Monday, October 27, 2008

McCain & Race

The campaign for a federal holiday in King's honor began soon after his assassination. Ronald Reagan signed the holiday into law in 1983, and it was first observed in 1986. Sen. John McCain like many others at the time felt that a holiday to honor a private citizen would be contrary to longstanding tradition (King had never held public office). Despite this McCain eventually reversed his position, and encouraged his home state of Arizona to recognize the holiday despite opposition from Arizona's Governor Evan Mecham. The media has highlighted many instances where McCain referred to his decision as a mistake. What these same media outlets however have failed to note is the many times McCain led the charge in cosponsoring bills honoring Martin Luther King and other Civil Rights heroes.


The following are just some of the bills and resolutions John McCain has cosponsored honoring African Americans.

John McCain Cosponsored A Bill To Award A Gold Medal On Behalf Of Congress, Collectively, To The Tuskegee Airmen In Recognition Of Their Unique Military Record. (S. 392, Passed by Unanimous Consent, 10/4/05)

John McCain Cosponsored A Resolution Honoring The Life Of Coretta Scott King And Expressing The Condolences Of The Senate On Her Passing. (S.Res. 362, Passed by Unanimous Consent, 1/31/06)

John McCain Cosponsored The National African American Museum Act. (S. 649, Introduced 3/30/95)

John McCain Cosponsored A Bill To Award A Gold Medal On Behalf Of Congress To Rosa Parks In Recognition Of Her Contributions To The Nation. (S. 531, Became Public Law No. 106-026, 5/4/99)

John McCain Cosponsored A Bill To Award A Gold Medal On Behalf Of Congress To Jackie Robinson (Posthumously), In Recognition Of His Many Contributions To The Nation, And To Express The Sense Of Congress That There Should Be A National Day In Recognition Of Jackie Robinson, And Also Introduced A Concurrent Resolution Honoring The Lifetime Achievements Of Jackie Robinson. (S. 300, Passed by Unanimous Consent, 10/17/03; H.R. 1900, Passed by Unanimous Consent, 10/17/03; H.R. 1900, Became Public Law No. 108-101, 10/29/03)


~The NAACP released a questioner that both McCain and Obama answered relating issues facing black America. It is a must read into the mindset of Sen. McCain on issues of race and justice.

The NAACP 2008 Presidential Candidates Civil Rights Questionnaire

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the research. Maybe there will be a similiar article on abortion which might segway into Sen. Obama's statements on Judge appointments to Planned Parenthood, Saddleback and the third debate.

uptownsteve said...

This is a joke right?

Anonymous said...

@ anon can you explain more?

If you mean Supreme Court appointments, 2 liberal judges are retiring from the court and I remember hearing Obama saying he would appoint someone in the mold of Ruth Bader Ginsburg (who is leaving) to fill the two spots.

That doesn't bother me, given the current makeup of the court. It's currently split between conservative and liberal (with a moderate breaking the ties) and I think that provides for a great system of checks and balances.

I know McCain is a moderate Republican, but my fear is that he'll bow to the pressures of the extreme right if appointed (like he's done on his campaign) and appoint 2 right-wing conservatives to the supreme court. Which means ideologically, there would be no checks and balances. McCain has really thrown me off track the past year and a half. I honestly can't tell what he stands for anymore. I've heard his agenda but it's radically different from the GOP platform which he has also promised to uphold (I think the platform is way too conservative). I don't know where he stands w/regard to civil liberties, immigration, the economy, healthcare, deregulation, etc. because so many of his statements are contradicted by his vp's statements and the GOP platform. So I dunno, I guess I have a few days to figure it out.

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Re: this post...

This goes back to my point about being confused about where McCain stands. Why hasn't he touted this in any of his speeches? Or outreach efforts? Or advertisements? Or interviews? Whenever I hear him talk about stuff like this its to apologize for voting against mlk day initially and for the confederate flag fiasco.

I also think it is interesting that McCain's campaign has repeatedly denied interview access to BET. Love it or hate it, BET does have an audience and it would have been a great opportunity for him to reach out to that audience.

