African American Voters Get Heavy Appeals from Democrats: Should They Listen?

17 Oct

by Dr. Boyce Watkins, Syracuse UniversityScholarship in Action 

I was on the radio this morning with Rev. Jesse Jackson, Dr. Marc Lamont Hill (Columbia University Professor and host of "Our World with Black Enterprise"), Regina Thomas (former Secretary of the Commonwealth for the State of Virginia) and Charles M. Blow from the New York Times. One of the issues that came up is the fact that the Democratic Party is spending as much as three million dollars to shore up the black vote before the mid-term elections. Apparently, they suddenly realize that black voters exist, and I wouldn’t be surprised if black voters disappear from their memories again after the elections are over. By ignoring key issues in our community and suddenly appealing to black voters when it’s time to protect their power, the Democrats are coming off as frat boys who show up to a girl’s house when it’s time to get naked.
One of the profound points being made by Dr. Hill (which I backed up immediately) was the fact that the Democrats, in their appeal to black voters, have not taken the time to establish any kind of trade-off with our community. There’s been no consistent effort to directly address massive black unemployment, excessive numbers of foreclosures, disparities in the educational system, mass incarceration or any of the other issues that matter to us. Now, for some reason, the Democrats think that African Americans will forget that they’ve been forgotten.

 

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