Thursday, February 25, 2016

How Come Hillary Clinton Has the African American Vote "tied up"?

S.C. poll: Clinton seen as better for African-Americans, those struggling financially.
By Nick Gass in Politico on 18 February.

It appears to be common knowledge that African Americans favour Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders in current primaries. Saturday's South Carolina primary is taken as being a "done deal" for Hillary Clinton. It will be interesting to see, though, just how the voting pans out there.

Would anyone care to enlighten this comparative newcomer to these shores (been here for 11 years) why African Americans in general favour Clinton ? How has it come to be an accepted state of affairs? I could well understand, of course, the black community supporting President Obama landslide-wise, but Hillary Clinton?

Reading around the net I've come across a couple of ideas:
#1 That African Americans, or the majority of that group prefer to vote for The Establishment candidate, on the supposition that The Establishment will be more protective of them, and more likely to prevent a Republican win, with all its attendant threats.

#2 That there is, among some African American groups, underlying anti-Semitic feeling. Bernie Sanders background is Jewish. Wikipedia does have mention, scroll down a way, HERE.

It's good to note that some "celebrities" who might have sway with African American communities have endorsed Bernie. Spike Lee is the latest, joining Danny Glover, Dr Cornel West, "Killer Mike", and Harry Belafonte. I hope their support makes a difference.


mike said...

Beats me why Sanders is perceived as less caring to racial concerns! Black Lives Matter protesting at his rallies may have added some glue to that perception, along with Bernie's broader platform of reforms that benefit everyone rather than one group. I watched Bernie on PBS' "Tavis Smiley" earlier this week and the topic was raised, with no satisfactory explanation other than Bernie definitely supports the black community:

Bernie's racial activism goes way back to his college student days. Archival photos and video of Bernie were recently found:

Hillary Clinton is viewed as more black-supportive, if for no other reason than her husband's racial equality efforts while president. Bill Clinton has been referred as "the nation's first black president" many times:
Add that Hillary was Secretary of State under Obama and her current campaign aligns her closely with Obama. She is riding the coattails of Bill and Barack.

It would be unfair to say that Hillary is not racially inclusive or more so than Bernie would be, but Hillary has known all along that she required the direct support of the black vote and she made efforts to project that image. Bernie chose to be more inclusive of all races and did not provide for those "photo-op" moments that aligned him with a particular slice of racial identification.

As for Bernie's Jewish heritage, I think black voters are more likely to identify with a religion they share. Hillary is Methodist, which puts her in the mainstream, Christian faith, and most blacks would feel a shared religious identity with her.

mike (again) said...

P.S. - Hillary wrote her senior thesis on Chicago's social programs, which involved the black community:

She also went undercover to investigate racial integration while a law student:
"The future Mrs. Clinton, then a 24-year-old law student, was working for Marian Wright Edelman, the civil rights activist and prominent advocate for children. Mrs. Edelman had sent her to Alabama to help prove that the Nixon administration was not enforcing the legal ban on granting tax-exempt status to so-called segregation academies, the estimated 200 private academies that sprang up in the South to cater to white families after a 1969 Supreme Court decision forced public schools to integrate."

Twilight said...

mike ~ Thanks - I've now watched the Tavis Smiley link you provided - excellent interview I thought. Didn't throw much light on the issue of African American preference for Hillary Clinton, as you said. The more I search for reasons the more inexplicable it becomes. Clinton's ties with President Obama via her former Sec. of State position could possibly be involved, I guess, but as I recall Bernie mentioning in a debate a while ago - it was Hillary Clinton who strongly opposed candidate Obama in 2008. :-/

I agree that it'd be unfair to conclude that Hillary isn't racially inclusive, but logically it ought to be more of a 50/50 divide between her and Bernie on the African American preference.

I wasn't aware until a few days ago that there is even a hint of anti-Semitic feeling among black communities. I'd be shocked by this, if it does exist. The kinder explanation would be the one you've put forward in the last para of your comment.

This morning I noticed this at Alternet -

"Black Lives Matter Activist Confronts Clinton About Racially Charged Remarks Because the Corporate Media Won't"

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ That's fair enough, but is no more important than Bernie's civil rights record around the same time.

Twilight said...

I wondered how Bernie's visit to tulsa OK would go yesterday:

Well, well well...."there is a crack in everything....!" Bernie's letting the light get in.

mike (again) said...

Nice to know that Bernie's attendees were in excess of available seats! Sounds like OK may be more progressive than regressive TX. TX is supposed to go Cruz as for the Republicans...Clinton polls at 54%, Bernie 44%. It's delegates, not who sweeps each state, so I can only hope Bernie keeps accumulating, but that also means he has to sweep a number of states. However, some of these states are "winner take all".

mike (again) said...

BTW - TX is "winner take all".

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Real Clear Politics has Trump well in the lead in OK for Repubs.
and Clinton just 2 points ahead of Bernie - but another "Sooner" poll has Bernie much further behind - double figures.

Next Tuesday will be nail-biting!

Trump is looking more and more inevitable - and an unpleasant prospect. I feel Bernie would stand a better chance of beating him in the General if only the DNC would play fair, but that's not likely.

Anyway, yes, Bernie has to keep bringing in the delegates. He has a tough job, he's a brave, dedicated man.

mike (again) said...

I did some more investigating of delegate allocation here in TX. Turns-out TX is a hybrid state (so is OK). Winner-take-all only under certain circumstances here in TX:

"The Republican Party of Texas has a winner-take-all provision in its primary, and the chances any candidate will get all of that party’s Texas delegates are very small. That candidate would have to win more than 50 percent of the vote statewide, and also in each of the state’s 36 congressional districts, to run the table.

It would be even harder for a Democrat to get all of the delegates on March 1. That would require winning 85 percent of the vote statewide and in each of Texas’ 31 state Senate districts."

And here's a dizzying read:
"Everything you need to know about delegate math in the presidential primary"

mike (again) said...

Here's a Matt Taibbi essay, "How America Made Donald Trump Unstoppable
He's no ordinary con man. He's way above average — and the American political system is his easiest mark ever":

Read more:

It's rather longish, but a fun indictment of our political histrionics.

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Thanks for those links - I shall read them all in the morning.
We watched snatches of the Repub debate on CNN tonight (during commercial breaks on American Idol + around 10 minutes afterwards - all we could tolerate!) Also caught a few minutes of Chris Matthews interviewing Bernie when I managed to land on the wrong channel early evening - Chris Matthews was disgustingly rude to him, asking him a question then talking over him the whole time. UGH! Bernie kept his cool though.

The Repub debate was the usual chaos - all arguing, pointing fingers at one another, and getting nowhere. Ben Carson looked the sanest - so..... :-(

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ I've now read the linked articles - thank you! Mind boggling info on the delegate system! Obviously a way to confuse the masses so those in charge can do whatever they wish - must be the reason, nothing else could explain it. :-(

I enjoyed Matt Taibbi's article - he's such an engaging and politically astute writer. He "gets" Trump - sees through his gaming of the system more clearly than any other writer I've read so far.