integer on 8 Jan 2001 08:25:17 -0000

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>In the United States, we're witnessing an incrasingly politicized black
>electorate; it was the Congressional Black Caucus in the House of Repre-
>sentatives that objected to Bush's election. The Black Radical COngress
>BRC-NEWS list, moderated by Art McGee, funnels articles, media news, calls
>for action. I'm sending the following on to nettime as an index of the
>list quality/relevancy to US politics and media; I'm hoping many of you
>will subscribe, if you haven't already.
>The NY Times Almanac reports that a black male born today has a 28.5%
>probability of incarceration. Bush, by proxy, if nothing else, is a
>- Alan

ma! read. = had b!n dze kasz b4 Bush ja.

>---------- Forwarded message ----------
>Date: Sat, 6 Jan 2001 22:08:49 -0500
>From: Jennifer Jones <>
>Subject: [BRC-NEWS] The Black Electorate -- 2000
>Along the Color Line
>December 2000
>The Black Electorate -- 2000
>By Dr. Manning Marable <>
>        Black America tried its best to keep George W. Bush
>out of the White House. Its inability to do so does not
>negate the many significant gains it achieved in the
>electoral arena.
>        The 2000 presidential election was by far the
>closest in terms of the Electoral College since 1876, and
>the closest in terms of the popular vote since Kennedy's
>narrow margin of victory over Nixon forty years ago. Yet
>despite widespread reports that voter turnout was heavy,
>the actual number of votes cast was about 104 million, only
>one million more than in 1996. Less than 51 percent of all
>eligible voters cast ballots, compared to 49 percent in 1996
>and 50 percent in 1988. Considering that both major parties
>spent more than one billion dollars in the general election,
>with millions of phone calls and direct mail, the turnout
>was remarkably weak. The lackluster major presidential
>candidates, Bush and Gore, failed to generate any
>enthusiasm or deep commitment among the voters.
>        The African-American electorate, however, was the
>exception to the rule. In state after state, black turnout
>was stronger than anticipated, and comprised the critical
>margin of difference for Gore and hundreds of Democratic
>candidates in Senate, House and local races. Nationwide, a
>clear majority of white voters went for Bush over Gore, 53
>percent vs. 42 percent. African Americans, however, went
>overwhelmingly for Gore, 90 percent vs. 8 percent. Bush's
>feeble share of the black vote was actually less than his
>father had received as the Republican presidential candidate
>in 1992, or that Bob Dole garnered in 1996. Bush's 2000
>black vote was the lowest total received by any Republican
>presidential candidate since 1964, when Barry Goldwater
>received only six percent.
>        In Florida alone, the African-American vote jumped
>from 527,000 in 1996 to 952,000. In Missouri, over 283,000
>blacks voted, compared to only 106,000 four years ago.
>        In state after state, African Americans were the
>critical margin of victory for the Gore-Lieberman ticket.
>In Maryland, Bush defeated Gore among white voters by a
>margin of 51 to 45 percent. But African-American turnout
>represented a substantial 22 percent of Maryland's total
>statewide vote. Because black Maryland voters supported
>Gore by 90 percent, Gore cruised to a 17 point victory in
>the state. In Michigan, the white electorate backed Bush,
>51 to 46 percent, but African Americans came out for Gore
>at 90 percent, giving the state to the Democrats.
>        In Illinois, a massive turnout of African-American
>voters in Chicago helped to give Gore 56 percent of the
>statewide total vote, and a plurality of over 600,000 votes.
>        The NAACP's National Voter Fund, and the Association's
>$12 million investment in the elections, was the principal
>factor behind the surge in the African-American electorate.
>The NAACP financed a political "command center" with dozens
>of full-time staff members and volunteers running telephone
>banks and a satellite TV uplink. Thousands of black churches,
>community-based organizations, and labor groups mobilized
>African Americans to turn out on Election Day. Jesse Jackson's
>campaigning was also critical to Gore's success in the swing
>states of Michigan and Pennsylvania.
>        Less publicized, but potentially just as important
>as the African-American vote, was the electoral response by
>organized labor. The AFL-CIO devoted millions of dollars to
>the effort to defeat Bush. In Michigan, for example, where
>labor households represented roughly 30 percent of the state-
>wide vote in 1992, the union vote eight years later totaled
>44 percent of the state's electorate. In Pennsylvania, union
>households comprised 19 percent of the statewide vote in
>1992, but increased to 26 percent of all voters last year.
>        The greatest tragedy of the 2000 presidential race,
>from the vantagepoint of the African-American electorate,
>was that the black vote would have been substantially larger,
>if the criminal justice policies that have been put in place
>by the Clinton-Gore administration had been different. As
>noted by the Washington, D.C.-based Sentencing Project,
>and Human Rights Watch, over 4.2 million Americans were
>prohibited from voting in the 2000 presidential election,
>because they were in prison or had in the past been
>convicted of a felony. Of that number, more than one-third,
>or 1.8 million voters who are disenfranchised, are African
>Americans. This represents 13 percent of all black males of
>voting age in the U.S.
>        In Florida and Alabama, 31 percent of all black men
>as of 1998 were permanently disenfranchised because of felony
>convictions, many for nonviolent crimes. In New Mexico and
>Iowa, one in every four African-American males is permanently
>disenfranchised. In Texas, one in five black men are not
>allowed to vote.
>        The selection (not election) of George W.
>Bush should not discourage African-American leadership
>or institutions. More than any other Americans, we fought
>and died to enjoy the right to vote. Now we must mobilize
>to insure that every citizen, including prisoners and those
>who have been previously convicted of felonies, can exercise
>their full democratic rights. The black vote is the decisive
>constituency in the fight for democracy in America.
>Dr. Manning Marable is Professor of History and Political
>Science, and the Director of the Institute for Research in
>African-American Studies, Columbia University. "Along the
>Color Line" is distributed free of charge to over 350
>publications throughout the U.S. and internationally.
>Dr. Marable's column is also available on the Internet
>at <>.
>Copyleft (c) 2000 Manning Marable. Redistribute Freely.
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