Many on the Left have described the Romney-Ryan ticket as essentially a cynical team, prepared to exploit any and all racial tension to achieve election to the highest office in the land.

They apparently know next to nothing about the history of at least half of that ticket.

Republican Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan, whose speech to the Republican National Convention recently electrified the country, and whose budget plan for entitlements can send otherwise sensible liberals into fits of rage, actually has quite a personal history with racism — not against Ryan himself, but against someone he was very close to. You see, while he was in college at Miami University in Ohio, Ryan had a romantic relationship with one of the star cheerleaders for Miami University’s Redhawks team – a driven, fitness-obsessed young woman (not unlike him) named Deneeta Pope.

Deneeta Pope, the Young Black Woman Who Paul Ryan Dated For Five Years, Revealed By Daily Mail

Deneeta Pope, pictured left

As you can probably tell from the picture, Ms. Pope herself was African-American. And to hear Ryan tell it, this prompted some ugly comments from people he thought of as his “friends.”

Deneeta Pope, the Young Black Woman Who Paul Ryan Dated For Five Years, Revealed By Daily Mail

The full picture of the cheerleading squad

“I just experienced some ugly comments, some racist views from people who I thought were friends of mine,” Ryan told Milwaukee Magazine.

Deneeta Pope, the Young Black Woman Who Paul Ryan Dated For Five Years, Revealed By Daily Mail

Pope, today

The relationship between the two lasted five years and eventually died when Ryan moved to Washington, DC. Ms. Pope, now a registered Democrat in her 40s, is now married to Michael Thompson, an IT specialist and President of a court reporter company. She has apparently endured a more turbulent love life than Ryan himself, according to the Daily Mail:

While Ryan went on to marry his Janna, Pope’s love-life has been less settled. 

She married Mark Niedzielski in 2004 but the couple split after four years. Niedzielski, told MailOnline: ‘She’s a great person, really nice, our marriage broke up because we just grew apart.’

Deneeta Pope, the Young Black Woman Who Paul Ryan Dated For Five Years, Revealed By Daily Mail

Deneeta Pope with friends

Pope married her second husband Michael Thompson, 44, three months ago. He is an IT specialist and is president of Thompson Court Reporters, a Chicago-based firm that supplies online legal information nationwide.

The newlyweds live in the Lincoln Park home that Pope bought and is situated on a leafy street in the affluent suburb.

A neighbour who asked not to be named, said, “They’re a pleasant couple and this is a great neighbourhood. Whenever I seen them, they look happy.”

Today, Pope is a realtor for @Properties in Chicago and also has her own property portfolio. Two years ago, she bought a $1.05 million four-bedroom 4.5-bath condominium in the Lincoln Park area of the city.

Thompson declined to discuss his wife’s previous relationship with Ryan. ‘She really does not want to talk about any of this,’ Thompson told MailOnline.

No doubt, uncharitable readers will see this as evidence that something ugly happened in the relationship. However, Ms. Pope apparently harbors no ill-will towards Ryan. The Daily Mail’s story suggests that she has actively shown an interest in reconnecting with him as a friend, since his political career began to take off.

Sadly, no pictures survive of Deneeta Pope and Paul Ryan together.