Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The Black Bloc Vote

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Contributor: Bush Shouldn't Write Off the Black Vote


I’m stunned.

Though Cole ends his column by saying Bush has a lot to say to black voters, he only mentions one: school vouchers. That’s it? We’re supposed to vote for another four years of this administration because of vouchers? I guess we’re also supposed to forget about the failure called Leave No Child Behind and forget that the Bush administration has cut funding for the most popular educational program that actually helps our community – Head Start.

And while corporations record increases in profits and consumer confidence slowly rises, our communities have yet to see jobs return and economic opportunities present themselves. Our middle and working classes hardly saw their quality of life improve over the past four years and I don't think we’re looking for four more of the same.

Rather than concentrate on actual policies that speak to black interests, Cole writes instead of the vehicle for Bush’s heavily reactionary agenda – black churches. Considering the homophobic social agendas the religious right pushes, this appeal is nothing more than an attempt to campaign on wedge issues rather than real policies that affect black lives daily.

And again, instead of offering real solutions from the Bush administration, Cole says black folk should be happy to vote for Bush because he hires other black folk—as if hiring practices can substitute for ideas. Are black people supposed to be this easily fooled? Is he serious?

Unless George W. Bush suddenly turns into someone else entirely, unless he says that he was wrong about everything (which he is), there is nothing he can say to independent black voters to win their votes that won’t smack of pandering.

His policies, both foreign and domestic, lack meaning and efficacy for everyone – black, brown, tannish, pink-like or white.

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