Lately, a growing number of Republican-leaning, independent voters have been speaking out against the Obama administration’s policy agenda. This national phenomenon has become better know as the “Tea Party,” which a couple of weeks ago had their first convention in Nashville with much media attention – albeit much of that attention came by way of Sarah Palin’s unfortunate hand situation.
Nonetheless, the tea party movement has also been getting attention because their gatherings seem to attract largely white followers. There have been some black sightings at these rallies, such as motivational speaker Mason Weaver and singer Lloyd Marcus, but considering the low number of black Republicans and the perception that conservatives don’t care about black issues, these black sightings may remain low.
However, the real question here is when and if will Blacks form their own tea party. With festering Black anger towards Democrats as seen in recent Republican wins in Virginia and Massachusetts, a Black Tea Party Convention could be in the making in the very near future.
Recently, Newsweek’s Allison Samuels looked at the growing Black resistance to President Obama’s policy agenda, which seemingly isn’t inclusive enough of issues affecting the Black community.
Actor Danny Glover criticized the president of following the “same playbook” the Bush administration used on both foreign and domestic policies, while perennial media personality Michael Eric Dyson called out both Sen. Harry Reid for his “light-skinned with no Negro dialect” remarks and Obama’s reluctance to call Reid out on his remarks.
“Traditionally black leaders have been reluctant to criticize one of their own in public, but that reticence is wearing off,” says Democratic political strategist Donna Brazile.”Obviously some issues in the community are getting worse, and the African-American leaders of the country can’t just give the current president a pass. They have to be vocal about what is and isn’t being done.”
Many of the issues Brazile alludes to include the astronomical unemployment and HIV/AIDS rates in the Black community, which many feel are still neglected problems by the current administration. This is not to say disgruntled Blacks will start voting for Republicans necessarily, but it may be possible for the first time in over 40 years Blacks will start voting on the issues rather than out of party loyalty. Maybe the future for Black voters will be in third parties, which seems to have gained much traction in recent years.
Even Harvard professor Charles Ogletree has said that Blacks should think about alternative voting options, as both the Republicans and Democrats are “so compromised and set in their ways that the idea of having real issues addressed is almost unspeakable.” He also says that Blacks should “get principled points of view on the table, serious debates and discussion that will make a difference.”