African American support for tainted politicians comes from the same ethic that has allowed Democrats to maintain black support despite poll after poll showing black attitudes on abortion, religion and, until recently, gay marriage line up more closely with the GOP’s positions. In a perfect world, one might prefer a governor who addresses your interests and doesn’t sleep with prostitutes. In the imperfect, racially and economically stratified world we actually live in, the former takes precedence over the latter—especially in communities where political attention can be a life and death issue.
So why does it seem that many black voters rally behind corrupt or
disgraced political figures and in many cases still cast votes in
their favor? Well for starters, many other black elected officials,
represents districts that suffer from relentlessly poor economic
prospects. Once elected, these professional politicians seem to abandon
all sense of judgment as they seek to enrich themselves and expand their
influence, all while doing little to improve lives for their voters. Look at former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, Washington D.C. former Mayor Marion Barry as examples of corrupt politicos who still won despite mounting proof of their corruption.
The above cases illustrate a profoundly misguided tendency of Black Voters rallying to the side of an embattled politician
because he or she is “one of their own.” Even before President Obama was elected, black voting patterns were, or are nearly monolithic -virtually any Democrat could win black votes; and indeed, most have.
Black voters have developed a dismaying habit of remaining fiercely
loyal to their public servants. This is built largely on the idea,
perpetuated by many Democrats, black and white, that the political
system is stacked against black interests.
So long as entrenched black politicians continue to cultivate myths of
victimhood within their electorates, corrupt politicians will forever
win elections whether they deserve to or not. Many of these public
servants exist in cosseted worlds where the needs of their voters don’t
affect them, and they stopped attending those concerns long ago.
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