cross-posted to daily kos

Finally, this question is hitting the big time, and it’s about time. Black blogs always seem to be several months ahead of the press and many fellow white bloggers when it comes to articulating black thought. It happened with Jena and the CBC debates and the Clinton race-baiting. I had to chuckle when I saw Andrew Sullivan write about his realization that race matters in this race. Good for him. Welcome to America bro.

Still, I am quite happy to see the real journalists of McClatchy newspapers get this story out. Someone posted it at DailyKos, and there are over 1,000 comments. I’m gonna paste the entire thing and break it up with some commentary.


If Obama is denied, some blacks ponder their November voten November if Obama’s denied nomination

BY DAVID LIGHTMAN AND WILLIAM DOUGLAS
dlightman@mcclatchydc.com

INDIANAPOLIS –
Many black voters are making it very clear: They’re concerned that Barack Obama is going to be denied the Democratic presidential nomination that they see as rightfully his, and if that happens, a lot of them may stay home in November.

”It would hurt me not to vote,” said Charles Clark, an Indianapolis retiree. He’s thinking about leaving the presidential box on his ballot blank this fall if Hillary Clinton is the Democrats’ nominee.

”There was a heck of a push made so blacks could vote. I know that,” he said. “But it would also be very unfair if they pushed Barack Obama to the side.”

Michelle Moore, an Indianapolis housewife, is less gentle: ”Hillary Clinton would not even still be in the race if Obama was a white man,” she said.

Her tough tone was common this week in this city’s black community. Why, people asked, is the Illinois senator’s relationship with the Rev. Jeremiah Wright being judged so harshly? Why won’t Democratic Party officials acknowledge that Obama’s in the lead and unite around him?

African-Americans have been the Democratic Party’s most reliable bloc, giving about 90 percent of their votes to former Vice President Al Gore and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., in the last two presidential elections.

In a close election this year, an African-American exodus from the voting booth could be costly to Democrats, particularly in the South, where blacks are a large proportion of the electorate.

If Obama isn’t the nominee, ”there would be a significant number of African-Americans who would stay home. They’re not voting for [presumptive Republican nominee] John McCain,” predicted David Bositis, a senior analyst at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, which researches black voting trends.

Todd Shaw, a University of South Carolina political science professor, agreed, citing a groundswell of African-American disenchantment with both Bill and Hillary Clinton. They’re particularly annoyed by Bill Clinton’s performance during the South Carolina primary and by Clinton supporter James Carville’s description of New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, a Latino, as ”Judas” for endorsing Obama over Hillary Clinton.

”The comment plays very badly with African-Americans and Latinos,” Shaw said. ‘They remind them of `Look what we’ve done for you; you should stay in line.’ That doesn’t sit well with voters of color. They view it as Northern machine politics or Old South boss politics.”

Hunter Bacot, an associate professor of political science at Elon University in North Carolina, saw another piece of political history haunting black Obama backers.

”There’s a sentiment among blacks that they’ve been taken for granted by the Democratic Party,” Bacot said. “If Obama loses, it’s as though their candidate’s victory was overturned.”

Everything in this article so far is on point. I don’t have to remind yall of all the posts rikyrah has articulating the utter self-destructiveness it would be for black folks to sanction the Clinton tactics by rewarding Hillary yet again with our support. I don’t have to, but I will.

April 29: About This Electability Memo
March 5: I Am Black
February 29: Why I Have Issues With Black Clinton Supporters

Yes, JJP has been on this as far back as February. Of course, we are not alone in the Afrosphere. I recall attending the NOI Blogger Summit when African American Political Pundit tried to school the other bloggers on the storm that was brewing among the black electorate. He’s still on the case.

Update: and FRANCIS HOLLAND. DUH.

Ok back to the article


Democratic National Committee officials acknowledge that there could be some falloff of African-American voters if Obama isn’t the nominee. Still, Karen Finney, a DNC spokeswoman, said the party expects African Americans — frustrated by the war in Iraq, the sagging economy and high gasoline prices — to go to the polls in their usual numbers when they compare whomever the Democratic nominee is with McCain.

