He said: “How tough a year it’s going to be for the Democrats will very much depend upon their base, and there’s no part of their base that is more important than the African American vote.”
The report, released last week Thursday, said Black voters could have a major impact on the outcome of 20 House races and 14 Senate races, but only…only if Black America reverses a pattern of low turnout in non-presidential election years.
The center study reports there are 20 competitive House contests. Fifteen of those contests are in the South in districts with Black voting populations of 10% or more.
They include three districts in Virginia, three in Ohio, two in Louisiana and two in Arkansas. Another key race the report doesn’t mention is Wisconsin, where incumbent Senator Russ Feingold is in the unusual position of underdog to an upstart, businessman and Tea Party disciple Ron Johnson.
“If Democrats retain half of these seats, it would be difficult for the GOP to gain the 40 seats necessary to regain the majority in the U.S. House,” the report says.
And there lies the rub. The Black vote is the key to turning back the threatening extreme right, Tea Party tsunami that could wash away the gains of the last two years by President Barack Obama and the Democrats in Congress who (for now) hold power on Capitol Hill.
That’s right. WE—African Americans—hold the future of our nation (and ourselves) in its collective hands!
But given the extreme lack of enthusiasm in Black Milwaukee and Black America, we very well might squander again a ripe opportunity to turn back the hard right tide.
Not only that, we will again fail to make a definitive statement to Democrats and Republicans that we must be respected and not taken lightly or written off as a predictable loss.
As the aforementioned numbers point out, we are the key to retaining the gains in health care and Wall Street reform, the retention of automobile manufacturing jobs, a stimulus initiative that has helped create thousands of jobs and is holding the recession dragon at bay.
But all of that could be lost if Black America does not come out en masse and vote on November 2. If the Democrats lose control of Congress, we will have no one to blame but ourselves. Not White America, not the Tea Partiers, nor the Republicans who will gain power and dismantle President Obama’s initiatives.
We can’t use this quote enough by SCLC legend Joseph C. Lowry: “In 2009 we changed the guard. In 2010, we must guard the change!”
It’s time for Black America to rise up and guard the change we have been waiting for and now have. Again, if you don’t, who will!