Tags: ESPN | Stephen A Smith | Black Vote

ESPN's Stephen A. Smith: Democrats Have Taken Black Vote for Granted

By    |   Saturday, 21 Mar 2015 09:01 PM

ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith expanded Saturday on earlier comments about African Americans and the Republican Party, saying that "the black vote has been taken for granted" by the Democratic Party — and that African Americans are to blame for it.

"On one hand, we're giving one party our vote because they've successfully gone about the business of convincing our community that the other party, the Republican Party, is completely against the interest of the black community," Smith told Michael Smerconish on his CNN program. "As a result, we've been very transparent in our support."

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"We've bought it hook, line, and sinker," added Smith, who appears on ESPN's "First Take" program. "The vast majority of black Americans look at the Republican Party as the enemy and the Democratic Party as our support.

"Because of our support for them, they have a license to take us for granted. The Republican Party has a license to summarily dismiss us because they believe they'll never get our vote anyway — and we find ourselves devoid of any representation whatsoever because nobody is really competing to garner our vote and our support," he said.

Smith, 47, made headlines earlier this week when he told a Vanderbilt University audience that he would like to see every African American vote Republican at least once so the black community can see its issues addressed.

He referenced the 1964 presidential campaign, which pitted Democratic incumbent Lyndon Johnson against Republican Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona. Though Goldwater lost, Smith said that a GOP-controlled Senate pushed through the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Goldwater had voted against the legislation, which Johnson had signed into law.

"It was the Democrats who were against civil rights legislation," Smith said. "So, because President Lyndon B. Johnson was a Democrat, black America assumed the Democrats were for it."

Expanding further with Smerconish, Smith said that African Americans needed to use their voting power to force Democrats to woo them, similar to what Hispanics are doing with the current debate over immigration reform.

"Whoever successfully goes about the business of dealing with this matter, immigration reform, successfully — in a fashion that the Hispanic community deems favorable to them — you're going to get their vote," he said. "Therefore, you're going to lock up a voting bloc. You'll be in office. And you'll have that kind of power.

"Guess what the Hispanic community is doing? They're saying: 'Flatter us. What are you going to do? This is what we need. Because you're not getting our vote,' " Smith said.

The commentator told Smerconish that he believed that Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was reaching out to African Americans, but needed to take other steps to be more effective.

"He can highlight some of the inconsistencies and discrepancies the opposing party might be throwing in our direction, things that we may not know," Smith said. "One of the things that you need to do as a Republican, particularly if you're running for the presidency, is you have to surround yourself with a bunch of folks that look like us and not just you."

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ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith expanded Saturday on earlier comments about African Americans and the Republican Party, saying that "the black vote has been taken for granted" by the Democratic Party - and that African Americans are to blame for it.
ESPN, Stephen A Smith, Black Vote
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2015-01-21
Saturday, 21 Mar 2015 09:01 PM
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