By Derrick Hollenbeck, staff writer
Since February 3, 1870, when a Republican Congress ratified the 15th Amendment to insure African Americans had the right to vote, Black pastors have always encouraged their congregations to vote. Until 1908 they had advised voting for Republicans since they considered the GOP their natural home. In 1912 Woodrow Wilson and W,E.B. Dubois tricked African Americans into believing that Blacks were not making progress and it was the Republican’s fault.
For 100 hundred years to a greater and greater degree Blacks have voted Democrat. This year, in the oddest of twists, Barack Obama a Black man is on his way to ending the 100 year Democrat grip on African Americans.
Up until mid-May when Obama had his latest “evolution” to a favorable position on Gay “marriage” the only problem with the Black vote was some small concern about turnout. Obama’s new position changed that. Stunned and angry, many Blacks wanted Obama to reverse his position or at least meet with their clergy for a photo-op and a flimsy but plausible explanation. Obama did neither and this has infuriated a portion of the Black community and their clergy.
Because of Obama’s gaffe Mitt Romney and the Republicans are now in the best possible position regarding the Black vote. While some pastors are actually advising African Americans to cross over and vote for Romney others are telling their followers to stay home and not vote. The importance of this development cannot be overstated: For the first time since 1870 Black ministers are advising their people NOT to vote.
Since Obama vaulted to victory on the strength of a 95% Black vote from a 65% turnout, ANY drop in either number will be fatal for Obama’s chances in many states. Moreover, while Obama won a huge Electoral College victory, he had less than 55% of the popular vote. This means a 3% switch – not hard to imagine for a president who celebrates an occasional 48% approval rating and is carrying 44 straight months of 8% unemployment- spells big trouble for him.
If you haven’t started fighting for your future what are you waiting for?
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