by TONY LEE
Black voters turned out in record numbers in key swing states like Ohio to reelect President Barack Obama in 2012, and some of the nation's most prominent black leaders are now demanding Obama pay back this support in his second term with policies that favor black and urban communities.
National Urban League President Marc Morial sent a letter to Obama, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) after the election, urging them to put "a special focus on those communities where unemployment is and remains stubbornly and persistently high."
"We who represent the nation's urban communities will demand a seat at the table in these discussions," Morial wrote.
Al Sharpton met with Obama last week and said “the president heard us loud and clear” about raising taxes on those making over $250,000 during the fiscal cliff negotiations and not cutting spending on programs that impact the middle and working class.
NAACP President Benjamin Jealous also implied that Obama should raise taxes on the wealthy: “we need Republicans to think hard and to pull back from the cliff 98 percent of our families, who make up the bulk of this nation, from seeing our taxes being raised.”
Nowhere was black voter turnout more important than in Ohio, where a historic turnout (blacks make up 12% of Ohio's population but made up 15% of the state's 2012 electorate) propelled Obama to vicyory:
In 2012, blacks made up 15% of Ohio's electorate, and Obama received 96% of their vote to Mitt Romney's 4%.
In 2008, black turnout made up 11% of Ohio's electorate, and Obama won blacks by 95 points (97%-2%) over John McCain.
In 2004, black voters accounted for 10% of the vote Ohio. John Kerry received 84% of the black vote, while George W. Bush received 16%, five points above Bush's national average among blacks.
In Michigan, black voters made up 16% of the electorate in 2012, up from 12% in 2008. In Virginia, blacks made up 20% of the electorate in 2008 and 2012.
According to exit polls, black women in 2008 had the highest turnout rate — 69% — of all groups. And in 2012, "black women made up 60 percent of the black vote this year and voted 95 percent for Obama.
Melanie Campbell, president and CEO of the National Coalition of Black Civic Participation, said the enthusiasm of black women was evident in places like Florida where churches organized "Souls To the Polls" early voting campaigns. She recounted, "countless women stood in line for hours to vote early so they could volunteer to work at the polls," because they were motivated by the Obama campaign's claims that Republicans were trying to suppress the black vote.
Blacks voted for Obama in record numbers even though some black leaders worried voters would stay at home because Obama had not improved their economic situations and some thought Obama was not liberal enough.
But their worries turned out to be unfounded, as black voters turned out as enthusiastically as they did in 2008, even though Obama's economy has been responsible for unemployment skyrocketing in black communities. According to the Associated Press, black unemployment was 12.7% when Obama took office, peaked at 16.5% a year later, and was at 14.3% in October. Nationally, the current unemployment rate is 7.9 percent.
Linda, unfortunately, the black community voted for Obama because he is black. It's a cult following. They aren't paying attention to anything other than a black man is sitting in the White House. Many of them are receiving food stamps, SSI, housing allowance, etc. and they don't want that to end. They believe as long as they keep voting for a democratic president, the gravy train will still be running funded by the rich in our country. What they aren't thinking about is that the hispanic population is more powerful, larger in number and these people actually "think" like republicans but for some reason they vote democrat party. I find this hard to understand.
The illegals who come to our country from Mexico, and I'm generalizing here, have experienced in their country that no matter how hard you work you don't get anywhere because of low wages and corrupt leadership. They come to America, get jobs and acquire education and see first hand that if you work hard you get ahead and you can provide a safe and healthy life for their families. They are raised in the Christian faith, many are Catholics and they have a strong family bond. So, they "live" like republicans and vote the democratic party.
I believe this will change. The black community will drop to a minority group and the hispanic population will one day be the population with the majority of votes. The white population will no longer be the majority. While our children elect to have either no children, one child maybe two, the black and hispanic communities are having five to six children and we, the taxpayers are funding them. One day you run out of people to pay the bills for them. I believe we will see this in our country. Actually, we are seeing it already.
Exactly and I could not have said it better Diane.
