For the first time in history two black candidates, President Barack Obama and Herman Cain, may run against each other for the presidency. As it did three years ago, discussions of race and racism continue to play out around both campaigns.
Here is just a snipet of the transcripts from the radio program. To listen click the above link “NPR Talk of the Nation”
CONAN: Congressman West?
WEST: Yeah. I mean, I’d have to agree with what was just said because getting to what statement Dr. Gillespie made, what really are the interests of the black community now? Once upon a time, you know, someone could have said that it was more so about focus on the inner city, social welfare policies, civil rights, things of that. But, you know, even still, you have to understand that, you know, Senator Everett Dirksen did kind of help the civil rights legislation get the push – get pushed through.
But now I think that when you talk about, you know, those policies, you know, and reflect them to the African-American community, well, I mean, there are economic policies that affect the community. And we want to see small businesses grow. And what are the right type of tax and regulatory policies that will enable small businesses, not just to grow on Main Street, quote, unquote, “white America,” but get back into the inner city.
When you understand, you know, recently, when we had unemployment in the black community at an all-time high, it was like 16.7 percent, between 20 to 25 percent for black adult males and close to 45, 46 percent for black teenagers, then people are starting to really ask the questions based upon objective assessment and the right type of policies that are going to enable us to have that growing black middle-income class and, you know, lower to upper income class. And I think that that is what you’re seeing a change, and that’s why you’re starting to see the black community play all across the political spectrum.
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