Saturday, January 23, 2021

Yep Vying for the Black Vote.

March 26, 2013 by  
Filed under News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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( The push for the Black vote is on. Black folks are back in style. Black is beautiful again! Since the last election, the mantra has become, “Get more ‘minorities’ to vote Republican;” and Black voters are at the top of that list. Yes, they want to increase their Hispanic support, but the African American vote is ripe and ready to be harvested by just the right message given by just the right messengers. Wow, that sounds familiar; don’t the Democrats have that same strategy? They trot out a couple of spokespersons to soothe us with convincing platitudes that have kept us in their corner for decades.

Now the Republican sleeping giant has finally awaken, and it is ready to do whatever it takes to regain Black voters’ confidence and support. They have launched a new Black political role model into the limelight; he is an icon among Black people, a hero, Horatio Alger personified, and his name is Dr. Ben Carson. He was the darling of the CPAC convention and is the new love of Sean Hannity’s life. Fresh off his in-your-face, Mr. President, speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, Carson has decided to quit medicine and pursue “other” interests. The Republicans are already drafting him for the 2016 Presidentialblackvoters-blackcandidates race.

To rub salt into the wound, some Black commentators and columnists are suggesting that Black voters should seriously consider moving from the Democrat plantation to the Republican plantation, and Chairman of the Republican Party, Reince Priebus, has a plan to make that happen; so does Rand Paul. Both of them have said Republicans must get more Black people to remember what their party has done for us, and bring us back into their “big tent.” Yes, we are definitely in vogue these days.

The question is: What are we going to do with our new found popularity? Just like they say in that bank commercial, the same applies in politics. When political parties compete – for your votes – you win. I wonder what the Democrat response will be to this Republican incursion. After 75 years or so of Black voter loyalty the battle lines have been drawn by Priebus, who has set out to do what Michael Steele could not do with “fried chicken and potato salad:” get more Black folks to vote Republican.

Why is it always an either/or choice between Black folks being a Republican or a Democrat? It seems to me that Black people, especially, should always be independent and willing to support either party if, of course, that party addresses the interests and needs of Black people. Notwithstanding the opposing arguments regarding what Presidents Lincoln, Eisenhower, and Nixon did for Black people versus what Presidents Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Johnson did, we should base our voting on interests rather than parties. Our unique position and genesis in this country demand political independence rather than political allegiance to anyone or any party. It’s all about reciprocity, and the last time I checked, Black people have yet to receive even a reasonable return on our investment in the U.S.

Our American experience is unique. No other group has committed so much to, worked so hard for, fought and died in wars for America, and received so little in return. Other groups did not go through what we went through, and our right to play in the political game was bought and paid for hundreds of years ago. However, this is still, above all, a capitalistic society, and economics rules the day. If we take care of business in the economics arena, the political arena will be easy pickings.

Heed the words of T. Thomas Fortune, Journalist and co-founder of the National Negro Business League: “No people ever became great and prosperous by devoting their infant energies to politics. We were literally born into political responsibility before we had mastered the economic conditions which underlie these duties.”

His message is clear. We are not even in the political game because we do not use our political leverage to get what we say we need. All we get back from our “precious” votes is a good feeling, which could be characterized as having sex rather than making love. Black people are in love with our political party; and our party is just having sex with us.

We had better wake up from our infatuation with political parties, and understand that they only want us for one thing: our votes. Of course, they would also like our campaign donations, but we certainly aren’t trying to hear that. Black people must be more politically independent, and stop letting the talking heads and so-called leaders, both Black and White, steer us toward one party over the other. We will be more politically effective if we leverage our votes with those who espouse and support our interests. If we can’t do that then we should at least be present at both tables in large enough numbers to have a positive impact on each party’s agenda. Right now, the reference to Black people being made by either major party is related to our votes, not our progress.

Remember: In politics there are no permanent friends and no permanent enemies, just permanent interests.

Written By James E. Clingman

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4 Responses to “Yep Vying for the Black Vote.”
  1. alberta says:

    I remember when tony brown said 40 years ago black folk should be in both parties. in this day age it makes no difference and truth be told all parties including the independent party has baggage we tend to look for the one shot in the dark deal the silver bullet instead of a 101 politics course, I think the author would of been better off addressing that instead some false fantasy about because we see ben carson at a gop function then we all will follow suit.

  2. Mwinyee says:

    In light of the GOP agenda of late, I actually find this article kind of amusing. With all of the gerrymandering, voter I.D. laws, re-districting and flat out stripping of the ‘Black’ vote to replace them with EFM’s (as evidenced by Rick Snyder in Mich.,) why would anyone ‘vye’ for something that is essentially, non-existent?

    I do agree however that our community should ‘wake up’ to this poiltical system. Like it or not, we are not a factor in this system, we are simply ‘factored-in’.

  3. art says:

    pre ww2.

  4. art says:

    you have got to be out of your mind if you think the gop is going to start courting the black vote, hispanics in certain geographical locals in the usa maybe, because they are the growing population. the gop hasn’t had a real relationship with the black community since post ww2. Black america is at a cross roads to where does it fit in america in this century, and your gonna say the gop is gonna run to blacks for votes now after losing 2 presidential elections? are you serious? who would you run to the up and coming or the one with less numbers? this sounds like a sales pitch that will fool those who are still chasing to dead ends.

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