-- Most of the speakers scheduled so far for this week's Republican National Convention in Cleveland have at least one thing in common: They're white.
Although there are still three days until Donald Trump is expected to take the stage at the Quicken Loans Arena to accept the GOP presidential nomination, the list of 63 speakers scheduled so far includes only three black people: Cleveland pastor Darrel Scott, former GOP presidential candidate and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke.
The complexion of speakers was similar at the Republican National Convention in 2012, when Mitt Romney accepted the party’s nomination for president. Of the more than 80 speakers at that convention, just five were black. So far, none of the African-Americans who spoke then are scheduled to speak at this year’s convention.
At least one of those who spoke in 2012 is skipping this year’s GOP gathering entirely. Rep. Mia Love of Utah told The Salt Lake Tribune that instead of attending the convention, she is focusing on her re-election bid and going on a congressional trip to Israel.
“I don’t see an upside to [attending the convention],” she told the newspaper last month. “I don’t see how this benefits the state.”
In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Love said Trump would need a “positive agenda” to win her support.
“You have to come up with positive agendas moving forward, especially in light of what we have seen recently with all of the tragedies and the innocent blood that has been spilled,” she said. “We need someone that will unify Americans. I am so sick and tired of the divisiveness.”
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only black Republican in the Senate, will attend part of the convention but won’t be delivering remarks as he did in 2012. He will instead be campaigning during some of the convention days — with Sen Pat Toomey in Pennsylvania on Tuesday and Sen. Chuck Grassley in Iowa on Thursday, a representative for Scott told ABC News.
Scott, who endorsed Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida in February, has denounced Trump’s comments that a Mexican-American federal judge in a Trump University case would be biased against the candidate. Scott told CNN that Trump’s remarks were “racially toxic.”
As for the 2016 Democratic National Convention next week, a full list of speakers has not yet been released, but the partial lineup includes several black men and women— most notably President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.
The Democratic convention also has scheduled a group of speakers, Mothers of the Movement, to appear alongside former President Bill Clinton. The group consists of some of the mothers of black men, women and children whose deaths have fueled the Black Lives Matter movement. They include Gwen Carr, the mother of Eric Garner, who died in a chokehold by a New York City police officer; Sybrina Fulton, the mother of Trayvon Martin, who was fatally shot by Florida neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman; Lezley McSpadden, the mother of Michael Brown, who was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri; and Geneva Reed-Veal, the mother of Sandra Bland, who died in a Texas jail after a traffic stop.
Four years ago at the Democratic National Convention, when Obama won the party’s nomination to run for a second term, 23 of the more than 100 speakers were black, including the president and his family members.