Pander Me Silly

 

by Andre Early

Wake up, turn on CNN, MSNBC or Fox News. What do you see on the TV?

Is it a police officer killing an unarmed black man? Is it Donald Trump regurgitating his immigration policy? If not, then maybe it’s some on-air personality criticizing a football player for protesting the national anthem.

Racial division is a pressing issue that’s not going away anytime soon. It has to be addressed with urgency.

But the ongoing pandering to get the votes of minority groups can be a distraction. During a conference in New Orleans, I had the opportunity to see diversity that Connecticut had never offered me.

I figured that I could use this to my advantage. So I went to the streets to see what people were really thinking.

“I think it’s cool, because most of the blacks don’t vote too much. I haven’t voted one time in my life,” said New Orleans resident Will McKay. “I’m 62 years old, which is a shame. Us [black people], being oppressed throughout the years, we don’t care who wins.”

There is truth to his opinion.

A large influx of blacks have turned out to the polls since the 2012 presidential election. Two million more African American voters, two million more Hispanic voters, and 600,000 more Asian voters registered in 2008 than those who registered in 2004, according to the Census Bureau in 2009. Altogether, in 2012, these three racial groups gave 80 percent of their vote to Obama, which propelled him to win the second time around.

We want to live in a world that’s not divided by hatred, bigotry and ignorance, yet it seems some of our current politicians have a problem grasping the idea that a progressive society is equivalent to an evolved one.

Recently, in the aftermath of protests caused by the murder of Keith Lamont Scott, who died at the hands of a police officer in Charlotte, North Carolina, Republican Congressman Robert Pittenger of Texas stated that, “[black people] hate white people, because white people are successful and they’re not.”

This is an elected official with the responsibility to improve the general welfare of his community.

“They don’t care about the ethnics’ well-being,” suggested Roy, a 25-year-old man out of New Orleans, “They basically don’t really want us here, so once they get our vote, it’s a wrap.”

During one of Trump’s recent campaign stops at a church in Cleveland, Ohio, former boxing promoter Don King, who rambled like a drunken philosopher, spoke as a guest of honor. King used derogatory terms that expressed a sense of self-hatred and maybe even desperation.

“You have to emulate and imitate the white man to be successful,” said King. “If you’re intelligent or intellectual, you’re an intellectual negro. If you are a dancing-sliding-and-gliding n—-, I mean Negro, you are a dancing-sliding and-gliding negro.”

This is a mindset we, as a people, have worked so hard to stray away from for over 100 years. Yet Donald Trump has no concept of what’s acceptable and what’s not.

How could Donald Trump care about the black community?

Isn’t this the same man that took weeks to denounce his affiliation with David Duke, former Imperial Wizard of the infamous American terrorist affiliation, the Ku Klux Klan?

Hillary Clinton isn’t off the hook, either. Did we somehow forget about the time she referred to young black males as “super-predators?” Or what about when she backed the many bills implemented by her husband during his term in office that disproportionately incarcerated African Africans?

None of the candidates are perfect. The point I’m trying to make is that the tactics taken by these two people, just to get the black vote, are too obvious and their motives don’t come off as being truly genuine.

Who do you vote for in times like these?

“I think this is a shortcut for them to connect to potential voters but I also think it is incumbent for the voters to recognize that and to hold these politicians and candidates accountable for issues further pandering them; not just accept the regurgitation of those same old lines,” said Frank Robinson, a graduate student at South Dakota State University.  “The voters need to say, ‘OK, that’s fine, but give me something that’s tangible.’”

No more hot air from these half-witted politicians. We need to see more action, more improvement, more plans and more dedication. Time ultimately is the only factor that will reveal the true intentions of whichever official we elected in November.