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ESPN host Stephen A. Smith never backs down from his controversial opinions. Last week Smith said in order to prove to democrats that they don’t have black America ‘under their thumb’, black people should vote Republican for one election cycle. In an interview with CNN, Smith stood by his statements, telling Michael Smerconish the black community has been instrumental in its own underrepresentation.

“I definitely believe the Black vote has been taken for granted, and primarily the black community is at fault for that in my estimation,” Smith said. “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 interests of the black community.”

Smith, who isn’t alone in his sentiments, feels that the democrat party routinely use their ““license to take us for granted, [and] Republicans have a license to summarily dismiss us because they believe they’ll never get our vote anyway … and then we find ourselves devoid of any kind of representation whatsoever because nobody is really competing to garner our vote and our support.”

But is he really trying to tell people to vote GOP? Smith says he’s not, but people should look at the bigger political picture.

“I’m not trying to convince anybody to vote Republican, I’m not trying to convince anyone to vote Democrat,” Smith said. “I’m simply saying, let’s not be so transparent in our support for one party over another party, when that does not appear to be working for us. Force people to flatter us. White folks do it, Jewish folks do it, Hispanic folks do it — why can’t Black folks do it?”/blockquote>

Clutchettes, what do you think about Smith’s statements? Do you agree or disagree?

Image Credits: Getty Images

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  • Guest

    I think a more pro-active method would serve us better. Getting more involved in the Democratic party and pushing our views to the forefront would help far more than giving our vote to a party that has no interest at all in out needs. Maybe if we paid more attention to what our government is doing instead of what Kanye is doing we would be heard.

  • shybookworm

    I agree with Smith that our vote has been taken for granted, but as someone else has already stated in the comments, we need to choose the lesser of two evils. And right now, the Democrats are it. I have personally struggled with this since I became of voting age. I grew up in a very religious and conservative household and for a while personally described my politics as conservative. However, due to the Republican party’s blatant disregard for the poor, middle class, women, people of color and children, I vote Democrat or Independent again and again. Democrats aren’t perfect and they’re just as skeevy as Republicans, truth be told. However, there seems to be more of a willingness on their part to help the underserved in this country. Are they doing a great job? No. But I’d rather live under a Democratic or Independent any day of the week rather that a traditional Republican or conservative. The only people they care about are the rich and right after, white folks.

  • [email protected]

    I have heard what Stephen A. Smith has said. He has made many great points. At the end of the day, we want the same goal. The goal is freedom, justice, and equality for humanity. That goal drives all of us. Both of those major parties are not clean. They are not clean. We can run the list of their errors. Voting is precious human right. I don’t believe in dictating anyone on who to vote for. People should vote their conscious. The events of Ferguson show us not only the necessity of the growth of independence of political power (for us as a people and a community), but the importance of embracing political independence. Many Republicans and many Democrats want to make the black community as a social colony of their interests. We should not be mentally colonized by any of those two corporate sponsored parties. To be free is to think independently and we have the right to be political Independents. This is what the 1972 Gary, Indiana Convention desired. This is what SNCC desired. This is what Malcolm X desired before he was unfortunately assassinated.

    Many of the victories that we won from the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights
    Act, the Housing Rights Act, etc. are being threatened by right wing forces. We are not only for the development of our families. We want police terrorism to be gone. We want economic justice and social justice. We want our education to be stronger, we want universal health care, and we want imperialism to end (as imperialism overseas is linked to our oppression domestically. Decades ago, the civil war in Vietnam has stripped resources that could have been used to help the poor in America). That revolutionary spirit is in us and there is nothing wrong with voting for our interests. Yet, we need to promote real choices to vote for. That point is vitally important as well. I’m a’int going to be a Tea Party Republican though. LOL. I have no illusions about what the GOP stands for and I don’t support the GOP agenda at all, which is totally reactionary, pro-oligarchy, and retrograde. Ted Cruz (who is a Presidential candidate) shows us what the GOP promotes. I want that to be known straight up.

  • ALM247

    When voting you end up selecting the candidate that you consider the lesser of evils. People have the right to vote for independent candidates.

    “I definitely believe the Black vote has been taken for granted, and
    primarily the black community is at fault for that in my estimation,”

    Regarding the statement above, what are Steven’s solutions? The American political system is set up as such that the vast majority of the time any major political position goes to either a Democrat or a Republican.

    Steven needs to present solutions. If he has a candidate or set of candidates he wants to back, then fine. In reality, even though we can vote for independent candidates, it is rare that an independent candidate gets enough votes to be a major threat to the Republican or Democrat political parties.

    • [email protected]

      That’s an excellent point. Steve Williams ought to advocate solutions like a mass mobilization for our voting rights, organizing our people to fight the War on Drugs, and other things. We know about the problems, but we need strategies to form the necessary solutions as well.

  • crydiego

    The problem is with both partys. Give your presidential vote to a third party that has no chance but vote your heart in all other races. Both partys need a wake up call