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Sunday, April 21, 2024

Why African-Americans MUST vote Nov. 2

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What’s at stake in the Nov. 2 election? Well, if you don’t think the stakes are high; that our African-American community has nothing to fear by staying home and not voting on Election Day, then read what the other side would do if our community’s laziness and inertia puts them into positions of power.

Even though pundits and “experts” say Congressman André Carson is ahead in his re-election contest in the 7th Congressional District, Democrats could lose control of the House of Representatives. And there’s always a chance, like Greg Ballard’s upset over heavily favored Bart Peterson, that Carson’s opponent, Republican Marvin Scott (actively supported by tea party activists) could create a huge upset.

So, if that happened, what would Scott do in Congress? Well, let’s look at what he’s telling voters here in Indy.

His Web site demonstrates the inconsistency that passes for policy and message in 2010 from extremist Republicans. In his “14 Principles for America,” Scott openly advocates the abolition of the income tax saying, “It’s time to put the tax monster back in its constitutional cage. Government has no right to force citizens to share personal information, personal assets and to pay government a portion of their income. I will oppose any income tax increase or continuation.”

After that breathtaking statement, which would strip the federal government of its major revenue source, Scott then advocates a balanced budget constitutional amendment “that will once and for all eliminate deficit spending.”

So Scott would starve the federal government of revenue, mandate no deficit and force a balanced budget. But then Scott pivots to become a spendthrift by advocating a blank check for the defense establishment, under the guise of a “strong national defense” declaring “I will support all of our military needs.”

Marvin Scott and other extreme, some might say radical, Republican candidates for Congress advocate supporting heavy spending for defense, but without income taxes to pay for it and reduce the deficit. That means cutting everything else in the federal budget – Social Security, Medicare, health and welfare benefits, help for farmers, moms, aid to schools, even national parks. And yes, repealing the new Health Care Law.

If your head is spinning over Scott’s illogic, listen to what he’s telling voters on radio stations with few or no Black listeners.

“Whether it’s Obama’s bank bailouts, or stimulus schemes or Cash for Clunkers or the destructive health care bill, André Carson is a guaranteed yes vote for every bit of Obama’s socialist agenda,” the radio ad declares. “With radical cap and trade laws that will destroy Indiana jobs, an end to the war on terror, Obama and Carson must be stopped.”

Gee, in the first 10 seconds of Scott’s ad, there’s at least four bald-faced lies and falsehoods – including saying bank bailouts were Obama’s idea, forgetting the fact they were hatched by President George W. Bush. Or the fact that the billions in the bailout have been repaid and the government is due to make billions in profit from. Scott even forgets that Cash for Clunkers was popular with Americans.

Marvin Scott doesn’t care about facts. Just scaring voters into buying into the Tea Party fantasy that President Obama is a radical, raving socialist and by extension so is André Carson.

That’s what our African-American community is facing this election. Candidates ginned up by paranoid white and fellow traveler Blacks who’ve bought into the “Obama is a boogeyman” story cooked up by Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich, Alan Keyes and others, all of whom have enthusiastically endorsed Scott.

If our community doesn’t vote this coming Tuesday, people like Scott and his fellow travelers will gain power to begin a reconstruction that’ll make the 19th century version seem like a Sunday school picnic.

And the stakes are just that high here in Indiana.

The growing ethics scandal involving the state’s top utility regulators and Indiana’s largest utility, Duke Energy, have created the first real scandal of Gov. Mitch Daniels’ administration. It raises the specter of further ethics lapses and scandals that could break out if Daniels and Republicans gain total control of the Indiana legislature by winning the Indiana House.

Gov. Daniels has been raising cash to help the GOP capture the House from Democrats. If they do, powerful Democrats who’ve kept the people’s interests first, like Ways and Means Chair Bill Crawford and Education Chair Greg Porter would be replaced.

Which opens the door for Daniels to take a meat-ax to urban public schools, especially IPS and the township schools already strapped for cash because of the state’s budget woes.

With total Republican control of the legislature, we will see a party and administration dedicated to protecting business rights while abridging workers’ rights – making it harder for workers to form unions, or sue companies if they’re illegally fired or harassed on the job.

Daniels and Republican total control of state government could imperil the number of African-American state legislators. Despite an expected increase in Marion County’s Black population, Republicans would make sure we continued to have just two Black state senators and try to reduce at least one Black elected state representative.

And total Republican control could mean an openly hostile attack on the federal Voting Rights Act by attempting to drive André Carson out of Congress by carving up our African-American community into multiple congressional districts.

See why the stakes are high?

If Republicans totally control state government, do you want Gov. Daniels’ former top lawyer as the individual responsible for investigating state wrongdoing and corruption?

That’s the job of the Marion County prosecutor. Daniels’ former counsel Mark Massa is running against Democrat Terry Curry. Does our community really want the fox guarding Daniels’ state henhouse?

And if the GOP plays hardball against Black elected officials, do we want as Indiana’s chief election official, secretary of state, a man accused of election law fraud, representing a district where he no longer lives?

Do you want a Charlie White, instead of the quality Vop Osili?

In 2008 there was a watershed election. But all those efforts will be wasted if our African-American community sits at home while the forces of illogic and bigotry ascend. Go vote. Early or on Election Day. Vote! The stakes are far too high for you to stay at home.

See ‘ya next week!

You can e-mail comments to Amos Brown at ACBrown@aol.com.

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