“I freed thousands of slaves, and could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves.” – Harriet Tubman
During an interview on Fox News last week, black Republican Congressman and GOP longshot, Allen West took to cable television to express his sentiments toward his people and their faithfulness to the Democratic Party. West accused Democrats of “taking black votes for granted” and compared prominent black leaders, such as Maxine Waters, Al Sharpton, and Jesse Jackson, to “plantation bosses” (or overseers). “So, I’m here as the modern-day Harriet Tubman to kind of lead people on the Underground Railroad away from the plantation and into a sense of sensibility,” he contended.
Now Mr. West may not be the most popular guy in many circles, surely not mine, and the plausibility of him snagging the Republican nomination is nil. So, whether or not he is the modern-day Harriet Tubman is a rhetorical question. However, the weight of the black vote is one worth exploring.
With the rate of unemployment climbing and monstrous corporations like Bank of American planning to lay thousands more off, poverty is a major concern as middle class is quickly becoming the new poor and the poor grow poorer. The whimpers of the impoverished are faint and have been overshadowed by partisan bickering, debt-ceiling ridiculousness and Tea Party-ing. Yet, despite these things, the black community continues to demonstrate unwavering support for Democrats and President O.
Upon criticizing President Obama and embarking on a nationwide “Poverty Tour,” Tavis Smiley and Cornel West have quickly become objects of ridicule. Radio show host Tom Joyner declared he would never work with Smiley again and alluded to the possibility of a Smiley/West “relationship.” Steve Harvey also used his widely syndicated morning show to voice his discontent, citing the tour as a hustle and labeling the duo poverty-pimping Uncle Toms.
We all know the issue is not Smiley’s (alleged) attempt to stay relevant or Harvey securing a spot in the rich-black-Obama-supporters inner circle. It’s the fact that black Americans have pledged their allegiance to the Democratic Party and expect one another to support President Obama regardless of whether or not we agree with his politics and performance thus far—which is ridiculous.