There is also high inter-racial marriages too. The barriers are broken down.
I do believe in time Hispanics will go Republican but it will take generations and I have noticed that the college educated ones ask: What will the GOP do for us? They are using themselves as a bargaining chip and I saw this firsthand. I don't like it one bit because as a party people work together and there should be NO special interests for specific groups.
I believe America will fail miserably under this new transformation and it will take a couple of decades to reveal the corrosion from within.
I am also certain that more and more minorities go into politics and they want the rule in government. I would not mind but from the ones I have seen Maxine waters, Obama, Jesse Jackson Jr. etc. I am not impressed. However, there are plenty of caucasians who are quite disappointing as well.
We do not need the mentality of "You owe us something" taking over and that is what has happened on a national scale and it includes many white people as well.
I blame young white people for not wanting to have families or more than one or two children as well. You are right, they produce an average of 5 or 6 or more children and they continue the cycle which grows their population. They know there is power in numbers and I read many hispanic internet sites which tell them to procreate and take over. They do have an agenda and let's put it right out there now.
we can no longer take a blind view on the growing population of illegals who will be given amnesty by Obama. There is no doubt in my mind he will do this and pass the dream act nationally which he already did. He did that in the last 8 wks. which motivated the Hispanics as they saw more coming down the road this time with Obama and nothing with Romney.
America will fall and that is the hard lesson, we have fallen, we are continually going down hill but we have not hit rock bottem. When that happens, the liberal democratic party goes down in flames.
Sheila, as for the barriers being taken down, it is about time and I have no issue with that at all. People are people and have the right to make their own choice who they fall in love with and spend their lives with; it certainly does not stop other ethnicities from marrying, so why Blacks or Hispanics from marrying Caucasians.
I would also say that you are generalizing a lot about Black politicians, too, as there are some very good ones, too. And if we are going down that path, what about Pelosi, Reid, Boxer, Feinstein, and so many others. There are some very capable Black politicians, just as there are some very unqualified and crooked Caucasian politicians.
That is the problem, Sheila. Let the Demoncrats be the ones to continue the racism; that is not what the Republicans are all about. And those that continue to harbor these thoughts are not productive to the efforts of the Republican Party. For every one you mentioned there are some very fine Black leaders, too. Condi Rice was twice the Secretary of State that Hillary is and represented the U.S. much better. Alan Keyes, Clarence Thomas, Artur Davis, Mia Love, and Herman Cain just to name a few. Yes, I still like Herman Cain. But there are many more, these are the Republicans most notworthy. You could add West to this, too. I like Colin Powell even though he switched to the Democratic Party.
And there are some wonderful people coming to the front from the Hispanic/Latino demographic, too. The governor of New Mexico, the Governor (or whatever the position) of Puerto Rico, Marcus Rubio, and many more.
Like it or not, we have to recognize that we are rapidly becoming a minority and that is just the way it is; we can work within the system and be productive and bring our leadership forward encouraging people from what we have traditionally considered "minorities" or we can sit back and watch it happen without us, as happen it will. This should not bother us any more than a person with German, Italian, Scotish, Irish, English, Japanese, Chinese, Polish, Hungarian, or any other nationality taking a position is politics. This is what is unique about the U.S., we are a true melting pot and freedom is for all citizens. No other Country in the world has been as diverse as the U.S. It is not time to start to restrict that.
Please forgive me, but I am not so certain that the U.S. will self-destruct, we have been in worse shape, just not in most of our lifetime, but we have and we survived; we will again. Why, because there is no other way to go but up and there are too many that will fight to withstand losing our freedoms. There is no one that can defeat us but we ourselves; we can chose to find the positive and build upon that and go from that point or we can throw in the towel and dwell on the negative; survivors look for the positive and that is where I plan to be a survivor of Obama's re-election who is going to take the positive and go from there. We have enough good and strong people in Congress and we need to identify them and support them; they will listen and we can do our part to see that more of them are identified and elected in 2014.