According to today's AJC:
Clinton scores coup in fight for black vote
The Democratic battle for the African-American vote in Georgia and the nation took a sharp turn Friday, as civil rights icon and congressman John Lewis of Atlanta backed Hillary Clinton for president over Barack Obama.
Lewis' seal of approval, in a city that has supplied throngs of volunteers and bundles of cash for Obama, was a public declaration of Clinton's willingness to challenge her African-American rival for the black vote —- even in the Deep South.
Also endorsing Clinton on Friday was U.S. Rep. David Scott of Atlanta.
While Lewis pronounced Obama "talented," the 20-year congressman said he endorsed Clinton "without reservation or any hesitation."
"I believe Hillary Clinton will be a strong leader. She will fight for what is fair, for what is right, for what is just," Lewis said.
He then accompanied his choice for president to a campaign event in South Carolina, now scheduled to hold the first Democratic primary in the South. Lewis will join Clinton in his native Alabama today.
National polls have indicated that black voters, who form a crucial wing of the Democratic Party, are torn between Obama and Clinton —- prompting ferocious competition for the support of African-American leaders, political or otherwise.
Obama has won endorsements from both the Rev. Jesse Jackson and Oprah Winfrey.
Clearly this is a battle for the Black vote in the "Black General election".......the Democratic Party primary. I have said for a long time that Blacks who today wage daily attacks on Hillary Clinton on their blog sites will cast a vote for the Democratic come November 2008. Clinton's choice of Obama as her running mate is not the determining factor of this.
I only wish that my people who say "this country is headed in the wrong direction and the leadership must change" would also make note that this should apply to their locally elected politicians as well. Where as right now the assumption is that the policies that they come to the table with, being POPULAR, are only working in the best interests of the community. The evidence of a long list of cities that prove the contrary is seemingly not enough to have them SEEK effective solutions first and then have their voting patterns follow. Instead we have been convinced that the "vote for change" is the way, despite the fact that this positive change never seems to come. Instead the election cycle comes around and our people are asked to keep their faith in change, accepting that "the other guy's" defense is the reason for the failure.
Interestingly enough I watched a Michael Moore movie "The Big One" that did not get as much press as his other movies. This movie which was released in 1997 during the peak of the Clinton Presidency showcased the vast problem with corporate layoffs and plant closings around America. Now I don't expect an ideologue like Michael Moore to call it right down the middle but it was clear that he did not attack the president as the subject of his attack in this movie. Few people would believe it but the year 1998 had the greatest number of layoffs than any years 10 years prior to this. This simply does not fit the narrative of today. The late 90's are said to be boom times. You could find few Black Americans who would tell you otherwise - looking back and also noting who the leadership was back then.
The bottom lines is that when you have a people sold on a narrative, meaning a certain ideology is "for the little guy" there is no evidence that one can bring forth to prove otherwise. This is not a racial thing as it is an economic class phenomenon.
I only question why the short term is evaluated to make this decision. Sure your union is advocating for higher pay, more health care benefits for you and thus they have your support as a worker. Why is it not also fair to consider the fate of the City of Detroit/Baltimore/Philadelphia/Cleveland, all union strong holds and all that have lost much of their manufacturing base? Of course the common cry will be "off shoring" but this simply does not explain the entire circumstance. The fact is that the Southern "Right To Work States" have largely benefited from the corporate aversion to the increase in cost of doing business driven by union demands.
I recently read that the legacy domestic auto manufacturers are paying up to $30 per hour MORE in total benefits than their foreign owned domestic manufacturing competitors. Who in their right mind - corporation or individual - would remain in such a bind? The same motivations that the individual Mexican has to relocate are the same basic forces that these firms who are moving out of the union dominated Rust Belt - seeking a more favorable exchange in the market place.
The Wall Street Journal recently detailed the plight of the new Honda Motors plant in southern Indiana. They purposely located into a rural area in order to take advantage of lower wages and, in many people's opinion, to avoid a unionized population in the northern Indiana, Illinois area. Sadly it seems - they chose a state that is too "northward" to escape controversy. They required their employees live within a 1 hour community radius. The UNEMPLOYED union workers in the north of the state are protesting because such a move is discriminatory in their view. Without a shadow of a doubt these corporations are creating jobs. They are seeking to maintain control of their corporate governance decisions and not engage in the power sharing regarding plant operations that the UAW and other unions mandate. Why is it that THIS is offensive to the pro-labor forces but the FACT of UNEMPLOYMENT among the union ranks after doing things their way IS NOT as OFFENSIVE?
Undoubtedly the Black vote is the pro-union vote. I still hear the stories of the Black trade unionists who gathered in Gary, Indiana back in 1972 for their mass meeting on labor issues. I heard a Black man the other day on the radio promote unionism as the key means of increasing wages for all Americans who have seen their paychecks erode. (He said nothing about Black people starting our own companies).
Hillary Clinton and the quest for the Black vote is nothing more than the same ole same. There is a strong force that resents and rejects being challenged. Who among us is putting their track record on economic development matters on the table and getting them to explain themselves? Despite the current atrophy within our communities those who are Black Democratic politicians only have memories of the "Clinton Economic Boom".....you know the one that was going on during the time of Michael Moore's movie.