Black GOP opportunism: Why Stacey Dash’s Romney endorsement struck a chord

Opinion

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Stacey Dash (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images)

Stacey Dash (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images)

Actress Stacey Dash is voting for Mitt Romney. For those who may be too young to remember, Dash is best known for starring in the seminal 1990s film Clueless, where, alongside Alicia Silverstone, she portrayed a fairly dim high school student learning lessons about life and love. Since then she’s done… not much of anything worth mentioning, aside from starring in the first season of the critically-panned VH1 original series Single Ladies, a show she quit after reports of tension between her and co-star LisaRaye.

In fact, her endorsement of Romney for president is the most noteworthy thing on her resume in more than a decade.

And it really isn’t a big deal. At all. Celebrity endorsements of political candidates in general aren’t important. The only reason this is news is because the backlash Dash received after her endorsement made the rounds via Twitter. Fans simply couldn’t fathom why, in a year where the Republican party has made it quite clear they have no regard for the rights of women or the respect of people of color, a woman of color would choose to publicly back the Republican presidential candidate.

“You’re an unemployed black woman endorsing @MittRomney. You’re voting against yourself thrice. You poor beautiful idiot.” wrote one tweeter, and they were not alone in expressing their disbelief, or in some cases rage at Dash.

It’s true, there are plenty of self-identified black Republicans. We’ve had enough discussions among ourselves and in the media for everyone to know that we, as black people, are not a monolith and we do not all think and/or vote alike.

Even when the polls showed 0 percent African-American support for Romney, we knew the GOP candidate wouldn’t receive zero black votes, it was just that statistically whatever number he did receive wouldn’t matter.

We’re accustomed to prominent black Republicans. Former NBA player and now television analyst Greg Anthony is one of them. Dating back to at least his college days, Anthony has been a member of the Republican party. But in 2008, he, like a number of black Republicans, voted for Barack Obama. This year, Anthony is voting for Romney, going as far as to record a commercial for the candidate in which he says he “lost faith” in Obama.

Anthony has long been a Republican, however, so it isn’t so strange he would want to vote for and/or public endorse their candidate. We have known black Republicans, so the idea that Stacey Dash may be one isn’t strange either.

Even still, something in the Dash endorsement reeks of opportunism.