Monday, January 14, 2008

Huckabee is REALLY The Best Choice for African Americans In Michigan by Akindele Akinyemi

Tomorrow is the primary elections here in the great State of Michigan. Voters will be going out to vote for their favorite candidate of choice.

My Democratic colleagues who I have spoken to plan on voting uncommitted because Sen. Barack Obama is not on the ballot and many feel disenfranchised. However, I have no clue of why Blacks are totally disgruntled here in Detroit when it was Sen. Obama's decision to pull his name off the ballot. So why are they taking this out on the Michigan Democratic Party I have no clue. Sounds like to me we STILL need to learn the political process in depth and actually SIT down and READ the procedures for respecting the rules of the Democratic National Committee.

While Obama has gained momentum nationally I would not vote for him anyway. I will be voting in the Republican primaries tomorrow.

By this time everyone knows that I have publicly endorsed Mike Huckabee for President. While I listen to Mitt Romney and John McCain's views on different things I am still obligated to support the candidate that I feel will play out in the urban community. I have spoken to many people on the campaign trail and everyone is giving me their sales pitch.

I have had some calling me to convince me to switch endorsements to support Romney. While Romney has the business sense to transform things most Blacks are not going to vote for him because of his Mormon religion. Too many of us still think that the Mormon faith considers Blacks as a cursed seed of Ham in the Bible. Even though they changed this stance 30 years ago too many of us still have that stigma in our heads.

I do not think Mitt Romney view Blacks as cursed but he has his hands tied just educating the Black vote on that issue alone. Plus it does not help him at all that he skipped the debates at Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD. Morgan State is a Historically Black College and University. This was his opportunity to directly address young Black voters on the issues affecting the Black community.

The same goes for John McCain. He skipped those same debates at Morgan State University. He, too, had an opportunity to address the Black community. He declined.

So I am asking those who have not made up their mind to decline both Romney and McCain and vote for Huckabee tomorrow.

Mike Huckabee did show up at the debates at Morgan State University. Here is a man that received 48% of the Black vote in his first stint as Governor of Arkansas and 43% of the Black vote when he ran for re-election. For any Republican to receive 40% of ANYTHING from Black people in the SOUTH of all places let's me know that they must be communicating directly with the people.

When Mike Huckabee was asked about healthcare in our community he said this:

The first problem with our current health care system is that it's upside down. It focuses on intervention. We wait until people are catastrophically ill, and then we spend enormous amounts of money trying to fix them. We need to be putting the money on the preventive side. Prevention is a lot less expensive than is intervention.

The second thing, there has to be ownership of the individual consumer. As long as the government, the employer, as long as the doctor is in charge of your health care, and you have no idea what it costs, and you have no idea what they're doing, and you don't control it, we're never going to get the system fixed.

And the third thing that has to happen is that we have portable medical records so that your health care records go with you. They don't stay with your doctor. You shouldn't have to ask permission to see the records of your own body. Those are your own records. They don't belong to anybody else.

And the policies that we can put in place have to start with individuals buying in, not only on insurance, but buying in on health, their own personal, to start with.

When asked about the Crisis in Darfur, Sudan Gov. Huckabee responded:

I think we have some role to play in it, but I guess what disturbs me even more, we have not even addressed the genocide that's going on and the infanticide in our own country with the slaughter of millions of unborn children.

And we also have extraordinary poverty in this country.

Yes, we ought to be involved. But you know something? There are a lot of people in America that don't think the only poverty is in Darfur – understand there's poverty in the Delta.
There are people who don't have running water, people that don't have access to medical care and don't have a decent school to go to and you don't have to go halfway around the world to find it. We've got it right here in this country.

On employment disparities Gov. Huckabee responded:

Part of that is it is that there is still racism in this country, and the opportunities aren't the same. Some of it has to do with the fact that there are people who unfortunately still look at a person's face and their skin, and that's something that government can't change, but leadership certainly can speak to.

One of the things all of us need to be aware of is that there isn't an equal opportunity for every American yet. There just isn't. We could say there is, but it's not true.

And in some cases, it's because those who try to lift themselves up find that they get most importantly the heel of someone's boot on top of their head every time they try to raise their head.

And the reason answer is to make sure that there are not only educational opportunities that bring equality, employment opportunities that ensure that people have the same chances as anybody else.

And when asked about what legacy he would leave for African Americans in this country Gov. Huckabee responded to this:

I would say, first of all, that I would hope they would name President Eisenhower. Because he sent those troops and federalized the National Guard in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1957, when it was a Democrat governor who stood at the schoolhouse door and said those young people couldn't come in.

And I would like to believe, if I were fortunate enough to be the president, that at the end of my tenure – hopefully, eight years, by the way, not just four – that housing opportunities would be better, that we made some real strides in the criminal justice system so that you don't have a different sentence for a 17-year-old kid caught with a lid of marijuana than you do some upper-middle-class white kid who gets caught with cocaine. He goes to rehab, and the Black kid goes to prison for 10 years.

We'd change that. We'd have a different system as it relates to such things as health care, because there is a disproportionate level of people in the African American community with hypertension, with stroke, with diabetes. And there needs to be a disproportionate level of funding to help them.

I thought his responses were sincere and they really displayed how the depth of his experience as governor would heal racial division in this country. When a person becomes only the 3rd Republican Governor of Arkansas since Reconstruction, you know he cuts across racial lines; he received over twice the black vote during his tenure than the national Republican average.

Dr. Michael Fauntroy, author of Republicans and the Black Vote, observed at that Morgan State debate:

"Mike Huckabee has always struck me as a thoughtful candidate and he distinguished himself from the field offering comments that demonstrated he did research and had some understanding of Black America. His comments on criminal justice reform showed real common sense. Typical "tough-on-crime" conservatives address criminal justice in irresponsible sound bites, slogans, and policies: "three strikes", "do away with parole", and the "death penalty." These sound bites, slogans and policies were more about appearing to be tough on crime than actually doing the hard work of rehabilitation. Huckabee scored points by noting that 80% of those incarcerated in America are so because of drug or alcohol related crime. He called for the creation of drug courts and alternatives to incarceration where appropriate. This doesn't usually come from conservatives and shows an ability to think for himself in a way that sets him apart for rank-and-file Republicans."

I said this before, if the Republican Party in Michigan or the RNC wants Blacks to support the party base I highly recommend that they tear out a page from the Huckabee files. If they think promoting Mitt Romney (who I have NOT seen in any churches or events in our community) is going to get the Black vote then we need to go ahead and give this victory over to the Democrats. The same goes for John McCain.

1 comment:

Voice of Reason said...

I am also an African American supporting Huckabee. During his governorship, he earned 49% of the African American vote. I also won't support Romney, not only because of concern about his personal reaction to his church integrating (read the CBS News account - it didn't seem to me that his tears were tears of joy) - but because I don't find him believable in general. Huckabee is a good man who has always had good relationships with people of all races.