Are African Americans supporting President Barack Obama simply because he’s Black?
The question itself is insulting. It is never raised about other ethnic groups and voting blocs. However the question continues to be raised by conservatives seeking to discredit African-American voters who support Obama.
The question was most recently raised after actress Stacey Dash was viciously attacked by some African Americans on Twitter, the social media site, after she expressed her support for Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
Twitters users are by no means representatives of African Americans or any other group.
Of course Dash and any other African American have the right to support Romney or any other Republican.
Many Obama supporters quickly denounced the attacks on Dash.
Yet the manufactured controversy was carried on Fox News and other conservative media and websites.
The fake Dash controversy gave some conservatives another opportunity to accuse African Americans voters of supporting Obama only because he’s Black.
This kind of thinking discounts the overwhelming African American support given to former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter and Democrat presidential candidates such as John Kerry and Al Gore.
The fact is that since President Lyndon B. Johnson signing of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964 which outlawed most forms of racial segregation African Americans have been overwhelmingly supporting the Democratic Party. This trend started with President Franklin Roosevelt and his New Deal to lift Americans out of the Depression and has continued ever since. Prior to that time African Americans were mostly Republicans.
African Americans supported the Republican Party when it was the leading political party on civil rights and equal opportunity. It changed when the GOP moved to the right on race-related issues.
Still some moderate Republicans such as the late Arlen Specter did receive significant African American support when he was in the GOP.
African American support Obama over Romney because they agree with him on the issues and believe that he represents their interest. They agree with him on strengthening Social Security and Medicare as it currently exists and not turning it into a voucher program. They support the new health care law. They support the auto bailout.
While African Americans believe in self-reliance and self-responsibility they do not demonize the government in the same way today’s Republican do. They see government as having a strong role in ensuring fairness and equal opportunity. They believe the government plays a role in providing a safety net for the poor and the needy.
Many Republicans used to share those same views.