Is that racism? Not in Luckett's mind. "It's voting for someone who would understand your side of the coin a lot better." Such logic runs into trouble when applied to a white person voting for Romney because he understands whiteness better. Ron Christie, a black conservative who worked for former President George W. Bush, finds both sides of that coin unacceptable. "It's not the vision that our leaders in the civil rights movement would have envisioned and be proud of in the era of the first African-American president," Christie said. Martin Luther King Jr. fought Jim Crow laws, which deprived blacks of political rights after Reconstruction, upheld by Southern Democrats. But black voters switched after Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson pushed through the 1960s civil rights legislation and Republicans successfully pursued the votes of white people who disliked the civil rights agenda.
Since then, Democrats have persistently wooed black voters with programs and platforms that African-Americans favor, and the party has been rewarded every four years. Clinton got 83 percent of the black vote in 1992 and 84 percent in 1996; the third-party candidate Ross Perot probably sliced away some of Clinton's black support. Al Gore got 90 percent in 2000; John Kerry got 88 percent in 2004. Obama captured 95 percent in 2008, and 2 million more black people voted than in the previous election.
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