An article in today’s Savannah Morning News contemplates the future of the black vote in Chatham County and the rest of Georgia. The piece presents a dilemma in which many blacks feel the Democratic Party takes their vote for granted – 85-to-90 percent of African Americans in Georgia have historically voted Democratic, according to the article – while Republicans completely ignore their vote.
But [the Rev. Benny Mitchell, the politically active pastor of Connor's Baptist Temple Church] also knows that many Republicans tend to write blacks off because they figure few of them are going to vote for them anyway. And he’s equally aware that, after appropriate lip service, Democrats often ignore them because they figure they have nowhere else to go.
So with the 2006 GOP resurgence in Georgia, and African Americans now composing a large bloc of the Democrats under the Gold Dome, could there be a mass exodus of blacks to the Republican Party? Most consider it unlikely at this moment, but, “black elected officials in Chatham County and around the state face a paradox.”
The bottom line is that, under the GOP ascendancy, black-oriented measures, such as those dealing with racial profiling, find it harder to gain traction.
Some members of the black community are concerned by this, others are not. But it appears that African American politicians in Georgia are at a crossroads.
In the state Senate and House, blacks are an increasingly large bloc in an increasingly small corps of Democratic lawmakers. What can — or should — anyone do about it?