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Black by popular demand

James Clingman | 11/5/2014, 6:25 a.m.
The black vote is said to be the determining factor in whether the Democrats hold the U.S. Senate.
The black vote is said to be the determining factor in whether the Democrats hold the U.S. Senate.

— Since MLK spoke in 1963, we went to sleep and co-opted his dream; and we have not awakened yet. No one can work while asleep.

Now we are being told we must keep the Democratic Senate in order to allow Barack Obama to build his legacy during his final two years. Well, I ask: What about our legacy? What will be the legacy of black voters, without whom there would not be a black president? Will our legacy simply be that of a bunch of emotional automatons who just felt good about having a black president? A naïve voting-bloc that gave its entire “quid” but received no “quo?”

Politicians work for us; we don’t work for them. At least that’s the concept.

Politics is, to borrow a phrase from Dr. Freddie Haynes, a “Cauldron of contradiction,” and we are lost in that morass of political never-never land, thinking that voting is the answer to all our ills.

Black people should not become lackeys for any political party, but in total contradiction to that, we allow ourselves to be taken for granted and used during every election. The current message to blacks is simply— VOTE! They don’t have say for whom because they know we will vote Democrat. That’s insulting to black people, but it’s quite obvious that we don’t care.

However, in yet another effort to admonish and beseech the black people to be critical and analytical thinkers, especially when it comes to voting, I leave you with two questions for this upcoming election: What will blacks gain if we vote? What will we lose if we don’t?

Jim Clingman, founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce, is the nation’s most prolific writer on economic empowerment for black people. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati and can be reached through his website: Blackonomics.com