September 19, 2014
By Tim Moore
In this US Senate and Michigan Governor race, Dems can’t win without the Black vote but, do they deserve it?
If there was ever a time that the Michigan Democratic Party needed the Black vote, it is this race to Replace Snyder as governor and the election for Levin’s seat in the US Senate.
Recent polls showed that in the Governor’s race, Mark Schauer has a slight lead and Terry Land is within striking distance of Gary Peters in the US Senate race.
In the past, the Michigan Democratic Party could always count on the usual cast of loyal, undemanding and subservient African American voters. You know, the ministers, the Black masses, labor leaders and political operatives who are happy for a photo op with these office seekers, as if standing next to them conferred some special status for them.
As part of the election season ritual, the Democratic candidates have to make their required pilgrimage to the Black churches in Detroit and other urban areas around the state. These appearances are imperative because this is pretty much all they are required to do.
They don’t have to make promises to push affirmative action, reduce the life sentences of 12 year old Black boys, help Detroit keep its Water Department or throw some crumbs to Black businesses. They are sticking to the script: show up, try to keep up with the rhythm of the choir and smile a lot.
This election year seems to be a little different. More flanks of the party are saying that this is not enough. The number of articles questioning why Blacks continue to support the Dems for nothing in return has increased.
The Black statewide media group (of which this entity is a part of) is threatening to tell their followers to sit this one out. And, a metro Detroit canvasser with hundreds of workers and a huge following through Michigan said he would do the same.
The latter two groups are irritated because Donna Brazile said this past summer that the Democratic Party spends about 2% of its money with Black media, consultants and canvassers. This is all while they spend millions on an increasingly ineffective cable TV ad campaign.
In the past, the voice for these various Black constituents came from the Mayor of Detroit. However, in their infinite wisdom, Detroiters elected “A Great White Hope” Mike Duggan. Talk about confused. Detroit has more people than the next 9 largest cities in the state. They contribute a huge share of sales, income, lottery, not to mention traffic fees and taxes that the state could not function without. Yet, thanks to a biased media, they have accepted the label of “liability to the state”. Or the good old “White man’s burden” crap.
So the question is, do African American in Michigan make demands for their vote that was paid for with the blood , sweat and tears of their ancestors or do they continue to accept a pat on the head instead?
Tim Moore is a well-known Detroit-based media entrepreneur, journalist, and commemtator who coordinates www.uintv.net, a national network of internet TV stations dealing with issues affecting the Black community in particular. Links to UINTV’s websites are at the beginning of the story. His family founded Simon’s Pizza, the last Black-owned business in Cobo Hall before its takeover by a regional authority.