Thursday, January 19, 2012

If blacks don’t back Occupy Movement will they back Democrats in November?

We can thank the Tea Party for repeated accusations of racism that once again reminded us of Southern bigotry and the Ku Klux Klan.  The media accused it of being “racially exclusionary, if not…racist,” according to The Washington Examiner.  Well-known African American congresswoman Maxine Waters, a Democrat from California, said tea partiers can “go straight to hell.”  While perhaps not quite so contentious, progressives would like to see them just gone.

Tea Party parade

The Tea Party is predominantly white but 6 percent of its supporters are black compared to only 1.6 percent for Occupy Wall Street and a total in the U.S. population of 12.6 percent.  Further, blacks represent 25 percent of New York residents.  So where were they on the first Occupy Wall Street demonstration on September 17, and thereafter across the country?  One opinion was that blacks did not participate because they have been through this before and think it’s hopeless.

I did a post back in December, “Immigrants want a part of the Occupy Movement,” including the agreement that no one is more likely to be in the Occupy “99%” than Hispanics.  Of course, wouldn’t blacks fit the same criteria?  Currently 60.7 percent of black incomes are under $50,000, compared to 40.3 for whites.  Median income for whites is $63,404 compared to that of blacks which is $38,835.  U.S. median income is $58,924.

Although 3 years old, the video below is an good example of black voting history:

The Washington Post also wonders about black inactivity in the Occupy Movement, commenting that some well known blacks like Cornel West,
Russell Simmons, Kanye West and Rep. John Lewis, (D-GA) have participated but nothing like Latino moves to join in as a group.  There was an “Occupy the Hood” faction that attempted to get more people involved that has apparently made some inroads but nothing significant.

Based on a 2011 Washington Post survey, the conclusion was made, that, in spite of their economic standing, blacks feel more optimistic than whites.  This is hard to understand when black unemployment is at 16 percent, teenagers 50 percent, compared to 8.6 percent for whites.  The survey concluded that 24 percent of blacks were “very” or “somewhat satisfied” with the economy compared to only 12 percent of whites.  Go figure.  

And here we go again.  In a recent NBC poll a huge 73 percent of Americans considered the country to be on the wrong track compared to 19 percent who thought it was.  49 percent of blacks thought the U. S. was on the right track compared to 38 percent who didn’t.  Some say there is the Obama factor.  The figures show that 86 percent of blacks approve of the President compared to 57 percent overall.

Still unanswered is why blacks have not joined the Occupy Movement with more enthusiasm.  Larry Elder, author of The Washington Examiner article thinks that if they support Occupy it might appear that blacks don’t think Obama has done his job in Washington.  But since the substance of the Occupy Movement is inequality, along with the fact that blacks have been fighting this for years with limited results, I find their detachment confusing, even alarming.

In the end, Elder says it really isn’t why so few blacks are participating in the Occupy Movement; rather, “why so many blacks still belong to the Democratic party.”  I personally believe they still understand that the Dems., no matter how many mistakes they have made and will make re. minorities, that the least they do will be gargantuan over what the GOP would offer.

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