One of the most recognizable Black conservatives whose blind allegiance to all things GOP was recently fired by the Republican National Committee (RNC) and now the right-wing political organization won’t say why it parted ways with a man whose commentary is so divisive that he was once labeled a sellout on national TV by a fellow Black Republican.
While it was unclear exactly when Paris Dennard lost his job, the now former mouthpiece for the RNC who worked as its national spokesperson as well as its director of Black media affairs tweeted on Saturday afternoon that his “season at the RNC has come to an end.” Ever the team player, Dennard had nothing but kind words and encouragement for his now-former employer and colleagues at the RNC.
“I respect their decision,” Dennard added in the tweet, suggesting that it was not his choice to move on from the RNC.
When reached for comment, RNC Chief of Staff Mike Reed wouldn’t say why (or if) Dennard — who RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel praised when he was hired in 2020 — was fired.
“Paris Dennard no longer works for the RNC,” Reed said in a statement emailed to NewsOne. “We don’t comment on personnel matters.”
Of course, the RNC eagerly provided comments to the media about Dennard’s newfound employment more than two years ago, when McDaniel said the RNC was “thrilled for Paris to officially join our team.” At the time, she called Dennard “a great leading voice” that would help the RNC “expand our presence in black communities.”
So what changed?
Dennard’s anti-Democrat rhetoric was as strong as its ever been, especially in recent weeks, as shown by the steady stream of RNC emails sent to NewsOne that claim to promote Republican ideals that are beneficial for Black America.
The decision to fire Dennard likely has nothing to do with his alleged past as a sexual predator while working in a college environment several years ago. After all, it had been widely reported in the year prior to the RNC hiring Dennard that Arizona State University terminated his employment over claims of sexual misconduct, including in one incident telling a graduate he wanted to have sex with her and “pretended to unzip his pants in her presence, tried to get her to sit on his lap, and made masturbatory gestures.” The 2014 Arizona State report also claimed Dennard didn’t deny the accusation but said it was just a joke.
The report claimed another woman said Dennard touched her “neck with his tongue” and “came up behind” her “and whispered in her ear that he wanted to ‘f—’ her.” The report claims Dennard admitted to this inappropriate behavior.
Dennard was placed on administrative leave in the fall of 2014 and was “involuntarily separated” in early 2015.
In response to the report, the Washington Post reported that Dennard said “he had not seen the full report and ‘was led to believe’ it was ‘sealed and proprietary.’” Dennard also added, “I cannot comment on items I have never seen regarding allegations I still believe to be false. This is sadly another politically motivated attempt to besmirch my character, and shame me into silence for my support of President Trump and the GOP.”
At the time, that report led to CNN — for whom Dennard was working as a talking head — placing him on leave.
It was also at CNN where Dennard famously mocked former President Donald Trump firing Shermichael Singleton, a Black conservative, from the White House. Singleton responded by asking where all the Black people in Trump’s White House were before Dennard — in what has become a pattern — went all out protecting a man who is widely regarded as being racist.
“I may have been fired but at least I have respect for my community,” Singleton fired back. “I’d rather have respect than be a sellout!”
As the Republican Party continues trying to make inroads with Black voters, and as polling numbers show that fewer Black voters are supporting President Joe Biden, perhaps the RNC took Dennard’s reputation in Black America into consideration and decided his rhetoric was just too extreme.
Probably not, though.
This is America.