All Articles Tagged "2012 Presidential Election"
From Black Voices
Now that the presidential campaign has finally come to a close, it is a great opportunity to reflect on some of the blatantly racist moments that took place during this epicly bitter campaign.
In 2008 Barack Obama became the first African-American to become President of the United States, and perhaps it was that fact alone which paved the way for the kind of attacks that past presidents never had to endure.
Check out the slideshow at Black Voices
From Hello Beautiful
While the economy, immigration, Libya, job creation and gun control figured prominently in the 2012 U.S. presidential debates, it has been women’s issues-related questions that have prompted lots of attention. The battle for women’s votes has helped to shape each candidate’s platform.
As we quickly approach the homestretch, here’s a look at where Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney stand on women’s health.
Read more at Hello Beautiful
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney is pulling in a new strategy to reach African American voters. According to The Root, Romney recently hired Tara Wall, a former reporter and Republican National Committee senior adviser George W Bush appointee. Wall will now act as Romney’s senior communications adviser for relations with African Americans.
In her new position, Wall represents the most senior African American on Romney’s team. Before joining Romney’s team, she spent 13 years as a news reporter, anchor and host for ABC, NBC and CBS affiliates in Michigan. She was the mastermind behind CBS Detroit’s Street Beat, a weekly half-hour political talk show. As a reporter she was the first to report the Mayor’s Memo scandal involving former Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and governor-elect Jennifer Granholm in 2002. She was also the conservative columnist and deputy editorial page editor for the Washington Times.
“Mitt Romney’s campaign team has been quietly laying plans for an outreach effort to President Obama’s most loyal supporters — black voters —” wrote Nia Malika Henderson and Philip Rucker from the Washington Post. “Not just to chip away at the huge Democratic margins but also as a way to reassure independent swing voters that Romney can be inclusive and tolerant in his thinking and approach.”
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Should Gov. Rick Perry of Texas have to answer to a past that isn’t completely his own? According to The New York Times, Perry’s early upbringing in a once racially oppressive town and his education at a then-racially insensitive university are environments that he didn’t create, but he certainly was a part of. So does that mean he is inherently racist as well?
In the wake of the “niggerhead” controversy – a report that Perry had entertained guests at a West Texas camp known as “niggerhead” – some concede that the governor has a racially sheltered background, but claim that his political track record shows that he has overcome his early surroundings. Others say his advocacy of states’ rights resemble a “yearning for the Old South,” the Times reports. No one can truly know, but the sister of a former maid in the Perry household recalls quite clearly that the governor was well aware of his first class citizenship in Paint Creek, Texas.
“In the heart of Mr. Perry’s home county, Haskell, the tiny black community used to be centered in a segregated area east of the railroad tracks called Niggertown. White residents ‘didn’t use it N-e-g-r-o, they said N-i-g-g-e-r; it seemed like a pet word for them,’ said Mae Lou Yeldell, 86, whose sister once worked as a housekeeper for the Perrys,” the Times reports. “In 1968 Mr. Perry left home for Texas A&M, a deeply conservative university whose yearbooks early in the century included Ku Klux Klan-robed students and a dairy group called the Kream and Kow Klub.”
However, Perry will go down in history as the one who appointed the first black justice to the Texas Supreme Court. He also signed a hate crimes bill that his former boss, George W. Bush, had rejected. “Over his three terms as governor, he has nurtured relationships with black leaders, including the head of the Texas N.A.A.C.P., who extols the governor’s open mindedness,” the Times reporters write.
There’s no way to confirm Gov. Perry’s true feelings toward non-whites, but again, avoiding questions about an unpleasant racial history will only raise the public’s eyebrows even higher. Once politicians learn to confront race head-on instead of shying away from it, it would greatly reduce their chances of being caught off guard with “niggerhead”-type controversies.
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain would like to blame his failure to garner even notable support from the black community on a belief that many of his own are incapable of thinking for themselves. No, it is not because so many blacks would be voting against their own economic and social interests by supporting a Republican, nor is it because there is an apparent strain of racism throughout the party – it is because we are “brainwashed,” according to Herman Cain.
