NASHVILLE, TN - Former Hootie and the Blowfish frontman and current Country music star Darius Rucker, who is African-American, revealed yesterday that he is being courted by two traditionally white organizations, NASCAR and the Republican National Committee, presumably to attract a minority audience by exploiting his race.
Mr. Rucker, who is black, told a predominantly white audience at the Grand Ole Opry that he is excited about the prospect of working with NASCAR and the RNC to help them "re-brand" or "at least appear to be less hostile to minorities." Mr. Rucker has reportedly drawn the attention of these almost exclusively white groups because of his recent success in Country music, another overwhelmingly white institution.
"If Darius can win over Country music fans, known for their flag-waiving patriotism yet palpable disdain for President Obama, I am certain he will excel as the featured African-American driver in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, commented Max Siegel, head of NASCAR's clearly unsuccessful Drive for Diversity program." He added, "Like Bill Cosby and Jaleel White, Darius has the rare ability to be black, but to also be popular in a decidedly white medium."
NASCAR executives are not alone in their desire to take advantage of Rucker's popularity and race, the Republican National Committee has reportedly also been in talks with the black Country star. RNC Chairman Michael Steele, himself an African-American, confirmed the negotiations stating that he is looking forward to "deploying Darius to areas of the country that quite frankly are off limits" to Republicans. "Besides, I'm getting awfully lonely here," he added. It has been rumored, though not confirmed, that Rucker intends to return home to Charleston to run for Congress in South Carolina's First District, which his currently held by retiring white Congressman Henry Brown, Jr.
Rucker has downplayed the media attention surrounding the potential relationships. "Look, it's no secret, white folks like me. Maybe it's because my dance moves involve a tambourine, or maybe it's because my songs are more known for their twang than their slang, I don't know, but I do know that white people eat my shit up, Rucker said. "And give a man a break, Rucker's just trying to get paid like everybody else," he added, referring to himself in the third person.
Only time will tell if Rucker's outreach will prove effective for NASCAR and the RNC. When reached for comment, current Democratic National Committee Chairman Tim Kaine was clear that he was not fazed by Rucker's potential partnership with the RNC. "I'm sorry, Darius who? Jeez, since 2006 we've had Jay-Z, Kanye West, Beyonce, Will I Am, The Roots, Wyclef Jean, am I leaving anybody out? Shit, we've had Stevie Wonder perform on behalf of our Party. You tell Michael Steele he can have Hootie and all of his blowfish as far as I'm concerned. Darius Rucker, are you kidding me?" Kaine explained.
In an e-mail reply, Bill Cosby seemed indifferent to Rucker's prospects, only adding that he hopes Darius will "consider Jell-O as a sponsor for his NASCAR team." Cosby wrote, "Because everyone knows J-E-L-L-O is never J-E-L-L-slow." Demonstrating his signature humor that made white people laugh uncontrollably for much of the 1980s.