Obama Taking Black Vote for Granted
How do you respond to criticism that your administration hasn’t done enough to support black businesses?
My general view has been consistent throughout, which is that I want all businesses to succeed. I want all Americans to have opportunity. I’m not the president of black America. I’m the president of the United States of America, but the programs that we have put in place have been directed at those folks who are least able to get financing through conventional means, who have been in the past locked out of opportunities that were available to everybody. So, I’ll put my track record up against anybody in terms of us putting in place broad-based programs that ultimately had a huge benefit for African American businesses.
The above excerpt is from a recent interview with Black Enterprise Magazine in which President Obama addressed criticism that he hasn’t followed through with his promises toward the black community. The key line is, “I’m not the president of black America. I’m the president of the United States of America.” The President is right, of course. That would be significant problem if the President catered toward only one race, sex or religion. The problem is that it’s hard to fault the black community for asking the tough questions. During the President’s campaign, he deliberately targeted minorities as a source of potential votes with impossible promises and mirages of a different future. It worked.
There is validity in the statement that the black community ensured Obama’s presidency. In 2008, blacks made up a larger share of the electorate (13%) than they did in 2004 (11%) and 2000 (10%). That’s an increase of 2 million voters, which is a lot considering 95% of those 2 million votes were cast for Obama. To put that all together, that’s almost 17 million votes out of 131 million guaranteed for Obama from the starting line. The majority of these black voters were women, followed by young people under the age of 30. Before the election, Obama supporters expressed concern over the impact of race in the election, but if the exit polls suggested anything at all, the race factor was on his side.
To say it was all about race would be ludicrous, however. If Hillary had won the primary instead of Obama, then a smart man would bet she’d still receive around 90% of the black vote. Blacks have been voting almost unanimously for Democrats for years, often to their detriment.
Early in 1948, Harry Truman issued an order desegregating the military in addition to taking steps toward ending racial bias in federal employment. In his election that followed, he received 77% of the black vote. It wasn’t until Lyndon B. Johnson pushed through the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which his Republican competition opposed), however, that the black vote swung nearly entirely toward Democrats. What’s interesting is that from the end of the Civil War into the early 20th century, blacks associated themselves mostly with Republicans. While not surprising considering Abraham Lincoln was one, himself, the Southern politicians those days were almost entirely Democrat. These same Democrat politicians put in place the Jim Crow laws.
The question, and the subsequent controversy comes when the benefits of such collective voting are examined. Democrats have long connected themselves with their support for a strong welfare system and an even wider safety net. The numbers speak for themselves. Up until the 1940′s (welfare was first introduced during the 30′s), 75-85% of black children grew up in two-parent families. Today, 70% of black children are born to single women. Welfare gives benefits superior to low-pay or entry-level jobs in addition to more leisure time. It cuckolds the male responsibility as the breadwinner of the family, however archaic that may sound, today. Perhaps Walter Williams, a black economist at George Mason, put it best:
”The welfare state has done to black Americans what slavery couldn’t do, what Jim Crow couldn’t do, what the harshest racism couldn’t do. And that is to destroy the black family.”
Within the poorest, and often predominantly black neighborhoods in urban areas, the public school systems are among the worst performing in America. This has nothing to do with the students, but with the teachers. They are simply the worst our country has to offer, and have no business in the education system. Instead of this, though, the worst teachers are simply shuffled down to these school districts. The reason behind this? Teachers’ Union dues. That money, in the form of hundreds of millions of dollars, then goes right back into purchasing Democrat officials. It’s a rotation that has effectively birthed a permanent underclass among blacks.
In many ways the Democrat party has survived for 50 years on a starved, uninformed electorate in the place of sound fiscal policies. And, that’s the way they like it. They feed one fish a day rather than teaching how to fish. Black men and women who separate themselves from Liberalism are often ridiculed, even referred to as Uncle Toms. All the while, the heavy dosage of government programs and “aid” has chained them into economic slavery. Any sane individual on welfare is going to vote for the party promising “better welfare.”
And that is exactly what Obama is doing right now. Bill Clinton, a Democrat, famously ended welfare “as we know it” with the 1996 Welfare Reform Law. Enabled to be more of a hand up, than a handout, the law encouraged those on government assistance to actively seek work. It struck against the culture of welfare reliance. Obama intends to start welfare “as we know it” up again by weakening the work requirements of the 1996 law. This is despite the fact that 83% of Americans think those on welfare should be required to work — a bipartisan number — according to a recent Rasmussen poll. And what about unemployment, that lovely little word so many pretend doesn’t exist? In November, 2008 the unemployment rate among blacks was 11.1%. Just last month, it sat at 14.1%. According to Obama, the blame rests in state and local governments. Don’t forget Congress, too — but not the President. No, he’s out there fighting the good fight.
The goal here is not to encourage blacks to switch allegiance to the right wing, nor to even suggest that such a change would be easy. The Democrats were the first party to elect a black president. Most black elected officials are Democrats. Many of said officials possess significant influence.
Still, the evidence certainly looks like Obama is taking the black vote for granted. This is not a theme he installed, but instead a trend Democrats have followed for decades. There is no Democrat party without the minority vote. It’s that simple.
It doesn’t look like things will change much in 2012, however. Current projections have Obama, yet again, winning 90+% of the black electorate.