In a piece in the Chicago Defender Thursday, “Get Yours Before You Give Yours,” writer Lenny McAllister attempts to the make the case that Black Americans should think twice before reelecting President Obama come 2012. African-Americans came out in force for Obama in 2008, with about 96 percent of the Black electorate voting for him. But McAllister says that uniformity may be shortsighted this next time around.
“With the continuing high unemployment rates and the questionable political maneuvers, it’s becoming more and more obvious: Black Americans should at least ensure that they get unquestioned results from the Obama administration before giving him unyielding support in 2012,” he writes. “At some point, most Black Americans are going to admit that they are just as enslaved to archaic racial loyalties as the ‘oppressors’ that they claim to abhor.”
McAllister goes on to argue that blind allegiance to the president because of his dark skin—well, relatively dark at least—makes Black voters fools. McAllister even equates this allegiance to white Americans who used to “obscure the facts when it came to addressing mob violence, voting improprieties, and social inadequacies solely because of their allegiance to the color of one’s skin.” In other words, Black voters who solely vote for Obama because he’s black are no better than whites supporting hate crimes.
In a word, McAllister’s argument is ridiculous. To be sure, yes, it’s is dumb to support a candidate solely based on that candidate’s race. Blacks shouldn’t support Obama because he’s Black just as whites shouldn’t support Mitt Romney because he’s white. However, what McAllister fails to address is the fact that Obama’s policies simply make more sense for black voters, especially when compared to those of his GOP opponents.
If we consider Obama’s healthcare reform alone, millions of 19 percent of Blacks without health insurance stand to get coverage under the law. Beyond that, there’s now federal money in place specifically for attacking the healthcare disparities in African-American communities. Elsewhere, Obama has made it a point to attack the AIDS crisis in Black America, and to assist minority owned small businesses. And the list goes on.
If these kinds of policies aren’t enough to earn a majority of America’s Black voters, I’m not sure what is—especially when the alternative are clueless bigots like Sarah Palin. That McAllister chooses to ignore Obama’s policies and instead attack Blacks for “blind allegiance” says more about McAllister than anyone else.
(Photo: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)