October 18, 2005

Oliver Willis - Time For A Change In Black Leadership

Oliver Willis has an interesting take on the black leadership in America:

I think it's past time for there to be a changing of the guard in black leadership in America. People like Farrakhan, Sharpton and Jackson are no better than hustlers, bigots, and crooks. There are hundreds of black leaders who believe in improving the lives of black Americans, and America in general, but the media keeps giving time to the Axis of Irrelevancy.

I agree. There are likely thousands of more credible black leaders, who are more accomplished, less polarizing and could do so much more for their constituents than Farrakhan, Sharpton or Jackson.

However, I would go further than a mere change in leadership. I honestly believe that African-Americans would be better served if they would put their vote in play more effectively. Currently, about 90% of the African-American vote has gone to the Democratic Party. Yet, what exactly have the Democrats done for the African-Americans lately??

Lately, Ken Mehlman and the Republicans appear to be willing to bend over backwards to win the African-American vote- are the Democrats? I am not so sure about that. The African-American constitutency is a lock for the Democrats, so the Democrats need not work for the votes.
Rather than urge each of the political parties to be responsive to African-American needs, the current African-American leadership is focused on demonizing Republicans and getting the vote out for the Democratic Party. By following such a strategy, you guarantee two things: (a) Democrats will take your vote for granted and (b) the Republicans will feel that outreach to African-American community is futile, so why take their interests to heart?

Regardless of whether African-Americans end up voting Democratic or Republican, why not make that political party earn the votes?
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