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March 7, 2014

Do Chicago/Illinois Democrats Take the Black Vote for Granted?

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Written by: Hermene Hartman
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In the City of Chicago, the Republican Party doesn’t exist for all practical purposes.  In the State of Illinois only because of downstate are there real Republicans.

Democrats assume that Black voters will vote in mass for the party because of its history.  All of the black eggs are in one basket.  Why are Blacks in Chicago and Illinois so loyal to the Democratic Party?  It goes back to the days of the late Congressman William Dawson and the late Mayor Daley.  The lock is on. The Democrats have been the party of ease, embracing Black causes and candidate.  Daley not only courted the Black voter, he trained them with an army of precinct captains.

I suggest as the world is changing we need to reconsider.  It’s almost like there is a Holy Grail or an unwritten rule that if you are Black you vote Democratic. Well now, here’s a question, what have the democrats done for you lately, other than take you for granted?
The vote is precious and powerful.  No other ethnic group in America has worked harder for the vote than the African American.  We have died for the right to vote paying horrific social penalties to include marches, water hoses, jailings, burning properties, lynchings and even murders.  Blacks have united in a resounding voice to cast the vote.

We don’t bargain or leverage a collective power.   We don’t ask the politicos to work for our vote. It’s time to take another look.  The Democrats in essence ignore us until election time, and then they take a church tour. The Republicans don’t even bother to court the Black voter, consequently Blacks are left in the wind-taken for granted by one party and ignored by another.

So, how about change? How about a new dynamic? Take a look at the Black economy. There is an invasion of foreigners in our neighborhoods. There are few restaurants.  The Koreans dominate the Black hair care industry from the hair stores to the product. Cleaners are Asian controlled. Indians monopolize Dunkin Donuts for coffee; donuts and ice cream. The Arabs own the gas stations and ma and pa corner stores. And then there is the nail shop with not one Black manicurist as they paint African American female hands. The rest of the Black economy is left to the large chain stores. The fast food companies dominate creating obesity and poor diets.
Where are the Black businesses that create the jobs?   They are struggling and becoming extinct from the simplest of businesses to the downtown ones. Black media is evaporating because the large companies from the phone stores to the fast food companies don’t respect the Black consumer enough to advertise to it, contrary to the trillion dollar consumer spend.  Black men are jailed and shot down in the street by scared policemen.  The crime rate soars because of a lack of protection. Companies don’t

come to our neighborhoods because of the crime rate but  foreigners thrive.  The Black community from politics to business is taken for granted.  The only way to stop the political and consumer insult is for the Black voter and the Black consumer to leverage voting and to engage in selective buying.

There is a lot of opportunity for the Black voter, only if the Black voter would demand it. I am one to believe in the man or woman rather than the party. People run on their records, credentials and plans.  If the political process is to be true to the democracy and the republic the Black voter should consider both parties to bring about a simple respect and to put a high value on the vote.

The Black voter needs to consider its vote in full measure  and have the politicians court the vote rather than take it for granted or ignore it.



About the Author

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Hermene Hartman
Hermene Hartman serves as President and CEO of the Chicago-based, Hartman Publishing Group, INC. NDIGO, was founded in 1989 and is a significant voice in Chicago. Hartman provides social commentary on WVAZ's 102.7 radio Monday - Friday at 9:15 a.m. She is an author and appears as a guest on TV with commentary. Ms. Hartman is the founder of The NDIGO Foundation, a 501c3 not-for-profit organization, which began in 1995, for the sole purpose of raising funds for educational pursuits.