Surviving slavery, segregation and discrimination has forged a special pride in African-Americans. Now some are saying this hard-earned pride has become prejudice in the form of blind loyalty to President Barack Obama.

Are black people supporting Obama mainly because he's black? If race is just one factor in blacks' support of Obama, does that make them racist? Can blacks' support for Obama be compared with white voters who may favor his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, because he's white?

These questions have long animated conservatives who are frustrated by claims that white people who oppose Obama's policies are racist. This week, when a black actress who tweeted an endorsement of Romney was subjected to a stream of abuse from other African-Americans, the politics of racial accusation came full circle once again.

Stacey Dash, who also has Mexican heritage, is best known for the 1995 film "Clueless" and the recent cable-TV drama "Single Ladies." On Twitter, she was called "jigaboo," ''traitor," ''house nigger" and worse after posting, "Vote for Romney. The only choice for your future."

The theme of the insults: A black woman would have to be stupid, subservient or both to choose a white Republican over the first black president.

Russell Simmons, the hip-hop mogul and Obama backer, called Dash's experience "racism." Said Barbara Walters on "The View": "If she were white, this wouldn't have happened."

Twitter users are by no means representative of America, and many black Obama supporters quickly denounced the attacks. But for people like Art Gary, an information technology professional, the reason Dash was attacked is simple: She is a black woman supporting a white candidate over a black one.

"It goes both ways," said Gary, who is white. "There is racial bias amongst whites, and there is racial bias amongst blacks. But as far as the press is concerned, it only goes one way."

Antonio Luckett, a sales representative in Milwaukee who is black, called the attacks on Dash unfair. But when people speak out against a symbol of black progress like Obama, he said, "African-Americans tend to be internally hurt by that."

"We still have a civil rights (era) mentality, but we're not living in a civil rights-based world anymore," he said. "We want to say, 'You're black, you need to stand behind black people.'"

Luckett said one reason he voted for Obama in the 2008 primary against Hillary Clinton was because Obama is black: "Yes, I will admit that."

Is that racism? Not in Luckett's mind. "It's voting for someone who would understand your side of the coin a lot better."

Such logic runs into trouble when applied to a white person voting for Romney because he understands whiteness better. Ron Christie, a black conservative who worked for former President George W. Bush, finds both sides of that coin unacceptable.

"It's not the vision that our leaders in the civil rights movement would have envisioned and be proud of in the era of the first African-American president," Christie said.

Martin Luther King Jr. fought Jim Crow laws, which deprived blacks of political rights after Reconstruction, upheld by Southern Democrats. But black voters switched after Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson pushed through the 1960s civil rights legislation and Republicans successfully pursued the votes of white people who disliked the civil rights agenda.

Since then, Democrats have persistently wooed black voters with programs and platforms that African-Americans favor, and the party has been rewarded every four years.

Clinton got 83 percent of the black vote in 1992 and 84 percent in 1996; the third-party candidate Ross Perot probably sliced away some of Clinton's black support. Al Gore got 90 percent in 2000; John Kerry got 88 percent in 2004. Obama captured 95 percent in 2008, and 2 million more black people voted than in the previous election.

Christie says he, too, shares the sense of pride in Obama smashing what for blacks is the ultimate glass ceiling. He understands that black pride springs from a shared history of being treated as less than human, while the history of pride in whiteness has a racist context.

But he still sees black people voting for Obama out of a "straitjacket solidarity."

Christie sees it in his barbershop, where black men shifted from calling candidate Obama "half-white" and "not one of us" to demanding that Christie stop opposing the first black president.

He sees it in the comments of radio host Tom Joyner, who told his millions of listeners a year ago, "Let's not even deal with facts right now. Let's deal with our blackness and pride — and loyalty. . I'm not afraid or ashamed to say that as black people, we should do it because he's a black man."

The actor Samuel L. Jackson said much the same thing: "I voted for Barack because he was black," he told Ebony magazine. "Cuz that's why other folks vote for other people — because they look like them."

In 2011, as black unemployment continued to rise, the chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus said that if Clinton was still president, "we probably would be still marching on the White House . (but) nobody wants to do anything that would empower the people who hate the president."

And just last week, the rapper Snoop Dogg posted a list of voting reasons, written by someone else, on a social media account. No. 1 on his pro-Obama list: He's black. Snoop's top reason to not vote for Romney: He's white.

