Dec. 1998-Jan. 1999 Articles:
Are Women Just a Bunch of Boobs?
Mindpower: The Colored Vote
The COLORED Vote
I COULD NOT BELIEVE MY EYES THIS PAST ELECTION. Still, there it was on television. Florida Republicans were going after the black vote. I couldn't believe it. After all the hostility they have shown towards African-Americans, the Republicans were trying to get the colored vote.
As a registered black voter, I had never felt so important. Both parties wanted my vote. This was the year of the black voter in Florida.
It all started back in 1994, when Jeb Bush first ran for governor of Florida. He shunned the black voters that year. Didn't think anything of that certain 15 percent of Florida's population. When asked what would he do for black folks, he said, ≥Probably nothing.≤ Needless to say, his redneck, Texas ass lost that year.
He learned his lesson after that. Since then, a person couldn't keep Bush out of the 'hood. Bush even became some colored child's godfather.
Then in 1998, another thing came along, something the Republicans saw as the perfect opportunity to gain the colored vote. Florida Democrats ousted Willie Logan from his position as the state House Democratic leader. Willie Logan is black.
Yep, Florida Democrats fucked up this year. Couldn't even find someone who could run equally against Bush. They were stuck with the non-charismatic, no-leadership-skills Buddy MacKay.
When they ousted Logan, the smartest thing they could've done was to replace Logan with another black person. Since this was an election year, black voters wouldn't have gotten the impression that they were being taken for granted. But oh no, white Democrats decided to give Logan's position to Anne MacKenzie, a white woman.
It seemed as if Florida Democrats forgot that black voters helped get them in office. Now, it seemed as if they were trying to get the redneck vote.
The charges against Logan were that he didn't raise enough funds for the party and that he was not conservative enough. The funds part I understood, but not conservative enough? Yes, it seemed that Florida Democrats were trying to get the redneck vote.
Now, that the Democrats had screwed up with the Logan fiasco, black Democratic leaders started supporting Republicans. U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, warned the Democrats about taking the black vote for granted, then he started supporting Republicans, too. According to a Sun-Sentinel article on the Internet, some white Democrats warned that Hastings could end up with Democratic opposition for continually talking about the party.
Despite the problems in the Democratic Party, I could not see myself voting Republican. I did what Jesse Jackson suggested when he came to Orlando to visit black voters. I pulled the Halloween masks off the Republicans.
Bush was the same guy in '94 who said he would probably do nothing for blacks. Republicans were also anti-rights for any minority: gays, women and people of color. Every time Republicans talked about immigration, it was always about immigrants of color. Never were they talking about Europeans.
Then, there's the main thing that really burned me up with Republicans this year, that Lewinsky bullshit. They couldn't find anything on Clinton on Whitewater. They couldn't find anything on him about campaign funds. Then, Paula Jones' lawsuit was thrown out of court. What did they catch him on? What did taxpayers' money find President Bill Clinton guilty of? He was found guilty of lying about oral sex.
Now, that did it. A person would think they learned their lesson from the 1996 presidential elections. People were fed up with Republicans catering to hypocrites, mainly the Christian Right. That's how Clinton got to be president, again. In 1996, the Republicans spent too much time attacking the man's character instead of sticking to the issues. People didn't like that. So, many Republican voters chose Clinton. Nope, the Republicans still hadn't learned their lesson.
They predicted a big landslide in 1998. Came election time, this landslide didn't happen. The numbers in the Senate remained the same, but in the House, the Republicans lost seats.
People knew that Oral-sexgate was the Republicans trying to embarrass Clinton. They knew the Republicans were just pissed off because the people chose him twice as president. Besides, the economy was better. Why fuck things up now?
Republicans were even warned that the polls were saying don't impeach the president. Did they listen? No, they went right on with the proceedings.
Now, this is where the black folks come in. Clinton has always been liked in the black community. Clinton once urged those who oppose affirmative action to come up with a better plan. Since then, no one has come up with one better.
Black folks knew this was another reason why Republicans didn't like Clinton. Clinton didn't cater to rednecks like the Grand Old Party does.
So along came the 1998 elections. Most Southern States favored the Democrats. This was due to a strong black voter turnout.
Then, there was Florida. Bush won.
I saw it on television. I will never forget the sight of seeing those black men standing behind Jeb Bush at his rally on the night he had won. It was sickening. It was like Jews supporting the Nazi Party. I couldn't believe it.
I really thought black voters fell for it. Later in the week, I saw colored chilluns hugging Bush on television. He had visited a charter school located in a Miami inner city. This really made me believe black folks voted for the man. (What the cameras didn't show were those kids' parents giving them grief about hugging Bush on national TV.)
Then, the truth came out. According to an Orlando Sentinel report, Jeb Bush only got 14 percent of the African-American vote. That's as high as any Republican ever received in Florida. Also, that 14 percent was a whopping three points higher than what he received in 1994.
Nope, black folks weren't fooled. Many, just like with other voters, just didn't vote this year. One of the reasons why black voters voted Democrat, anyway? Messin' with Clinton.
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Other MindPower columns by Patrick Scott Barnes: