derrick Wilburn
August 28, 2016 Updated: August 29, 2016 at 2:42 pm
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Right now, something historic is happening in Colorado - the rise of conservative black Republicans. Yet few other than those carefully paying attention are aware that the Republican Party is literally making U.S. history in the Centennial State because local and national media have placed the story on blackout. (Pun intended.)

The liberal-leaning or so-called "mainstream" news media are fascinating. They rail, "Republicans have no black people," then when some of us blacks become, reach out to and/or try to work with the Republican Party, they ignore or under-report it, thus keeping their own narrative alive. Could it be those same voices really don't want to acknowledge black Republicans exist because they're more invested in keeping a lie alive than in reporting truth and facts?

The Denver Post is the largest newspaper in our state. I was elected to my current position as state GOP vice chairman in March 2015. A black American elected in a landslide by a 98 percent white constituency. Not once in the year and a half I've held this office has the Post contacted me for a story, sought me for a quote, placed my picture in their pages or so much as bothered to ask a question. I'm the sitting party vice chair, and as far as the Post is concerned, I don't exist.

Casper Stockham is a black American and the Republican nominee to represent Colorado's 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He's not a maybe or a wannabe; he is on the November ballot and has been campaigning for over a year! To date, the Post has featured but one hashtag on Stockham in its quite robust online presence and given him one mention in its daily pages - that mention was in the midst of an article about his opponent, a 20-year incumbent Democrat.

Here is a young man right in their backyard running on a major party ticket seeking to represent the paper's home city. Yet the Post sees no importance in informing its readership about their own congressional race? Not when there's a black Republican involved.

Retired after 21 years of service in the Air Force, Lt. Col. Darryl Glenn is a lawyer, sitting county commissioner in El Paso County, the Republican candidate for U.S. Senate and another black American. The Post has managed to find time to cover Commissioner Glenn. Last month, the newspaper ran a scathing, overt hit piece wherein it traveled back in time more than 30 years to when Glenn was a teenager and attempted to pin an assault charge on him from 1983. No stories about service to his nation, nothing about his education, which includes having acceptance into and graduation from one of the most demanding institutions in the world, the United States Air Force Academy, then having put himself through law school at night. Nothing about his massive margins of victory in past elections where his predominantly white Republican constituency has handed him 80 percent of their votes. None of that. Just a story dredging up (non)history, depicting how mean and unpredictably brutal the scary black man is. Not to mention the fact that just to win the nomination, Commissioner Glenn had to defeat another black American, Ryan Frazier, in the Republican primary.

This is the tolerant, open, inclusive left that just loves blacks - so long as those blacks toe the company line. If we don't, they're more interested in stories about cats stuck in trees.

For all the time media outlets like The Denver Post, ABC News, The New York Times, MSNBC, CNN, etc. invest into the "Republicans can't attract blacks" rhetoric, you'd assume they'd be descending upon our state and candidates like flies onto spilled Pepsi. One would think they'd be requesting statements, showing up with reporters and photographers at campaign events, running exposés on our lives, asking about our beliefs. You would image that even the lowliest of writers and producers could see that this novelty exists on a unique level of newsworthiness. We have a situation in Colorado never before seen in the history of our nation.

But, alas, we are the proverbial tree that has fallen in the forest in complete silence because there was no one there to hear it. The three of us do not fit the narrative the media is selling, and so in their eyes we do not exist.

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Derrick Wilburn is vice chair of the Colorado Republican Party.

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