All of this may help explain why Veronica Scott-Miller, a junior at historically black Hampton University, directed the following tweet at Dash: "You get a lil money and you forget that you're black and a woman. Two things Romney hates."

In an interview, Scott-Miller said the GOP fought Obama's effort to provide funding for historically black colleges like hers. She dislikes Romney's opposition to abortion and thinks Republicans have a "negative stigma about us . they make generalizations in their speeches about our race in general, and they make up terms like welfare queens and stuff."

Told that some saw her tweet as racist, she said that's not what she meant. "I was saying that as a black woman, Romney doesn't have that much that would make us want to vote for him," said Scott-Miller, who is black. "Because Barack Obama lives with three black women in his house, he knows about what they need, he knows about the issues we may be facing, he talks to black women on the regular."

Sherrilyn Ifill, a law professor at the University of Maryland, wrote a column last week exploring why so many black voters are rejecting Romney. She said it has less to do with the candidate than with his party's treatment of Obama, such as John Sununu calling the president "lazy" after the debate, a congressman shouting "You lie!" during the State of the Union address, claims that Obama is not a citizen and more.

In an interview, Ifill said that for black voters, such accusations feel like white people are attacking their own dignity. "In essence," she says, "they are closing ranks around Obama."

She noted that women were justifiably moved by Hillary Rodham Clinton's candidacy and Catholics flocked to the polls to elect President John F. Kennedy. Comparing black pride in Obama to white pride in Romney is a "false symmetry" because of the history of black oppression, she says, and she asked for patience from America at large.

"There should not be this resistance to pride over the first black president," Ifill says. "If we get to the fifth one, I'll be with you."


Also On Black America Web:

29 thoughts on “Do Black People Support Obama Because He’s Black?

  1. jeffc762 on said:

    I appreciate your point of view, my only question is how would you know certain things are only for whites? We cant put “white golf club” or White dance club, or White America web, because black people would have the NAACP on them so fast. I am not in any way saying whites should be able to do that, just saying that if blacks can, why cant whites? To me either one is rediculous. This is America, we are supposed to be equal and that is a two way street. Obviously both races are going to always have people who are racist. I have been discriminated against before, not to the point blacks used to be, but I do know it goes both ways. I dont appreciate the fact that you assume I am racist, and would automatically vote for a white candidate, or have something against you because you are black, etc, etc. Like I said, my only issue is putting the word black in front of things so that other races stay away.

  2. Wlholloway on said:

    I never said that you, individually were racist, I don’t know you. My statement was that racism exist. Whites don’t have to lable their buildings, they just do not allow Blacks into some of them. You are making more out of this than necessary———it is black and white, simple. Some of the groups don’t allow women——-all of this is common knoweldge.

  3. EVONNEY on said:

    Somebody need to ask Romney Since he claim he did so much as Governor.

    why did you decide NOT to run for a second term? didn’t you enjoy governing? wasn’t it your duty to continue? what made you give up?”

  4. Wlholloway on said:

    I wouldn’t expect you to mention the history of racism because that is the elephant that has been in the room for so long. The only reason we have we claim certain things is because of the limited or non-existence of them. You have had clubs and golf courses, just to name a few——and you didn’t have to give it a white name because it was known that it was for whites only. I don’t have a problem with you being on the website. I made a response to a question that was posted just like you did——-that is my perogative. I also live and work in a diverse environment, but that does not mean there is not racism. If racial equality had no holes, then you would be right. Right does not wrong anybody..

  5. jeffc762 on said:

    That was the type of response I expected. Never did I mention anything about history or the unfairness of the racism towards blacks. White people don’t name stuff for their race like black people do. If it makes you mad that a white man is on this black america site then who exactly is the racist? I live in a city that is very diverse and proud to have friends of all races so don’t call me racist. I simply think its not good for racial equality to label things for specific races.

  6. Wlholloway on said:

    First of all, you sould like Mitt—–lies. The majority of Blacks are not racist. We take in mixed couples without a word, where as most of you reject both of them, quickly. But, I will say that if anyone has a reason to be racist, it is Blacks—–we have put up with racism from whites to this day. Discrimination in jobs, housing, and public transportation. I am 68 years old and still get discriminated against——so, you don’t want to have this discussion with me because you don’t know what you are talking about. Whites have their own websites, you have your own churches, etc. We have Black newspapers in order to get a different perspective. The Black newspapers are not as large as the ones that whites own. You need to do your research before you jump to conclusions.