Anonymous said...

Really don't see the point

uptownsteve said...

"I also think it is interesting that McCain's campaign has repeatedly denied interview access to BET."

Probably the same reason why Republican candidates don't go to black churches (they go to white ones), black neighborhoods or black radio.

They don't want black support.

Ya think?

Zabeth said...

I didn't get to read the article as the link was not found.

Anyhoo, to address some of the issues presented here. Is BET considered a news outlet? Really? It’s not like going on CNN or even MTV for that matter. Did Obama do BET? Is BET’s audience likely to vote and do they make up a substantial enough voting block to make it worth it for a candidate to go on the network?

Second, I think Republican candidates do not go on black radio or attend black churches because it’s presumed to be futile. Moreover, sometimes Rep candidates are greeted with hostility. When W. attended Coretta Scott King's funeral he was reamed. Reamed at a funeral for God sake. Think whatever you want about Bush but, he went to pay his respects and he was attacked for it. Not a good look.

uptownsteve said...

"Second, I think Republican candidates do not go on black radio or attend black churches because it’s presumed to be futile."

WHY????

Aren't we Americans?

Every other group is worthy of being wooed by the GOP.

Why won't the GOP ASK for the black vote?

uptownsteve said...

Bush was reamed at Coretta Scott Kings funeral because of his decidely anti-civil rights stances in office as well as his refusal to speak to organizations such as the NAACP of which King was a member.

Zabeth said...

Bush did address the NAACP. July 20, 2006.

What I heard from the speakers during the funeral was a lot of talk about the war, not Civil Rights. Personally, I found it highly disrespectful, not only to the president but, to Mrs. King and her legacy as well. USING her funeral as a platform to attack the current administration is shameful and in poor taste. Find another way to air your grievances.

I think efforts to woo the black vote are presumed to be futile because we vote for the Dems in a 90% block almost every election! Yes, you can make the argument that they should try to reach out to us but, we also need to be more receptive. Note how both parties tried to work for the Hispanic vote. There is a reason why trying to attract the black vote is viewed as a waste of time. Do you also complain about the Libertarian and Green parties' failures to attract black voters?

Zabeth said...

Also, ask yourself when was the last time the Democratic Party really tried to appeal to black voters- before complaining about Reps. Dems will work to appeal to women, gays and lesbians, Hispanic Americans, and even Evangelicals! When have they really tried to appeal to black voters other than to take your vote for granted?

uptownsteve said...

"I think efforts to woo the black vote are presumed to be futile because we vote for the Dems in a 90% block almost every election!"

That's because the GOP doesn't even try to get our votes!!!

"Do you also complain about the Libertarian and Green parties' failures to attract black voters?"

Libertarians are dope smokin rightwingers and the Green party does try attract black voters.

Ralph Nader spoke at my church in 2000.


"Note how both parties tried to work for the Hispanic vote. There is a reason why trying to attract the black vote is viewed as a waste of time."

But you still haven't explained why that is?

We're too hooked on government handouts that the Dems promise?

You believe that?

uptownsteve said...

"When have they really tried to appeal to black voters other than to take your vote for granted?"

You're kidding right?

When white Dems speak before black audiences or run commercials on black radio, rightwingers accuse them of pandering.

It seems that the GOP feels that black people aren't worthy of courting.

uptownsteve said...

One more thing Zabeth,

Mike Huckabee routinely got well in excess of 40% of the black vote in Arkansas as Governor.

Why?

Because he went after it.

Paul Hue said...

Uptownsteve, my bro': You both chide repos for not speaking at black leftist groups citing the futility, and applaud Bush's chastisement when he appeared at the Corretta's funeral. And you smack Bush II for ignoring the NAACP (which has repeatedly harangued him), without recognizing that he accepted at least one Urban League invite.

In any case, I agree that Bush II should have accepted every NAACP invite, and that the repos in general should make time for such opportunities. By the way, I think that my boy Ron Paul was one of the only repos to make the last NAACP forum? He's the only repo that I really admire, anyway.

