In Black America, The Desire to Vote

Who to vote for in the 2016 Presidential election seems to be the million dollar question these days. Hopefully, the people will show up at the polls as they did to receive their lottery tickets in hopes to be the next millionaire.  Have you ever stopped to wonder why the Black vote is so important?  Perhaps it\’s because of the literacy test, or the marches from Selma, boycotts, and sit-ins or better yet the promise and idea of hope, \”Yes We Can.\”  At the last Democrat debate former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was fired up and ready to convince Black America that she should be the next President after receiving her golden dashiki from the Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee.

With less than 10 percent of the Negro vote in 1968, Richard Nixon became President.  At one of his first news conferences in February, he admitted that he was not regarded \”as a friend by many of our black citizens,\” but said he hoped \”by my actions as President\” to rectify that.  At the end of his first year in office, several Negro leaders and others tried to assess the extent to which the President\’s hope had been realized.  Their appraisal was in general one of distress.

Clarence A. Mitchell, the Washington Director of the NAACP, told a Washington Evening Star reporter late in December that Negroes felt the administration had accomplished \”just about what they had expected… The Nixon administration is doing us in.\”  He pointed out that there were \”no Negroes in the Cabinet, but a few second-tier jobs, and they make it look like that\’s progress.\”

Mr. Mitchell admitted that the President\’s actions were not the sign of any real \”animus against Negroes. He just makes use of all weapons. He is making use of racism and reverse racism.\”  Clarence Mitchell said the President regarded Negroes as \”a vote we haven\’t been able to get,\” but put more important emphasis on keeping his own supporters happy.  The all-white Cabinet, Mitchell said, was a \”serious step backward.\”

(In Black America, 1970, Books, Inc.)

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