  7. jeffc762 on said:

    Lets face it, this whole website is racist against whites. If there was a website called black people would have a fit and call it racist. Why is that? Why can black people have their own news paper, their own websites, and their own churches, etc and put the word “black” in front of it but if white people put the word “white” in front of their orginizations its racist?

  8. Pastor Johnson on said:

    The Scripture tells us in Matthew 20:16, The last shall be first, and the first shall be last…we’ve been (as African Americans) last for a long time…there’s nothing wrong with taking pride and voting for the first black president of the Untied States. He has done an outstanding job as President of “all americans.” You cannot fix a problem that took (8 years) to build, in (4 years), that’s just not logical…everybody chill out, be patient, and allow President Obama to do what he was elected to do…straighten out this mess that has been perpetuated for far too long. Strides have already been made, read his record, look at the legislation he has signed into Law, read all his administration’s accomplishments, and see that as the reason we should vote for him also…he has gotten things done, in spite of all the blockage…Obama/Biden 2012

  9. delores3 on said:

    What about the fact that Obama is best qualified for the office of President. We have a situation now where experience running the country is paramount. Before integration, in dominately Black schools even in elementary schools, our teacher would tell us that we needed to learn and apply ourselves because we would need to be 10 times better at our jobs in order to compete with the majority race. They told the truth.

  10. Wlholloway on said:

    My reason for supporting President Obama is simple———he is qualified. The only reason that this is a question is because of racism. Why else would this man be called everything but a child of GOD before he had a chance to show his worth. In spite of the hate, he has done more good in 3.5 years than Bush did in 8 years. The whole time that Bush was in office, the economy was in decline—-and only when the President took office did this become a travesty.

  11. Just want to be free of pain on said:

    Many of us surviving slavery, segregation and discrimination has forged a special pride in African-Americans. We have heard the white words and find its only words,,,,,,its time to do us for us jusyt like them.

  12. EVONNEY on said:

    I cant recall on a even or any news program at any rally , when Romney asking for Black or spanish anyone of minority for there vote. He never ask for our vote.

  13. Jazzy40 on said:

    It’s really not about what he has done for blacks! Obama didn’t run for president of Black America he ran for president of America! People need to realize that most of the Changes he tried to make was either shot down or water down by the republicans in the house and congress!! If he was not Black they would have been for all the changes!!!

  14. africanwarrior on said:

    President Obama made the comment that ” Only In America Could A Mixed Child Like Me Ever Dram To become President Of The USA”. President Obama is proud of his 50% White And 50% Black African Kenyan Heritage. Obama understand how White People Think because He was raised white as a Mixed Child., He eventually learned how Black people think after leaving his White Grand Parents House in Hawaii

  15. Jazzy40 on said:

    I voted for President Obama because McCain was toooo da** old and he chose an idiot as his running mate! I’ll vote for him again because there was no way possible for him to fix the mess that the re-dummies had created and because I can’t choke the he** out of Romney the JACKA**!!!!!

  16. EVONNEY on said:

    I support whom ever i feel is right for the country. I voted for Bill Clinton. I did not vote for Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton. It has nothing to do with race. I will never vote for someone like Romney who comment on 47% of us yes i said us. I believe Romney was talking about black people stating that they are going to vote for this president no matter what. He should not be trusted.

  17. dkg316 on said:

    “Do Black People Support Obama Because He’s Black?”
    What a stupid question. Only black conservatives ask that question because they want us to vote for romney. THE ANSWER, OF COURSE IS YES AND NO. Yes, because he’s someone WE can identify with (at least in appearance). No, because if race were the only reason, jessie jackson and other black candidates would have gotten more than 90% of the black vote. As it stands jesse jackson didn’t get more than 25 percent and black conservatives who ran for president didn’t get more that 5. I like obama, i really do. But if the conservatives are interested in getting the black vote, they need to nominate someone who doesn’t look down on black people. BLACK CONSERVATIVES DO YOU HAVE ANY SAY IN WHO YOUR PARTY NOMINATES OR ARE YOU LIKE THE REST OF THEM–YOU JUST FOLLOW ALONG AND SAY NOTHING. BUT YOU DON’T HESITATE TO CRITICISE BLACKS IN AN EFFORT TO GET US NOT TO VOTE!!!.. SHAME!

