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While it is reported that 94% or more of African-Americans support President Barack Obama over Mitt Romney in the upcoming national presidential election, the rarely-spoken question is: Are many African-Americans only voting for Obama because he’s black? While the response is often that African-Americans have historically voted Democratic in recent decades anyway, one must admit that in 2008 and 2012, the percentage of African-Americans voting for the first black president is extraordinarily high.
Contrary to the 2008 criticism of white prejudice which said that some whites weren’t voting for Obama because he’s black, social media shows that the reverse is quite true in that blacks’ biggest reason for casting their vote for Obama is because he’s black.
Another case in point was highlighted this past week when actress Stacey Dash, a half-black and half-Mexican, openly supported Mitt Romney. She was “tweet-attacked” and more for supporting the non-black candidate, allegedly by an onslaught of African-American tweeters.
The actress who has been well-known since the 1990s for performances such as her character in the movie “Clueless” has expressed that she’s extremely saddened and upset that she is being criticized for her choice for president. Like any American, she has a right to support who she wants and should be allowed to do it without harassment, hate, and ridicule – so one would think.
Why is it that a Hollywood figure can’t come out for a white candidate over Obama without ridicule, anyway? It’s not like she’s the first black person to lean politically “right”. Other black “right”-leaners tend to survive their open embrace of the Republican Party such as Herman Cain, Allen West, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and Colin Powell – when he leaned one way or the other.
Are these persons less openly-criticized because of their political powers? Are African-American Hollywood people simply an easier target because they get lost in the overpopulated, blind “left”-supporting, ultra-liberal masses in Hollywood?
It’s wrong to fault anyone their right to their own voice and stand up for who they support. Hasn’t equality to do so been the plight of the African-American since before-the-civil-rights movement five decades ago?
The responses to Stacey Dash’s support of Romney this past week have been absolutely horrendous. Striking is the suggestion that she was basically “set up” to do it, as if it was an underhanded play by the Romney campaign. Personally devastating for Dash is the fact that she has been called a “traitor”, “house n—–“, and “jig—-“ simply because she said she was for the white candidate instead of the black.
Racism tends to be alive and not-so-well in America during the 2012 election process, but it’s not totally the way most people have been taught to believe it is. It’s black-on-black racism.
It makes one wonder how many closeted-Mitt Romney voters are really out there when you see what they are subjected to when they make their true preference public, doesn’t it? And it is wrong that anyone in this country should have to hide who they believe should lead the country for the next four years simply because of their race.
It is also incredibly wrong that so many high-profile figures in the entertainment industry which Obama embraces for endorsements and fundraising is so blatantly racist in their openly-racist choosing of a political candidate. Rapper Snoop Dogg turned Snoop Lion and actor Samuel L. Jackson are the first two “racist-sounding” African-Americans to come to mind as they have admitted that the main reason they are supporting Obama is because he’s black. Don’t they realize that’s an insult to President Obama? After Obama spent four years in the White House, the alleged-defining reason they support him for a second term is only because he’s black? Really?
On the positive side, since the initial negative reaction regarding Stacey Dash’s Mitt Romney-supporting tweet on Twitter, many people – including African-Americans – have now defended her obvious right to choose the white candidate over the black candidate without ridicule. Hopefully this after-the-fact reaction will guide those guilty of hateful “black-on-black racism” to a more civil way of responding to those who don’t agree with them. After all, if we all voted by “race”, there would obviously be no hope for anyone but the white candidate to win this presidential contest. I would hope that the majority of Americans don’t want elections to be settled by a candidate’s race because a “minority” would never get in.
About Scott Paulson
Scott Paulson writes political commentary for Examiner.com and teaches English at a community college in the Chicago area. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.