Paul Hue said...

@uptownsteve: Good info on Huckabee; I did not now that in AK he both sought and received black support. During the primaries I did hear plenty of black folks in Detroit expressing appreciation for him. He is a very appealing person. Too conservative on social issues for me, and super religious as well, which lies out of my realm. But he is consistent and clear, and authentically humorous.

I agree with you in lashing the repos for not even trying. You have the same position here as Bro. Thomas Sowell!

Anonymous said...

McCain spoke at the Urban Leagues annual meeting. He also have an interview to the NAACP and Essence Magazine. BET is so biased that most Republicans will not go on. Everyone knows that black media is primarily connected to the Democrat Party. BET News is not taken serious because everyone knows they are anti Republican.

http://www.essence.com/news_entertainment/news/articles/johnmccainamanapart/

Anonymous said...

http://africanamericans.johnmccain.com/africanamericans.htm

Anonymous said...

Obama went on BET

and BET has invited John McCain on several times. Staff has called back each time and said he's really busy this week and they just don't have the time (I have a friend who works in the news room). other candidates have gone or done on-the-floor interviews with the bet political analyst (the lady, can't remember her name) or jeff johnson. you can call bet biased all you want but at least they're trying, i.e. asking him regularly for interviews.

so he went to one urban league meeting, one naacp meeting, filled out an naacp questionnaire, and did an interview with essence. don't hurt em now!

crazy thing is, bush sr. did a big push to get the black vote back in '92. atwater claimed he was going to get 20% of the vote... i mean they had pictures of black babies in the RNC book from '92! also had a whole section on "African Americans and George Bush." He didn't win the 20% (I think he got 11%) but a lot of black folks started claiming affiliation again (it dropped under reagan's 2nd term). According to his biography, Bush & Babs were philanthropically involved with the UNCF and some other stuff.

anyway, imo, repubs can get the black vote, they just have to listen and show they care... be authentic. calling rural white america the "real america" isn't exactly going to help your cause... or bashing "northern liberal elites." there are some who have done or are making inroads... michael steele got 25% back in '06... i think bloomberg got like 22% (but he was a democrat before he was a republican and now he's an independent)... think kay bailey hutchinson did decent too...

From Newt Gingrich, back in '07:
[but] we are in this cycle where Republicans don't talk to minority groups," he said. Yet Gingrich added Republicans cannot afford to ignore black voters during the primaries because the GOP will need their support if they hope to win the general election.

http://racerelations.about.com/od/thehierarchyofrace/a/republicansafam.htm

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2007/09/19/4_gop_candidates_decision_to_skip_black_forum_seen_hurting_party_in_08/

shauna said...

article from politico

"Arizona blacks: Where's McCain?"

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0408/9429.html

from the list, the earliest bill or resolution was from '95. mccain has been in congress since '83. i'm curious to know what has he done in his early days in congress?

uptownsteve said...

"Uptownsteve, my bro': You both chide repos for not speaking at black leftist groups citing the futility, and applaud Bush's chastisement when he appeared at the Corretta's funeral. And you smack Bush II for ignoring the NAACP (which has repeatedly harangued him), without recognizing that he accepted at least one Urban League invite."

Of course this isn't even remotely what I said but par for the course for you.

Yeah, he reluctantly accepted an invite at the Urban League after years of rebuffing both the NAACP and the Urban League.

I guess he was asked the same question I've been asking.

Aren't you African-American's President too?

My very clear point is that Republicans actively reject the black vote in favor of scaring white people and then wonder why blacks don't vote for them.

Mr. Hue people like you just can't bring yourselves to admit that the GOP has gotten a lot of milage out of pandering to white fear and alienating black Americans for 40 some odd years and are reluctant to change course.

No, you assert that we blacks are too stupid and too hostile to accept how wonderful conservatives are.

And you wonder why......

uptownsteve said...