  18. dkg316 on said:

    “Do Black People Support Obama Because He’s Black?”
    What a stupid question. Only black conservatives ask that question because they want us to vote for romney. THE ANSWER, OF COURSE IS YES AND NO. Yes, because he’s someone WE can identify with (at least in appearance). No, because if race were the only reason, jessie jackson and other black candidates would have gotten more than 90% of the black vote. As it stands jesse jackson didn’t get more than 25 percent and black conservatives who ran for president didn’t get more that 5. I like obama, i really do. But if the conservatives are interested in getting the black vote, they need to nominate someone who doesn’t look down on black people. BLACK CONSERVATIVES DO YOU HAVE ANY SAY IN WHO YOUR PARTY NOMINATES OR ARE YOU LIKE THE REST OF THEM–YOU JUST FOLLOW ALONG AND SAY NOTHING. BUT YOU DON’T HESITATE TO CRITICISE BLACKS IN AN EFFORT TO GET US NOT TO VOTE!!!.. SHAME!

  19. YadaYada on said:

    I m voting for Obama because I don`t like what Romney stands for, I don`t trust him and I don`t think he has the best interest of the whole country at heart. Give me a better choice to chose from, until then OBAMA 2012

  20. We should change the initials of our country from what it is now: U.S.A. to what it should be..U.S.H. or United States of Hookers!

  21. gwanedm on said:

    I would say for most Black People we support Obama because he is a Democrat! The Question should be why do we blindly support the Democrat Party? A political party that is increasingly moving away from God!

  22. “Are black people supporting Obama mainly because he’s black?”

    How stupid of a question is this? What choice would “we” have had!!? The better question would have been: Are blacks STILL going to vote for “Obama” because he’s (keyword) “black”? Isn’t this guy the first one ever? MF’ers are a trip.
    Have you already forgotten what “our” wholelistic problems here on Earth are from the beginning of time!? What the f could it be!? You see, unlike our “counterparts”, “we” , do not have the proper type of leadership that we would need to become sucessful as a group for some “unknown” reason and the opposite does. 50 or so years ago that type of leadership had been available and now it is not, humn. I wonder why that is? All they need to bond together is simple greed, lust, the means, know-how, and us to become the lying giant that has plagued us from “our” introduction: rope please.
    Stop trying to ostracise Stacy Dash like she’s Mike Vick at a Job Security convention. Haven’t you ever heard the quote, “when in Rome do as the Roman’s”? Pime example. I never here anyone say anything negative about Condaleza Rice!!! Stop hating on people, keep it real, and be truthful about the facts. Our reactory race is every man, women,and child for him/herself period. You can’t win a game of spades when your the only black seated at the table or when the score keeper is pencil whipping you can you? Try it sometimes literally. Deuces.

  23. gwanedm on said:

    Changes that Obama tried to make shot down or watered down by Republicans? That is not true! You really need to check your facts! If you check, you will find out that when Obama was elected the Democrats controlled both the house and senate and it was that way for the first two years of his Presidency. Obama got exactly was he wanted to include obamacare with NO Republican support!

  24. FTSMITH on said:

    I voted for “The Big Chief”, because he was on the Democratic ticket in 2008. I’m voting for him again, because he is trying to put us back on the right track, after 8 years of greed and corruption from the Bush/Cheney era.

  25. Chris40 on said:

    If Black people vote for Obama because he call himself Black, I say these Black people got Obama’s back.(No matter what!!!!) Do Obama got Black folks back? I asked this question before without nobody answering, What has Obama done to benefit Black people specifcally? A good example is he looked out for the GLBT specifically by getting rid of “Don’t ask don’t tell.” Now GLBT folks can be themselves.

  26. Chris40 on said:

    The fuss ova Stacey Dash, I say “So what.” If she want to vote to Romney, have at it. Since Stacey is of Barbadian and Mexican descent, I wonder if Mexicans and Barbadians saying somethin about this.

  27. thereeds44 on said:

    Think about the friends that you hang out with or the co-workers that you enjoy most. They are the people who have the most in common with you. People in general are attracted to people that they can relate to most.

Add Your Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s