Can Black Voters Disobey the Democratic Party?


Bernie Sanders campaigning in Louisiana. (photo: Caitlin Faw/The Times-Picayune)
Bernie Sanders campaigning in Louisiana. (photo: Caitlin Faw/The Times-Picayune)

 

Marc Ash | Reader Supported News | February 18, 2016

bout fifteen years ago, I spoke with a young African American woman who was a Congressional aide on Capitol Hill. As we spoke, I extolled the virtues of the Democratic Party’s relationship with black leaders and the African American community. I pointed to the vibrant Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) as evidence of the empowerment of African American leadership in America. But she had a funny look on her face that gave me pause.

In a moment she said, “You know, Capitol Hill is the greatest plantation of all. The hours we work, the wages we get, what is expected of us, the whole system – it’s crazy.”

Every presidential election, African American voters turn out in numbers above ninety percent to vote for the Democratic candidate, like clockwork. The reason for that was succinctly summed up by the father of former Republican congressman J.C. Watts Jr., J.C. (Buddy) Watts Sr., who said simply, “A black person voting for a Republican is like a chicken voting for Colonel Sanders.”

But what is expected of the Black community, which really has nowhere else to go politically? A number of things are expected – foremost, allegiance to Democratic Party bosses.

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