Hiram College Professor Jason Johnson was quoted in the Philadelphia Inquirer by Annette John-Hall in her column “Call for minority unity draws flak” about Tom Joyner’s recent call for African-Americans to support President Barack Obama.
Is this call to blackness that Joyner espouses some kind of diabolical plot, some secret code intended to erase the post-racial nirvana some think we achieved with the election of a black president?
I could almost see Jason Johnson, professor of political science at Hiram College in Ohio, rolling his eyes.
“Identity politics is only a problem when minorities do it. Whites do it all the time,” Johnson argues.
“It’s absolutely naive to question the unified behavior of a minority group, given the fact that [historically] the majority has always been unified in their oppression.”
He’s got a point there. I guess there’s a reason it took us so long to get to our first black president.
Truth is, black voters are more politically sophisticated than they’re given credit for. If we were all in such racial lockstep, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton would have gotten a lot more traction during their presidential runs, we’d be singing the praises of Clarence Thomas, and Herman Cain wouldn’t be such an afterthought.
Like any constituency, African Americans vote for politicians who advocate policies that are beneficial to their needs.
Simply propping up a candidate like Cain is not enough. “Republicans think they can win by putting up a black person. Meanwhile, they don’t put up one policy that appeals specifically to African Americans,” Johnson says.