“Romney has “0” support among African Americans !?”: Don’t believe the hype

 

Having grown up in the south, there was a time I never believed there were African American men who believe in ideas espoused by the likes of Herman Cain, or Allen West, or Artur Davis. Now don’t get me wrong; I do not dislike the brothers I simply was not aware of the depth of such loyalty to the ultra-right faction of the Republican agenda.

To this day I remember my first “conscious” encounter with this particular Black Republican “mindset”. I was host of a radio show in Baltimore (1986-1989) and I had heard of a young Republican brother named Allen Keys who was working either for the State Department, or the United Nations and I invited him on my show to talk about some issue I now can’t recall. I was amazed at his point of view and how different it was from mine. And, yes some of my best (Black) friends were then, and are now Republican.  I haven’t heard from him lately, but he is till out there.

Fortunately most Black Republicans I know are in the “moderate” wing of the party, or what is left of it. They remain “fossils” from the good old days of Maryland’s Dr. Aris T. Allen, J. Glen Beale, Charles “Mac” Mathias, and men like Sen. Ed Brooke, and Sen. Bob Dole. I even voted for one Republican ticket in Maryland that of Robert Ehrlich, and Michael Steele, although I never considered joining the party.  I was “disgruntled” over the Democratic candidate for Governor of Maryland Kathleen Kennedy’s missed opportunity to choose an African American running mate; an opportunity seized by the Maryland Republican Party which chose Steele, the same year. 

It is very dangerous to assume that Mr. Romney has little or no support from African Americans. Don’t believe the hype. Just because the Republican Party lost the White House to the Democrats in 2008, they still are a powerful political organization, even in a fractured state. How else could they generate $1 Billion dollars to wage the current “fight to the finish” to win in November?

Many of the Republican Party’s elite are business owners with long standing positive relationships in business and otherwise with African Americans, and Hispanics; much of it is “on the down-low”. Given the present political climate there is no need for this group of Black voters to speak up, or “come out” now. In fact, I can’t blame them.  After all, they need only show up at the polls on Election Day, step behind the curtain and speak with their vote. 

They are the new “Silent Minority” who will suddenly in this upcoming close election play a pivotal role in electing the next president of the United States. This election will be a “toss up” when their votes are added to those of independents, and disgruntled Black Democrats like Mr. Artur Davis who made a nomination speech for candidate Obama in 2008, and who will be addressing the Republican convention next week in Miami. Some are “opportunist” who jumped ship after 2008 and for various reasons and joined the “opposition” because they fell out of favor with president Obama, or because they became convinced their “audience potential” had more collateral value with the “Tea Party” which is their right.
So, get that surprised look off your face Black America, because there are more African Americans caught in this dilemma than we know. After all, there are only two choices with chances of winning in November, either Obama, or Romney, there are rumblings among African American voters about “sitting this one out”, there are real and imagined voter suppression efforts afoot, and much less enthusiasm for candidate Obama this time than in 2008.

Therefore, I suggest Democrats ignore the hype/notion that Mr. Romney “has “0” support among African Americans”, and encourage organizations and the institutions controlled by African Americans, (such as out faith communities, fraternities, sororities, minority business organizations, etc.) to:

1.   Organize as “hubs” and pool resources to form “carpools” to guarantee rides to the polls on Election Day for any voter in need of a ride. And,

2. In states where there are new voting rules, to work with The League of Women Voters locally to educate the public about how to read ballots, and how to secure the needed credentials to avoid being denied the opportunity to vote.

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