October 29, 2004

The Kerry camp's continued pandering to black audiences: "We got you Al Sharpton!"

John Kerry was on his way through Ohio recently, particularly headed toward Xenia, OH (an area where I spent my summers growing up, and where my mother grew up).

At nearby Wilberforce and Central State Universities (they are about five or six miles east of Xenia; my grandparents' house was actually in the village of Wilberforce), supporters were led to believe that Kerry would stop if they could get 100 people to see him.

Eventually 150 students and supporters — including congressional candidate Kara Anastasio — gathered for four hours on a cold (rainy and snowy) Ohio day.

And the Kerry caravan drove right on by. All the long-suffering got from the candidate was a clenched "victory" fist out the window.

According to Shavon Ray, president of Wilberforce's NAACP, the students were devastated — with comments such as "This is why I don't vote."

Ray told the local NAACP chapter the affair was a "slap in the face."

After the incident — and Ray's criticism — made the local paper, the Democratic Party sent one Ken Miller to Wilberforce to meet with Ray. He offered 50 tickets — and 8 VIP tickets — to a Kerry event in Dayton.

Ray declined what she saw as "hush tickets." Taking seriously the idea that the NAACP is supposed to be non-partisan, Ray turned the tickets over to Wilberforce's student government.

Next, Miller offered to have Rev. Al Sharpton stop by as a speaker. That annoyed Ray even more: "We don't want a black face to speak to black students."

The final straw was when Miller said Sharpton would be sent to speak to Central State University — along with X-rated rapper Foxy Brown.

When Ray reminded Miller that they didn't want anything to do with Sharpton, Miller allegedly responded, "What do you want — Kerry to lose the f---ing race? We got you Al Sharpton. What more do you want?"

For Shavon Ray, it was simple: "The [campaign] could have just offered an apology and shared their sympathy to our school."

Perhaps Kerry shouldn't be held responsible for mistakes and intemperate behavior of the local Democratic organization. But Ray, fairly enough, says, "If you can't handle this situation — which is minor — how are you going to handle the type of situations a president faces?"

She adds: "This is not acceptable. You can't bypass us like we don't even matter, like you have our vote pocketed and you don't."

Ah, but there's the rub. Kerry and the Democrats figure they do have the black vote sewn up.

And they figure they can treat blacks like Oliver Twist asking for more gruel.

The sad part is that there are many blacks who take that kind of treatment from Democrats, when they wouldn't take it from anyone else. Why? Because they are afraid to leave the "liberal plantation."

Posted by mhking at October 29, 2004 11:09 PM

Devil you know vs. devil you don't know.

Is it because it's the right thing to do, or politically the right thing to do, that Bush is going after more of the Black vote this year?

Black voters aren't stupid and the GOP hasn't been without fault. Lt. Gov. Michael Steele is admitting the latter. Time for more Black Republicans to state the same instead of calling Blacks stupid, or hinting that they are stupid, and afraid.

Posted by: DarkStar at October 30, 2004 05:04 PM

Like the Palestinians, Republicans never seem to miss a chance to miss a chance. I think most people would agree that on a great number of issues, conservative ideas (like vouchers) offer more hope to black Americans than do the tried-and-failed liberal ones. Yet I think it's fair to say that we aren't trusted. Here on Long Island a black Republican is running against a Democratic incumbent in a Republican-majority District. James Garner is the mayor of Hempstead, a predominantly black village, and the former President of the US Mayor's council. We should be pouring HUGE dollars and effort into his campaign-- yet except for a brief visit by the Speaker last week, little has been done to help this man, either locally or nationally. No wonder Republicans have difficulty attracting conservative and moderate blacks to the party-- here's a great chance and we are letting it slip away.

Posted by: Tony Iovino at October 30, 2004 06:03 PM
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