”We are aware that this has been an intense race, that there have been some tough feelings, and there are concerns,” she said. However, how those feelings are soothed and concerns resolved will depend largely on how Clinton and Obama personally handle victory and defeat.

Several African Americans in Indiana, which holds a crucial Democratic primary on Tuesday, said they could be seeing yet another effort by the white establishment to crush any African American who’s earned a powerful position.

”Here we go again,” said Eddie Pryor, an Indianapolis retiree.

”It’s like there’s a ceiling for us,” added Bangen Finley, an Indianapolis machinist.

Feelings are similar elsewhere. Former Rep. Floyd Flake, D-N.Y., an African Methodist Episcopal church pastor and president of a private black college in Ohio, said he constantly hears the angst of African-American and young voters about Obama’s fortunes. ”If he doesn’t get it, there will be a response,” Flake said.

“The young people will not be showing up to vote for Hillary Clinton if she gets it. I think given the turnout coming from young people and African Americans [for Obama], I don’t think they will go to the polls if she is the candidate.”

Ok that DNC spokeswoman, Karen Finney, must get paid a very good salary to be able to say what she said. Despite the insult Hillary Clinton has thrown at the African American voter, the DNC expects black folk to turn out for Hillary, who would only get the nomination by underhanded means because the wrath of the math is insurmountable legitimately.

As Clay Davis would say, shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

I’m guessing she has to say this because it’s too politically dangerous for her to publicly acknowledge that the Clinton brand is dead to black voters. Of course, it’s not just black voters that won’t vote for Clinton. We’ve known for some time that half the country has said it would never vote for Hillary, but even if she could win over some of that hardcore opposition, she won’t get anywhere without black folks. No Democratic presidential candidate can (again, hattip to rikyrah for beating this point over and over).

While the press continues to run headlines like “Why can’t Obama close the deal with gun-toting, rural, white male voters who drive Ford F150s?” what the Democratic party needs to be asking is “How on Earth did The Clintons turn off this party’s most reliable voting bloc?” They need to run that story for the next month, not more Jeremiah Wright. That is the story.

It’s the story of hubris and anger and ugliness that began with the implication that Barack Obama was a drug dealer and has found expression in a Muslim “smear” campaign, crediting his success to affirmative action and the dismissal of black support for Obama merely because that support is black. (check the Clinton Attacks Obama Wiki for more)

I’ll remind you of this guest post from Gene Koo on January 24. While the press couldn’t help but write about Bill Clinton’s Jesse Jackson comments after South Carolina (they were too flagrant to ignore), that just the tip of the iceberg. The ugliness began earlier.

Headline: From South Carolina: You Can’t Unplay The Race Card

I was waiting for the moment when the Clinton campaign would re-spin the racial dynamic of this contest, and it finally came today. I have to give them credit: they have mastered the art of sour grapes. First, they — not the Obama campaign — raised the issue of race (it is almost never to a black candidate’s advantage to go that route). After letting it stink for a good weak, attempting to inject codewords like “young man” and “frustrated” into the national psyche, today Mr. Clinton knocks over the chess board: “They are getting votes, to be sure, because of their race or gender, and that’s why people tell me that Hillary doesn’t have a chance to win here.”

All these bursts of anger are about as authentic as Hillary’s tears: genuine, to be sure, but also coldly calculated. Deploying the political equivalent of method acting, our alleged first black President now suggests that black folks will vote for someone with a dark complexion on that criterion alone, and is thereby doing his best to marginalize a group of voters who are finally, finally having their day in the national electoral sun. What’s more, it’s a one-two punch, one designed to scare white voters by labeling Obama as the black candidate. It’s a shameful moment for the Clintons and for the Democratic Party.

This was January 24th.

The Clinton campaign started with marginalizing the black vote. That’s where they started. I cannot stress this enough. The Billy Shaheen drug dealer comments were in December. Before the first contest, these people had already prepared to sacrifice the black vote. South Carolina didn’t count because the voters were black. This pattern grew, however, to any state that dared not vote for Hillary. There was always some excuse. The state was small or it was a caucus or it was a Saturday. The only states that counted were those she won.

