Sunday, October 12, 2008

Will Blacks Vote Republican in 2008?

As the White House played host to global economic meetings it seemed like my October Sunday television-radio-online media was littered with talk about the increasing displays of irrational anti-Muslim rhetoric and anger directed towards Senator Obama at recent GOP political events for John McCain and Sarah Palin.

I watched a panel of Black journalists conduct an interesting debate about African-American membership in the Republican Party.

Washington Times reporter Tara Hall and one-time possible GOP Vice Presidential pick Michael Steele joined a lively discussion group on the weekly Sunday WABC, New York television show "Our World with Black Enterprise" that weighed the question and perspective of Black Americans who vote conservative.

There is a subtle stigma amongst African-Americans about blacks who vote Republican - while virtually all black people know that many blacks vote conservative, we don't really seem to talk about it much.

According to the "Our World" discussion more than a million African Americans voted for George Bush in 2004, something like 1.4 or 1.6 million. Maybe that doesn't seem like a lot but remember that's during Bush's 2nd term.

They suggested the mainstream media tends to cover almost exclusively negative aspects of African-American/Republican initiatives

I can totally respect one's right to vote one's own conscience, but after watching crowds at GOP rallies last week whipped into an almost borderline hysteria related to Obama's "not one of us"-ness as repeatedly defined by Sarah Palin - I think the GOP has a ways to go to present itself as a party that will credibly represent the interests of all Americans.

Let's get serious there are people at these rallies who think Obama is some kind of terrorist. Do people honestly believe that? Or is it just easier and more comfortable to click the fear button?

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