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01 August 2010

White Democrats Avoid Being Seen With Obama

Saturday afternoon, AJC Political Insider Jim Galloway published a list of Democrats who will and won't be appearing with President Obama when he comes to Atlanta tommorrow. On that list is a proverbial who's who of white Democrats.

President Barack Obama’s second visit to Georgia this year may be one of those parties best remembered for the guests who failed to show.

Roy Barnes, the former governor and his party’s July choice to retake the office, has received the most attention for his decision to give priority to a Monday schedule that will take him through Middle and South Georgia. But there are others:

Ken Hodges, the nominee for attorney general, will be in Albany for a case he’s working on for his law firm;

U.S. Rep. Jim Marshall of Macon, who faces yet another Republican challenger, has plans to help his daughter move;

U.S. Rep. John Barrow of Savannah will remain in Washington for “a minor medical procedure.” And, yes, he’ll have Republican opposition in November.

Galloway, Jim (2010-7-31). Political Insider Guess who won’t be coming to lunch with Obama?. Political Insider. Retrieved on 2010-7-31.

White Democrats know they can avoid being seen with Obama because there won't be any consequences for it.

Wait, strike that, there is the possibility of blacks staying at home on election day. But then again, every time there's an election, Democrats trot out those same tired old civil rights leaders who say that people fought and died for blacks to get the right to vote.

That's true. Still, voting and voting monolithically for one party over another are two separate issues.

I believe Democrats, particularly white Democrats, take black voters for granted. I also believe that blacks do themselves, and their community, a disservice by voting in a near monolithic block for one political party's candidates over another.

Democrats don't compete for the black vote, because they know they already have it. Republicans don't compete for the black vote, because they know the Democrats already have it.

If competition is good within the business community, then it certainly is good within the black community. What I'm saying is that Democrats and Republicans both need to start competing for the black vote. And more importantly, black folks need to hold both political parties' proverbial feet to the fire.

To the Democratic Party, black voters should pose this question:

We've been voting for you en bloc for decades, and yet unemployment is remains high in the black community while educational achievement remains low in the black community. Tell me, John Q. Negro, what the Democratic Party's plan is to put more blacks to work and send more blacks to college than are going to jail?

To the Republican Party, black voters should post this question:

We've been voting Democratic en bloc for decades, and yet we have have next to nothing to show for our loyal support. Tell me, John Q. Negro, what the Republican Party's plan is to put more blacks to work and send more blacks to college than are going to jail?

It's that simple. No patronizing. No pandering. The same issues that are critical in the white community are just as critical in the black community. And those issues are jobs, education and the economy.