In recent months, there’s been some talk that the combination of the slow economic recovery and the President’s embrace of same sex marriage would somehow depress the support from racial minorities that he and other Democrats would garner in the November election.
But as the 2011-2012 biennium of the North Carolina General Assembly has wound down in recent weeks, we’ve been reminded repeatedly why minority voters continue to support the Democrats by huge majorities (and why GOP claims about wanting to be a truly inclusive party when it comes to race) ring hollow for so many of these same voters: It’s about performance in office.
An obvious case in point: Overriding the Governor’s veto of the repeal of the Racial Justice Act  — a law that attempted to ameliorate an obvious problem in our criminal justice system that virtually every minority North Carolinian intuitively grasps in his or her gut — and doing so within days of failing to include compensation for victims of the state’s racist eugenics program in the state budget  after trumpeting promises to pass it. These recent actions, of course, come after months of repeated attacks on immigrants that are sure to inflame the vast majority of Hispanic voters.
While it’s clearly true that Democrats have a spotty record at best through the years on dozens of issues when it comes to promoting racial equality, in 2012 only the Republicans (along with a few conseravtive Democratic helpers) are willing to mount these kind of direct, unabashed, in-your-face attacks on people of color and the positions they favor by wide margins.
It seems a certainty that Democrats will be reminding minority voters of this reality in the months ahead.