THE GROFF/ELLISON POLITICAL REPORT

Are Black voters “smarter” than White voters?

Posted in Uncategorized by groffellison on May 7, 2008

We know – it’s an odd question to pose, considering the already high level of tension between these two pluralistic titans of racial construct.  But, we’re going to ask it anyway because we think it applies to the present state of political affairs. 
 
We notice that, for the most part, African Americans aren’t widely included in those numerous electoral polls we see pimped in the press on a daily basis.  If we are included, it’s at a level that is insultingly and relatively low in comparison to our proportion of the U.S. population.  The implication – we sense – in pollsters refusing to poll Black voters is that White voters are smarter about politics than Black people are. Yeah – let’s not front on it.  Or: Black voters just aren’t as sophisticated about the issues.  Interesting.  Which is one of the reasons why, until recently, we didn’t see a whole lot of African Americans (if any) on the political talk shows.   
 
It’s also interesting amid all this talk about the prominence (or dominance) of “White working class” voters in this Democratic primary.  If White voters, particularly this segment of that bloc, are much more sophisticated than Black voters about the issues, then why is it that they seem most concerned with tangential non-issues like:

– Rev. Wright
– American flag lapel pins
– How Muslim a non-Muslim’s name sounds
 
And other curious pieces of body politic nonsense that don’t have a thing to do with how well anybody can run a global powerhouse.  In our experience, in barbershops, hair salons, grocery stores and gas stations in predominantly Black residential areas, it seems that even the most working class of hustling, non-college educated African Americans are talking very earnestly about the issues: food, gas, shelter, rent, paychecks – can the candidates deliver?  What a former preacher said or who wears a lapel pin may provide context for some funny discussion and a few laughs, but Black voters seem very intent on picking someone who can “handle the business.”   You’ll find this sort of seriousness reflective of Black radio talk shows, as well.  Like most average Americans, Black folks may not know all the details about each policy topic, but they can make informed distinctions between what’s important and what’s not. 
 
Which is strange given the stereotype which leads to few – if any – polls on what they might be thinking.  In the meantime, White working class voters, on a large scale, seem strangely preoccupied with bizarre, manufactured and sensationalistic items of political mythology.  What do you think?

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