This is leadership? This is worth fighting for? This is what some people are still willing to stand up for even as it rips apart the Democratic Party by alienating the one voting bloc that has been reliable through thick and thin. Black people practically held Bill Clinton’s hair as he puked up the dignity of the presidency in his Oval Office blow job scandal. And this is the thanks we get?

Back to the article:


But Jerry Mondesire, the president of the Philadelphia chapter of the NAACP and publisher of The Philadelphia Sunday Sun, an African-American weekly newspaper, said it’s foolish for any Democrat to refuse to vote if his or her candidate isn’t the nominee.

”It’s a stupid way for Obama supporters to think and a stupid way for Hillary Clinton supporters to think,” said Mondesire, a pledged Clinton delegate. “It’s a selfish and destructive way to think. I can’t think of what the Supreme Court would look like if McCain were elected. Roe v. Wade could be diminished, and Brown v. Board of Education could be impacted.”


Jerry is a crafty little man. Many lazy so-called analysts in the media have tried this same trick. “Both sides are stupid to refuse to vote for the other.” Wrong. For a refresher on the legitimacy of sour grapes among both Clinton and Obama supporters, check my March post.

I also touched on this in my “How Does Obama Do It?” post of last week where I basically ask what on Earth Obama did to any Clinton people to make them say they’d not vote for him. See, we can point to a long list of Clinton campaign actions that have alienated Democratic voters. Obama is guilty of none of this. He hasn’t tried to minimize her victories by saying, “well, it’s just old white women that put her over the top.” He hasn’t attacked her crazy ass church. He hasn’t called her supporters cultists.

This Jerry character is ignorant. The foolishness is not in refusing to support the other candidate. The foolishness lay in any Democrat with a conscience and sense of self-worth supporting a candidate who shows such open disdain for them. It’s foolish to volunteer for an extension of an abusive relationship. It’s foolish to have someone so clearly demonstrate that they don’t respect you and yet support them anyway.

And don’t get me started on the strategy of blackmail voting with respect to John McCain is a boogeyman and the Supreme Court yadda yadda. This is a good time to remind folks of my own very mild-mannered, reasonable and calm post of March 6, If Hillary Gets To Claim Denver and Florida, Denver Will Burn

Back to the article:

Some African-American voters in Indiana acknowledge that they might come around even if Clinton wins.

”I am offended by Hillary Clinton. What’s going on now is unwarranted,” said Shirley Graham, an Indianapolis auto company worker. But she will vote Democratic in the fall. ”I am a Christian. I can’t allow myself to have lingering bitterness,” she said.

Others are undecided.

”They’re criticizing Obama in ways that are not really relevant,” said Bill Davis, a Carmel electrical engineer. “I will make a determination about voting in November at that time.”

Michelle Moore, however, has made up her mind: Clinton is out.

”Senator Obama is just not being treated fairly,” she insisted. “You would think everything that Reverend Wright says is coming right from Obama’s mouth.”

This is a test, my people. It’s one of those moments where we get to ask ourselves just what are we worth. Many of us are doing everything possible to make sure that Hillary Clinton does not steal this nomination, but if she manages to thwart the will of the voters, she cannot be allowed to prevail.

This McClatchy article and many of the past posts I’ve linked to refer specifically to the black vote, but I believe that this issue is about more than black and white. It is about right and wrong. Hillary Clinton has gone out of her way not just to attack the candidate who has mobilized more votes, delegates, states, donors and money. She has attacked the very base of the Democratic Party.

She has attacked black voters.

She has attacked MoveOn.org! Do you know out of her mind she has to be to attack a group that was formed to defend her selfish, sexual predator of a husband from the impeachment hearings organized by that Vast Right Wing Conspiracy she so aptly named?

She has attacked all those who voted for Obama as somehow too stupid to realize what they are doing. Yeah, remember the entire cult argument? We’re delusional!

I’m losing my patience with any undecided superdelegates or those who still support Clinton. It’s quite simple and obvious. Look at how she treats her friends. In Hillary’s world, she cannot possibly be losing. In Hillary’s world, she’s always winning because the people who would vote against her suffer from being too black, too dumb or too Democratic.

Update Friday May 2 9:19AM
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