Black Dems and White Repubs

Black Dems and White Repubs

You heard the joke before, a black Democrat and white Republican go into a voting booth and ask for...

If this weren't real, you might say it was ironic...

31% of black Democrats in America say homosexual relations are morally acceptable, roughly the same as the 30% of Republicans who agree, while very much different from the 61% of nonblack Democrats who say homosexual relations are morally acceptable.

If you look at the poll numbers, black Democrats ought to be with the Republicans. Poll data shows they are opposed to sex outside marriage, having a baby outside marriage, same sex marriage and abortion. The only significant difference between black Democrats and white Republicans (oddly enough there are not many black republicans) is on capital punishment.

Yes you guessed it, black Democrats don't like it and white Republicans love it.

In May this year I was in North Carolina helping Jim Neil on primary day. I was one of about ten people handing out info to voters as they went to cast their ballots. The other ten folks were also Democrats supporting a variety of candidates from dog catcher to local district attorney to Obama for president.

My guy was Jim Neil, a gay white man, running against a straight white woman with a religious pedigree, for the Democratic ticket for US Senator. Neil didn't stand a chance.

Now there is more. All the other Democrats there that day with me (a small white queer from Canada) were black. They all supported the white lady for senate because she was a family person, went to church. Now Jim goes to church too, has two kids and a successful business guy. He is a Carolina success story, millionaire, supported tons of progressive initiatives by advocating and funding them. The white lady was a State Senator and not quite as progressive in my eyes. Ironically Neil likely spent more time, effort and money in addressing issues affecting black voters with more success than the white woman, but he was gay.

I knew I was not going to win any of these folks over. So the next thing was what to talk about. We talked about the Presidential race, all were for Obama. Some said if he lost they would vote for the Republican, (I couldn't understand that, that's biting your nose off for sure).

Lastly I figured since I was in the most "progressive" part of North Carolina, I would ask about capital punishment. Hey you know the poll numbers, black democrats are opposed to the death penalty. That ought to be a winner for me.

Now they were all supporting a black Democratic woman who was running against a black republican woman. I was horrified to say the least. To a person, they supported the death penalty. Now here in Canada, the subject doesn't come up often, the death penalty was last used here in 1962 at the infamous Don jail in Toronto. I expect the population here is split 50 - 50.

The American contradictions are many. Why would blacks in general be opposed to gay rights and marriage after being the victims themselves of such awful systemic discrimination. Why could they not see they were doing the same thing to gays. Why would I find so many black Democrats supportive of capital punishment, why would so many of them vote for a Republican President rather than a woman who has an impeccable history of fighting for black people.

America is both wonderful and disturbing. It remains the one western country which still feels its okay to kill as a punishment, to deny gays rights, to discriminate against people because of sex or colour, invoking the lord's blessing is expected of politicians, and unfettered capitalism trumps all, except when they want a bail out.

I almost feel that I have to tell you that not all Americans are like this, that some of my best friends are American. Will i ever understand them? No , but you know what, Obamaism gives me hope that one day things will change. Obama may not bring the great change during his term, he has however opened the door, (remember Obama supports capital punishment and says gay marriage is a State issue). Americans of progressive making, need to storm the opening and demand change.

Link: Blacks as Conservative as Republicans on Some Moral Issues

No comments: