CBC Chair: Black Voters Need to Come Out in November

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by Bankole Thompson

CHARLOTTE, NC (RTNS) – It’s time for Blacks to come out and vote in the crucial November election where the country will choose between President Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney.

That was the message Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II who is head of the Congressional Black Caucus brought to the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte this week.

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Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II of Missouri addresses the Democratic National Convention on Sept 5. (AP Photo)

Cleaver, an ordained minister told delegates on the second night of the convention that diversity is key to the essence of America, and that African Americans continue to play an important role in helping move America toward a more perfect union.

“This means marching through our communities to make sure everyone is registered and ready to vote. It means on Election Day, we will stand in line together just as we did four years ago,” Cleaver said. “God did not burden the United States with a diversity of backgrounds, ideas and religions. He blessed America with them.”

For Detroit, Cleaver’s message is key in a city that is notorious sometimes for not coming out to vote in mass numbers in local elections.

However during the last presidential election in 2008 Detroiters came out in large numbers to cast their ballot for the first African American president in history. Overall, the Black vote in 2008 was high in Michigan.

“President Obama has been lampooned for speaking of hope for a better America. I want to encourage him and all of us to continue to hope for an America that remembers, recognizes and fervently protects its greatness,” Cleaver said. “Hope is the motivation that empowers the unemployed, enabling them to get out of bed every single morning with unbounded enthusiasm as they look for work.”

Harping on Obama’s hope message in 2008, Cleaver sounding like the typical preacher urged Obama not to get discouraged by his detractors.

“Yes, President Obama continue to hope. Continue to speak hope to the American people because it is impossible for hope to overdraw its account in God’s bank,” Cleaver said.” The tough days our nation faced may have caused us great pain, but they must not and will not cause us to lose our hope. Hope fills the holes of my frustration in my heart. Hope inspires me to believe that any day now, we will catch up to the ideals put forth by our nation’s founding fathers.”

Cleaver also touted the Democratic Party as the one political institution that shown demonstrable commitment to diversity, as well as other issues that affect the poor and the less privileged.

“We are the ones who protected Medicare and Medicaid, who fought for fair wages and who ended don’t ask don’t tell,” the CBC boss said. “We are the party that is deeply committed to diversity. We consider every individual a valuable asset to our democracy. We may be a nation of Democrats, Independents and Republicans, but first and foremost we are all human beings and Americans. We are driven by hope.”

Bankole Thompson is the Senior Editor of the Michigan Chronicle. He is a Senior Author-in-Residence at Global Mark Makers Publishing House in Iowa where he is writing a groundbreaking six-part book series on the Obama presidency. His book “Obama and Black Loyalty” published in 2010 follows his recent book “Obama and Christian Loyalty” with a foreword by Bob Weiner former White House spokesman. His forthcoming books in 2012 are “Obama and Jewish Loyalty” and “Obama and Business Loyalty.” He is the first editor of a major African American newspaper to have a series of sit-down interviews with Barack Obama. Thompson is also a Senior Political News Analyst at WDET-101.9FM Detroit (NPR Affiliate) and a member of the weekly “Obama Watch” Sunday evening round table on WLIB-1190AM New York and simulcast in New Jersey and Connecticut.

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