President Obama is obviously taking the black vote for granted -- as a given, and as in the bag. So says a CNN report of July 23, 2012.
“Given that an overwhelming number of African-Americans consistently support Obama, some have openly wondered if the nation’s first African-American president is taking them for granted. And if he is, is that a risk he can afford to take. The answer appears to be yes.”
Obama garnered 95 percent of the black vote in 2008, and now stands at 87 percent. It's a safe bet that by November, that total will again have risen to 90-plus percentage points.
Fredrick Harris is a professor of political science at Columbia University and director of its Institute for Research in African-American Studies. He said in that same CNN report: “Well, I think, he can afford to take black voters for granted. No other constituency gives that large a percentage of its vote to the Democratic Party.”
Under President Obama, black people's socioeconomic position has declined more so than any other group. Indeed, they have and continue to disproportionately endure:
1) ongoing structural and institutionalized poverty;
2) year after year of record-high unemployment;
3) constant, unrelenting housing discrimination;
4) forced educational deficits;
5) burgeoning mass imprisonment;
6) rampant and out-of-control killings in black communities nationwide, but especially in his “hometown” of Chicago; and
7) relegation to permanent underclass and bottom caste status.
That's quite a list.
As each of these negatives has reach a new low under Obama, black people have apparently been forced to the sidelines to watch -- without comment, question, or complaint -- as the president publicly, proudly bends over backwards to address the concerns of virtually every other identifiable “special interest group” which has demanded his attention.
That list extends from Wall Street bankers and corporate financiers, to gays both in and out of the military, to “legal” and “illegal” Hispanics, and to white liberal women. Yet blacks continue to give him their undying, full-throated support.
The question, then, is this: Given the reality of both of these lists, why do black people consistently, unwaveringly support this man? The answer is deeply rooted in America's 500-year-old legacy of oppression against black people. It is also tightly wrapped around the current obvious white racism and white supremacy displayed against Obama by right wing “conservative” Republicans and a considerable number of so-called “Blue Dog” Democrats.
Yes. Black support for Obama is emotional, historical, and, indeed, racial. But it is not “racist.” Since the passage of the15th Amendment to the Constitution (1870), blacks have voted for and against each and every white president up to and including Obama's immediate predecessor, George W. Bush. Blacks were overwhelmingly supportive of the Republican Party ("the party of Lincoln") until Franklin Delano Roosevelt, a Democrat, ushered in the New Deal and policies and practices designed to help "the little guy." That is when the black tide to the Democratic Party began to come in.
The black vote goes to the candidate whom black people believe will address their issues, just like the votes by people in any other group. That Obama has not done so in his first term has led many black people to “hope” that given a second term, when he will not have to worry about “the next election,” a “change” will occur, and he will finally pay attention to them, by far his most loyal supporters.
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Voxunion.com, Article: “The Arrest of Dr. West,” by Herbert Dyer, Jr.