During an interview on CNN, he said that some in the African-American community “have been brainwashed into not being open-minded, not even considering a conservative point of view. I have received some of that same vitriol simply because I am running for the Republican nomination as a conservative. So it’s just brainwashing and people not being open-minded, pure and simple.” He then goes on to claim that he does, in fact, have a bevy of black supporters, and provides a completely unscientific statistic to support that theory. In spite of his own claims of mass brainwashing, he said that he believes one-third to 50 percent of black Americans are “open-minded.” “I meet them every day. They stop me in the airport. And so this whole notion that all black Americans are necessarily going to stay and vote Democrat and vote for Obama, that’s simply not true. More and more black Americans are thinking for themselves. And that’s a good thing,” he said.
Open-mindedness is not always an option to blame for the lack of support from the black community. Cain panders to the kind of voter base that has given President Obama a hellish reception to the highest position in the country and helped to assail his efforts of progress. Black people see it, and Herman Cain knows it. Maybe his comments are just a defensive acknowledgement that the black community hasn’t mustered much enthusiasm for another term for the president and it hasn’t translated into support for Cain. I can’t prove that to be true, which proves that any ole’ body can create unscientific explanations.
A recent Newsweek story mused about the possibility that Tavis Smiley and Dr. Cornel West’s constant criticism of President Obama might lead to some trouble for the president come 2012:
Never mind the slings and arrows of Tea Partiers. The most politically problematic criticism of Obama these days is coming from his base. And there’s no question that there is a deep reservoir of frustration, confusion, and even rage among many in the African-American community for [leaders like Dr. Cornel] West to tap into. With unemployment hovering near 17 percent for African-Americans (the national average rate is 9 percent) and 11 percent of black homeowners facing imminent foreclosure, African-Americans have ample reason for anxiety about the coming budget cuts that Obama reluctantly signed into law this month. The Congressional Black Caucus chairman called the recent debt deal “a sugar-coated Satan sandwich” that will do little to help communities already struggling.
Dr. Cornel West and his longtime friend, radio host Tavis Smiley, have taken their criticism of Obama to the streets, launching a two-week, 15-city “poverty tour,” aimed at forcing the powers that be to once again focus on the “least among us” and getting the president to “wake up.” Their efforts are increasingly stoking fears among some African-American leaders that West and Smiley could discourage black voters from turning out when the nation’s first African-American president stands for reelection in 2012.
I’m not one of those who thinks that substantive questions about President Obama’s dedication and attention to black America’s problems are out of line. Yes, it’s entirely true that Barack Obama is the President of The United States, not the President of Compton. He can’t solely focus on the issues that ail Black America when we barely comprise 12% of the U.S. population.
By Jay Anderson
With more and more GOP candidates throwing their hat in the 2012 ring, silly season is officially underway. In an effort to prove who loves America the most and loves Obama the least, the 2012 presidential aspirants are figuratively elbowing each other out of the way as they jockey for position in early states like Iowa and New Hampshire. This brand of retail politics has already produced some absurd moments. Here are 11 of our favorites — so far. With this cast of characters, there are certainly going to be more.
1. Herman Cain Escapes “The Democratic Plantation”
By playing the “I’m not like the rest of those black folks” angle on the campaign trail, former pizza magnate Herman Cain has become a darling of the Tea Party set. He has also repeatedly trashed Obama’s biracial upbringing by stating that he could be the first “real Black President.” But it’s Cain’s oft-repeated “I left the Democratic plantation, and I ain’t goin’ back” line that really gets em’ riled up. And truly makes little sense.
Jay Anderson is a freelance writer from Washington, DC, whose work has been featured in the Washington Post, AOL Black Voices, The Loop21 and NPR. When he’s not busy talking smack here, he runs the award-winning blog AverageBro.com. Follow him via Twitter @AverageBro.