First and foremost, I do not believe that the African-American community is monolithic, and I am not generalizing about all persons.
Why Blacks mostly vote in blocs and against their own interest puzzles me. Hence, I thought to blog about it. First, I have no pony in the political process. I vision both (i.e., Republicans, Democrats) purposely inept, greedy, and corporate controlled. With this blog post, I look at African-Americans and their voting in a major metropolitan city (i.e., Chicago). As you well know, Chicago is one the most corrupt municipality in the world, hands down. In the city of big shoulders, most everything is decided by a backroom handshake or payoff, you can’t get anything worthwhile without paying up front. Thus, the city is saturated with cronyism, nepotism, and favoritism at every level of government. Suddenly I feel the need to clean myself with an elephant brush. Yikes!!!
Back to the lesson at hand, the city has a large African-American citizenry; yet some Blacks remain in disadvantage neighborhoods, underemployed or unemployed for the previous three decades. Hence the rub, why do African-Americans vote against their own self-interests and what are some reasons. I thought to put together (4) possible explanations on this phenomenon. This is neither scientific nor empirical research. It’s just something I wondered about. Being a native Chicagoan, and African-American, I wondered how we got it wrong for so long.
1. Vote Democratic, They Care
African-Americans tend to vote in large blocs mainly behind Democratic candidates, I’m not completely sure why but they do. However, be warned, it is a misnomer that Democratic politicians care more than their Republican cohorts. One reason why Blacks tend to vote exclusively Democratic, I believe the Democratic Party somehow high jacked the civil rights movement and took credit for it. Hence convincing Black people that they care about their progress and welfare, nothing could be further from the truth. As a reminder, more Republicans voted for the civil rights act than Democrats; also, Republicans supported ending slavery more than Democrats. In fact, Nixon did more for the civil rights than Senator Kennedy at that time. Again, remember, politicians do things for themselves, then and now. Nevertheless, just take a look at Chicago and follow the money and you’ll clearly see who gets taken care of and who gets thrown under the bus. The Democrats crippled Black communities with large dosages of learned helplessness and “The Savior Syndrome”. I refer to this theory as the lone deliverer waiting patiently on the mountain top waiting to save us. On the other hand, shutting down over 50 Black and Brown neighborhood schools and shifting public money to private entities provides all the evidence one need. We must let go of foolish dreams and become critical thinkers and move away from politicians that work against us.
2. Blinded by Darkness: Blacks Vote by Race
Voting based on skin color is racist at best, and stupid at the very least. Simply because someone shares your phenotype or ethnic culture is not a reason to select him or her to political office. I suggest, most African-Americans in Chicago voted for President Barack Obama based solely on his skin color and the theory of vindication. For example, I’ve spent nearly five decades in Chicago, yet, I never heard of president Obama before his presidency run. Never, and I mean this, I never heard of him, not once. Thus, I did not vote for him. But although he wasn’t vetted the Black community they stormed to the polling booths by the thousands. Yet, not once, investigating who this former nobody was. Even so, this was our time; finally, the intellectually inferior complex will disappear from the consciousness of proverbial White and Black racists. However, we were bamboozled again, as you know, politicians cannot change their strips. Sadly, the president like all politicians followed the corporate money, donations, grants, or church tides while leaving many looking for meaningful employment.
3. Political Illiteracy
I suspect a viable explanation for the continued Democratic support resides in our political illiteracy. As a result, we lack an operational cognitive process that vet and select candidates who support our interests. Not surprisingly, some Blacks don’t pick candidates based on their records but how that candidate makes them feel. For example, in Chicago, the African-American communities helped elect Mayor Rahm Emanuel, why? From all accounts, he has only shown disdain for communities of color people (i.e., Black Americans and Chicano Americans), closing down schools, and stripping poor neighborhoods for gentrification. Yet, he was blindly elected to office because he worked for Barack Obama, now some scream and cry about social and political injustices. Our injustice was providing our blind vote behind the fictional nepotism that some believed that had become a part of. Yes, some Blacks, I would say many, lived vicariously through the president and closed their eyes on this shady character (i.e., Mayor Emanuel). I wonder, how and what did he do to deserve anyone’s vote. In closing, as long as education and critical thinking remain opaque our literacy deficiencies will fail us.
4. African-American Churches: Inactive and Docile
Black churches ineffectiveness is revealed at the polls when a legion of uncritical and enslaved thinkers vote as pastors says so. There is a large percentage of African-Americans affiliated with Christianity, in fact, 83% of Black Americans are of the Christian faith. Thus, being a portion of the 17%, I find some Black churches useless for the liberation of Black folks. In fact, like the Democratic policies that inspire us to say, “Just hold on, don’t push it”, some Black preachers are solely in it for the money. They neither have the courage nor knowledge to challenge parishioners to think and read critically for themselves. Notwithstanding, some churches like political hustlers need sleep walkers who do not question authority. They need and demand blind obedience. Sadly, some African-Americans become socialized into the belief of “Later”. In essence, they wait on deliverance while scoundrels and crooks get paid now. A warning, if your liberation is in the hands of your oppressors you will never be saved, never.
In short, I have no beef with any institutions or political parties. I look at things and wonder why, and then I write my mind on paper. This blog post does not condemn politics, religion, or African-Americans, it’s only a loud thought. Again, I’m amazed at how African-Americans follow a political party to their ultimate marginalization and demise.
The Invisible Dragon
- Democratic Campaigns Pay African American, Hispanic Staffers Less (freebeacon.com)
- The Loneliness of the Black Republican (bet.com)
- 8 Successful and Aspiring Black Communities Destroyed by White Neighbors (atlantablackstar.com)