Watching the Democrat candidates for President right now is a lot like watching a demolition derby but with a lot more spin doctors. The African-American community is coming after the Hillary Clinton campaign for comments made that seemed to diminish the role of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the civil rights movement. Hillary's campaign is firing back, saying that Barack Obama's campaign is playing the race card. And now John Edwards's campaign is firing at Hillary's campaign over the comments.
At the heart of this situation, though, is a voting bloc that has traditionally gone Democratic: the African-American vote. Democrats have done a masterful job in keeping African-Americans on their side politically, but that may be changing. With people like Bill Cosby and Chris Rock making pointed, yet accurate, statements about the declining state of African-American culture in today's society, it's getting harder and harder for voters to ignore.
Part of the problem lies with the people who have stepped up to become self-professed leaders of the African-American community. People like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and the late Johnny Cochran are or were seen as leaders who were looking to help African-Americans in any way they could. And these folks played this role to the hilt. Yet, when compared with their private lives, there's more than a slight disconnect. These self-professed leaders seem only to lead themselves to the promised land of money, fame, and power, leaving the rest of their people to fend for themselves. This should leave African-American voters wondering what's in it for them to vote Democratic if all they're getting is table scraps and false promises.
And this is a question the Democrats didn't want to have to answer at this point in time. With control of the White House and at least one house of Congress within their grasps, they needed a united front. What they've done, unfortunately for them, is create more division within their ranks. With Bill and Hillary Clinton leading the white liberal "we know what's best for your" contingent and Obama trying to pull together a coalition united in spite of their racial, political, gender, or religious differences, the Democrats are looking at a full-fledged race war of their own making.
Now, I'm a white guy from Iowa, so you can take what I'm about to say with a grain of salt if you'd like. I think it's time for African-Americans to choose, not which Democrat they want to back, but whether the Democrats deserve their votes in November or any other time. And unlike some, I won't presume to tell you what to think. I only ask that you do think and make the decision that's best for you and your race.