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Q: Issues of concern for African-Americans ( Answered,   0 Comments )
Subject: Issues of concern for African-Americans
Category: Relationships and Society > Cultures
Asked by: chilebean-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 03 Dec 2002 09:33 PST
Expires: 02 Jan 2003 09:33 PST
Question ID: 118491
What are the major politcal issues for African-Americans?
Subject: Re: Issues of concern for African-Americans
Answered By: funkywizard-ga on 03 Dec 2002 14:09 PST
Firsly, the website has a page listing a number of
websites that deal with african american political issues [ ]. One of these sites is the
Black Americas Political Action Committee, which in its BAMPAC 2002
some interesting information concerning what issues are most important
to african americans. And I quote:

4.             Concern about the economy/jobs remained the number one
issue of concern among African Americans at 24%.   However, Foreign
Policy in General (22%) and Terrorism (9%) replaced education/social
issues and crime (the other issues cited in the 2001 poll) as the
other top issues of importance to African Americans.

5.             56% of African Americans gave their public schools a
“C” grade or lower.  The biggest problems facing their local school
remain the same as 2001 lack of discipline (20%), and lack of
resources (17%).   However, a large number of respondents to the 2002
poll (14%) cited Social Issues (drug use, teen pregnancy, and juvenile
crime) as a major issue facing local schools.

6.             School choice is a message that is resonating with
African Americans.  Nearly half of the respondents (48%) would send
their children to private or charter schools.  45% would keep their
children in public school.   There was an increase in favorable
responses to BAMPAC when the respondents learned that BAMPAC supports
school choice in the form of vouchers (increase from 40% in 2001 to
51% in 2002).    Note there was a more decisive change in the
favorable rating of BAMPAC when the word “vouchers” was replaced with
“opportunity scholarships” (increase from 49% favorable to 64%

It goes on to summarize the following: 

"The issues of concern to African Americans do not differ greatly from
that of the rest of the nation. The concerns about the economy,
foreign policy and the new threats of terrorism rank highly among all
Americans.  Therefore, in building a message, a candidate can rely on
similar themes in reaching the African American voter base.

It should be noted that the employment of school choice in the message
could resonate as support is growing.  Nearly half of the respondents
stated that they would place their child in a private or charter
school if given the choice.   It will be interesting to see this
preference exercised in a practical sense as a result of the Supreme
Court ruling upholding the constitutionality of vouchers."

One big political issue dealing with african americans is that of
affirmative action. The political action website has an
article on affirmative action [ ] in which it states
"Every day for over 30 years, affirmative action has opened doors for
women and people of color — on the job, in school and in business. The
radical right is trying to put an end to such policies and unless we
speak out and organize strong political opposition, those doors of
opportunity are about to be slammed shut." They go on to describe
affirmative action as this: "Affirmative action rights past and
present wrongs — like being locked out of opportunities, cheated by an
illusion of fairness or judged by subjective standards." Though this
is clearly a one sided view, it gives an idea of one major political
issue that deals with african americans. Much of the controversy with
affirmative action is the view that an unqualified minority may be
hired over a more qualified white or male candidate due to a
preference system that gives minorities an unfair advantage. There is
much debate to the contrary, but this is unlikely to be decided any
time soon. In the meantime, this remains a large political issue for
african americans.

Another main issue for politicians as it relates to african americans
(instead of the other way around) is that of political party. It has
been seen in the past that the republican party is viewed as
unresponsive to african american issues, whereas the democratic party
represents these issues more effectively. In the poll cited earlier [ ], they noted the following

"7.   In the poll, the Democratic Party’s standing among the
respondents was somewhat diminished since the 2001 poll with the
Republican Party enjoying modest gains.  The percentage of African
Americans that stated that the Democratic Party has served them well
decreased from 61% in 2001 to 49% in 2002.   Forty percent (40%)
stated that the Democrats have taken them for granted (up from 27% in

"9.             The percentage of African Americans who felt the
Republican Party ignored them has decreased slightly from 59% in 2001
to 53% in 2002."

As it relates to actually selecting a candidate and what issues are
important for that purpose the study found the following:

"10.         In electing Members of Congress, African Americans look
to the candidate’s stances on the following issues as the deciding
factors: improving education and protecting civil rights are of
primary importance followed by fighting crime and improving the
economy.  A growing number of African Americans also cite the
candidate’s commitment to strengthening Social Security as a deciding
factor.    Partisan affiliations were only cited by 22% of African
Americans as an important factor in electing their Congressperson."

Finally one big issue that remains is that of racial profiling. In the
study cited earlier it states that "8. Incidents of racial profiling
are still prevalent.   Fifty-two percent of African Americans have
either been subjected to racial profiling or know of a friend or
acquaintance who has been subjected to racial profiling (the number
was 52% in 2001)."

Further links:

[ ]
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