This Single GOP Debate Tweet Says It All

by Claire Elizabeth Felter

So many Republican primary debates in, the American public was in desperate need of something — anything — to spice up their mundane evenings with the GOP presidential hopefuls. Well, on the seventh go, viewers finally got an oddball of an event. Donald Trump played hooky, Ted Cruz threatened to leave the stage, and Jeb Bush told everyone to buy his book on Amazon for $2.99. But it was actually an aspect of this campaign trail that's been there the whole time that really made the gathering of leading Republicans appear so strange. This single GOP debate tweet sums up just how unusual the seventh round turned out to be.

The tweet, which comes after the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science announced this year's Oscar award nominees, makes a spot-on comparison that proves the seventh GOP debate was likely not what most Americans would have expected. Sure, candidate Ben Carson has been present for each and every debate round, making all the events a bit more diverse than Republican debates of past presidential elections. It wasn't until the Academy's nominations were released in mid-January, however, that the irony of his presence as a GOP candidate really came through.

If you haven't kept up on the Academy Awards controversy, here's the deal for 2016: For the four acting categories, the nominees comprise a group of all-white actors and actresses. And this isn't actually the first time, since the Academy chose not to nominate any actors or actresses of color last year too, sparking the creation of the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag.

So if you're talking those 20 esteemed acting role slots (five nominees for each of the four awards), it wouldn't be all that hard to be more diverse. Seriously, the percentage just needs to be higher than zero. The number of African-American candidates running for the Republican party nomination who made it into the debates has oftentimes been just that, though: zilch. Snaps for you if you were even able to remember that Alan Keyes and Herman Cain both had their moments on the debate stage.

Hence, the level of diversity at this presidential election's GOP primary debates is way higher than usual, and a clear winner when compared to this year's Oscars.

Thursday evening's round in Iowa even saw a bit of discussion on African-American issues, a topic not often willingly discussed among GOP candidates. Responding to a question by YouTube star Mark Watson, candidate Rand Paul addressed the need for criminal justice reform and lowering the number of incarcerations of African-American males across the country.

Yes, Thursday night at the Iowa Events Center was sort of oddball for more reasons than one. But a night without Trump shouldn't exactly have you worried. That six out of seven of the candidates on stage were white, and the ratio still beat out the diversity level of one of the biggest awards ceremonies in the country should.