Monday, September 22, 2008

Don't confuse voting blocs and bigotry

I spring boarded off of this column from Russ Stewart when I wrote it last night. You'll see the finished product over at the Sixth Ward today. Just my thoughts on the main thesis of his column that black politicos in Illinois think that they have a claim to the office of state Senate President.

I have another good item for you to read.

Dawn Turner Trice from the Chicago Tribune talks about voting blocs. Especially as to how blacks might consider voting for Barack Obama as President. I found this interesting:
I've written a few times that the black vote is the least nuanced ofthe voting blocs. Each time I've written that blacks won't vote forObama solely because he's black, Lordy, I've received a firestorm ofe-mail asking how I explain the huge percentages of black support Obamareceived in the primaries.

I explain it this way: MaybeAfrican-American voters thought he was the best candidate. I've neversuggested that his race wasn't a factor for blacks (as it is for somewhites). But it's one of many factors. Maybe blacks feel strongly abouthis policies. I don't understand why people think that blacks don'tvote their interests.

An excellent example of this comes from Chicago's 2007 mayoral election. Mayor Richard Daley(who is white) received a huge heap of the black vote against CookCounty Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown (who is black) and William"Dock" Walls (also black).

"Identity appeal" always is crucial in politics. With race, it's hard to tease out how much race factors into the equation.
It was also mentioned that there was an AP-Yahoo poll that said that one-third of whites have negative views of blacks. It may not bode well for Obama's candidacy for President, that being said Trice still says that people will in the long run vote their interests. Whatever those interests may be.

Races won't vote, individuals vote. Perhaps there won't be a big Bradley effect. The voters might decide the day they finally go to the voting booth. That's how it's going to be for me because I haven't decided who I'll vote for.

Anyway the only point here is that everyone has their own story. You go near the end of this column Trice mentions the stockbroker who lost their job, a blue-collar worker who's home is in foreclosure, or a mother who wants equal pay for equal work. Race or ethnicity in this election matters little looking at those crucial issues.

What do you think?

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