A courageous Dash

Actress' break from lockstep speaks volumes about state of things

Black actress Stacey Dash isn’t black enough. That’s the reaction in cyberspace to her endorsement of Republican Mitt Romney.

What does “not black enough” mean, anyway?

Does it mean “supporting a Republican”? As if all blacks must vote Democrat? Does it mean “Supporting someone based on something other than race”? As if voting by skin color was what the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. had in mind?

Does it mean not supporting the kinds of policies that have ruled American cities for decades?

The withering criticism of the courageous Ms. Dash, who is bold enough to break from the lockstep pack backing Mr. Obama, begs the question: Is Barack Obama black enough?

If by that you mean “Is he pursuing policies that help African-Americans and inner cities?” the answer is clearly no.

Case in point: 83-percent-black Detroit was recently named as too dangerous for visitors – by the city’s police officers themselves, who held an “Enter at Your Own Risk” rally Saturday.

Now, you can argue that the provocative statement by that city’s finest is a union negotiating ploy – but that would be selling even public-sector unions short. Are you really ready to believe a union is so myopic that it will throw its own city under the bus for a buck?

Wait. Don’t answer that. But you get the point.

The point is, what has Barack Obama done for America’s cities and African-Americans to earn the kind of blind support he seems to be getting from those sectors?

When Stacey Dash concludes that a change to Mitt Romney is “The only choice for your future,” she has considerable facts on her side.

“In August,” reports the Chicago Tribune, “the National Urban League’s State of Black America 2012 report found that nearly all the economic gains that the black middle class made during the last 30 years have been wiped out by the economic downturn.”

And yet, in the nearly four years since electing our first African-American president, the state of black America has been largely ignored – by this president and by the news media that fawn over him.

But when they want votes, they sure come calling.

And when someone like Stacey Dash breaks from the herd, she gets trampled – without regard for whether the thundering mass has any good reasons underlying its sense of direction.

Facts would seem to argue against re-upping for the status quo.

“Blacks overall,” writes the Tribune, “are experiencing a 13.4 percent unemployment rate, according to figures released Friday, much higher than the national rate of 7.8 percent.

“The Pew Charitable Trusts’ Economic Mobility Project recently released a report projecting that 68 percent of African-Americans reared in the (middle class) will not do as well as the previous generation.”

Facts, particularly economic facts, are colorblind.

Maybe our approach to them – and to candidates – should be as well.

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