There’s no record that Alaska governor and Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin uttered anything more than the obligatory complimentary congratulations to the woman that beat her out for the Miss Alaska title in 1984. The winner was Maryline Blackburn, an African American. A ritual congratulatory wish from Palin would have been about the only public acknowledgment to date from her in an instance, in this case a beauty contest, where Palin was confronted with the issue of diversity in the person of a competitor.
Since then, Palin’s record on race and diversity has been the blankest of blank sheets. The probes into Palin’s record on diversity and civil rights have almost exclusively focused on her views on gay rights, same-sex marriage and equal pay. These are crucial civil rights issues. But so are racial diversity and civil rights.
The Web site OntheIssues.org gives a comprehensive look at the positions of elected officials on the major issues based on their statements, speeches, campaign materials and policy-position papers. Palin has taken no position on immigration, affirmative action, job and housing discrimination, school re-segregation, police-minority community relations and racial disparities in the criminal justice system.
The site did list two terse positions Palin took on hate crimes legislation and cultural diversity. Both give a tiny window into the would-be vice president’s thinking on diversity and civil rights. During the 2006 gubernatorial campaign, she told the Eagle Forum that she opposed expanded hate crime legislation…