"I agree with you in lashing the repos for not even trying. You have the same position here as Bro. Thomas Sowell!"

Puh-leeze.

As long as the Repubs promote blacks like Sowell, Walter Williams and Larry Elder as the faces of the black Republicanism they are going to have a rough time recruiting significant numbers of blacks.

I think the total a$$-whupping at the polls the Republicans are going to get next week is going to be a wake up call to smart GOPers that they had better change course.

The demonizing of blacks, immigrants, big cities, gays, feminists etc....doesn't work any longer because those people are now a cross section of America.

Concerned Citizen said...

"As long as the Repubs promote blacks like Sowell, Walter Williams and Larry Elder as the faces of the black Republicanism they are going to have a rough time recruiting significant numbers of blacks."

This statement is spot on.

Anonymous said...

I think the party should promote a diverse group, Sowell is one voice amongst many. Democrats hate Sowell and others because they expose there polices and hold it to the light so I can see why they would like to get rid of people like Sowell.

Anonymous said...

No, Democrats hate Sowell because he talks out one side of his mouth.

GOP pandering happens. The party is going through a internal fight right now about pandering - rural pandering, southern pandering, religious pandering, xenophobic pandering... etc. etc.

if you want to understand the Republican National Committee's strategy since 1969, read Kevin Phillips "the emerging republican majority."

http://www.amazon.com/emerging-Republican-majority-Kevin-Phillips/dp/0870000586

he was also a senior strategist for the 1968 nixon campaign

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Phillips_(political_commentator)

http://www.americantheocracy.net/about.html

Phillips ended up "quitting" the party in 1997, and registered as an independent in 2002.

Bakes said...

All these "anonymous" posts are driving me crazy.

Paul Hue said...

@bakes: We completely agree about "anony" posts. They must go! This blog is too popular to permit them. If you want to post, get a freakin' google account.

Anonymous said...

My name is autumntimer. Maybe a solution to the anonymous thing?

To answer the person who is confused about whether McCain will take his own stands or follow the GOP platform: as their candidate, McCain now heads the Republican party. If he is elected, he will have significantly more power than he has now to shape the platform of the party. He will, in short, do what he thinks is the right thing as president.
They Republican Party is an inclusive party. Because of that, they have more disagreements among themselves about what their policies and platform should be. I feel that, because of this inclusiveness, they find the compromise sooner and usually get more good stuff done with less difficulty. They also fine-tune their direction toward the balancing point (between too left-wing whacko and too right-wing whacko) better and faster than the democratic party. I feel like the democrats are getting swallowed up by the radical left of their party and its a sad thing.
Anyhoo..., McCain admits it when he screws up. It's one of the things that I really like about him. He's always working to refine and improve his position over time. For example, maybe he didn't advocate for black issues during the first decade. But he found his stride and has and continues to cosponsor some right-thinking legislation regarding black issues. His answers to the NAACP questionnaire are pretty good, I think. They could be better on some things, but then again so could Obama's.
But keep in mind that it appears to be well ingrained in McCain to admit when he's wrong and take action to make it right. It's the main reason that I'm voting for him.... Well, that and the pork-barrel spending blocking; I'd like somebody to finally be able to nip that stuff in the bud and I think his plan to call people out when they do it could just work! Well, and the fact that he has good insight. He saw the need for the surge in Iraq and that it would work, he saw the Freddie Mac/FannieMae thing brewing and tried to warn everybody, he warned of the likelihood of Russian agression toward Georgia and/or the Ukraine about a year before it happened....
But I digress in a ginormous way. I don't think whether he speaks at a black venue or not is as important as the fact that he will stand up for black rights, whether he gets flak for it or not. It's just who he is, a no BS kind of guy who tries to do the right thing for ALL Americans.

hey and btw, I think that the Republicans are the one who put forward folks like COLIN POWELL and CONDOLEEZA RICE and MICHAEL STEELE and LYNN SWANN and J. C. WATTS and et cetera. And Oh, Yeah, ABRAHAM LINCOLN, the real first Black President!