Blacks use soft power/peer pressure fairly effectively to enforce block voting patterns. This is a survival instinct they developed during slavery/reconstruction/"separate-but-equal"/Jim Crow/Civil Rights Era.
IMHO, this instinct is failing them in the "post-racial" era, because, frankly, as a group, African Americans are going backwards. What few gains they have made, have paled in the face of continued failing schools, failed political leaders, failed families, just a whole lot of failures overwhelming the successes they've had.
The black middle class is still a fairly reliable voting block for democratic candidates and causes, despite being at odds with the progressive agenda -
1.) African Americans have had some of their greatest successes in the US military - a true meritocracy, certainly well in advance of the Civil Rights movement of the 60s and Affirmative Action.
2.) As a group, blacks do not, by and large, support the progressive gay rights agenda. In particular, they object to the false parallels between this agenda and the African American civil rights movement.
3.) Prior to the "no man in the house rule" of the Great Society, the strength of the African American community was in their families and churches - places where they always held a certain amount of sovereignty, as opposed to (white) government run schools and other government agencies. That has been destroyed and black illegitimacy is, by far, the rule rather than the exception. While not being judgmental, this is one of the key risk factors for poverty (and if you're already poor, AND born to a single mom, your lifelong poverty ticket is all but punched).
4.) African American political leadership, particularly at the local/city level, overwhelmingly democratic by party, has been an abject failure, almost without exception.
5.) African American unemployment, always a problem due to their general concentration in poor neighborhoods, with poor educational systems, has skyrocketed and the only thing democratic politicians ever offer is some form of welfare/wealth redistribution/affirmative action.
Change comes slowly in the community, but I see some positive signs. Republicans have posted an African American male and female SECSTATE, an RNC head, a frontrunner (briefly) for the nomination, as well as a handful of governors and congressmen. Most pastors in the community espouse generally conservative political views and African Americans with military backgrounds also tend to be more conservative.
The bottom line, however, is that the voting pattern has to shift - again, 80/20 or 70/30 would be enough to show that race-baiting, by itself, won't turn an election and perhaps the real issues - political corruption, urban renewal and economic recovery are the biggest issues that, if addressed, will enhance the lives of the vast majority of the community, rather than continuing to chase phantoms of racism and oppression, "Mr. Charlie", the "man", whitey, that have long since ceased to be an issue - other than as a weapon or catchphrase used by the race hustlers to generate the Pavlovian response in the community to vote "D".
This post was edited on 11/20 at 12:57 pm