Insight News

Feb 11th

The Necessity of the African American Vote in 2012

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w vote necessityMore and more each day we hear media discussion of the importance of the Latino vote to President Obama in order to win the November election. There has also been a growing discussion on the emergence of Asian or Pacific Island vote as the number of people immigrating to the United States and being sworn in as naturalized citizens increases.

We also know that the Republican Party and the Tea Party Activist are making every effort to reclaim the white Moderate and Conservative voter as a means of increasing the votes against President Obama. Voter education dollars and voter registration dollars are being spent on the Latino vote. At the same time many of the states are seeking to implement Voter Identification requirements which are targeted against the Latino and African American voters who came out in large numbers to elect President Obama in 2008.

But perhaps what is missing most is the discarding of the African American Voter and the reality that Obama cannot win without the Black vote, no matter how many or how few actually go to the polls.

The Democratic National Committee historically has written off the African American vote and the Black Press by assuming that Blacks have nowhere else to go and therefore will automatically vote democratically. The Republican Party and the Republican National Committee have likewise written off these same elements—being the Black vote and the Black Press—by making no effort to appeal to either.

The reality of this coming election is that the Black voter and the Black Press must both be involved and that together they can not only influence the outcome, but also re-assert a political importance that appears to have been written off by all sides.

President Obama must understand that Black America can live with a Mitt Romney Presidency just as we did with Ronald Regan and both George Bushes; even though such an outcome would almost permanently turn the clock of civil rights achievements back at least 50 years.

But all parties must be made to understand that we are just as serious as a political block, as the Latino community is about the Dream Act. As African Americans we must for once put aside our egos and political self-interests and think collectively.

Collectivity is our power.

President Obama and the Democrats have until their national convention to prove that we are wrong. The Republicans likewise have until their convention to convince us that we are wrong about Romney and their campaign goals. Our slogan as a people must be: “No permanent friends, no permanent enemies, just permanent interest.”


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