In an effort to reach out to minority communities, the Republican National Committee released an iPhone and Android application today that helps its members find new black and Latino friends.
The new app – named Darkbuddy – accesses your Facebook social graph and searches friends-of-friends and their friends for minorities. It then presents a list of potential new “buddies” to the user and encourages them to make contact.
Chris Terreblanche, Chief Diversity Officer for the Republican Party explains the app is designed to improve communication between Republicans and minorities:
“Darkbuddy is part of the GOP’s cutting edge social media strategy. We want to start a conversation with the Afro-Americans and the Mexicans. We saw the election result. We recognize our brand is suffering. So lets talk about it.”
“Let’s show minorities that we’re not just a faceless agglomeration of retrograde, racially insensitive policies. We’re a group of patriotic Americans trying to do what’s best for everybody.”
Why Can’t We Be Friends?
Darkbuddy was released last night on the iTunes and Google Play stores. So far it has received an astounding 20,000 downloads, mostly from core GOP supporters in southern states. Despite the app’s instant success, reports have been flooding in from minorities across the country who disapprove of its tactics:
Devall Jones, a black graphic designer from Brooklyn, NY says he’s not a fan of the application:
“Yeah I got this random message from some white guy in Alabama. He apologized for slavery, and then he tried to convince me that Obama is worse than slavery. Whatever.”
Michael Peterson, a equities analyst from Connecticut, had a similar reaction:
“Somebody sent me a message yesterday saying he could get me a job at a Christian book store in Kentucky so I could get off welfare. I don’t know what the hell he’s talking about. I went to Andover and Tufts and work at a hedge fund.”
Sue Jackson, an unemployed cashier from Detroit, MI had an even worse experience:
“I signed into Facebook and some Confederate-looking mutherfucker messaged me with an invite to a gun rally. I said to myself ‘Hello No!? There ain’t no way I’m standing in a field full of pissed-off Southern white people with assault rifles. I’ve seen that movie before. The black chick fucking dies. ”
Notwithstanding the criticism, RNC chair Reince Priebus defends the controversial application as a vital outreach tool:
“In the last election we lost the youth vote and the minority vote. Darkbuddy kills two birds with one stone.”