January 23rd, 2008
09:35 AM ET
7 years ago

Martin: Ignoring white Dems in S. Carolina isn't smart

Roland S. Martin says that in some respects, there's a blackout when it comes to talking to white voters.
Roland S. Martin says that in some respects, there's a blackout when it comes to talking to white voters.

(CNN) - Ever since we got into the thick of the presidential race, reporters, anchors, pundits, columnists and writers have spent a considerable amount of time on the fact that nearly 50 percent of the people who will vote in the South Carolina primary are black.

Considering you have a black male candidate - he's really half white (mom) and half Kenyan (dad), but identifies himself as African-American - and a white woman - who is the wife of a former president beloved by black folks - leading the pack for the Democratic nomination, everyone has been waiting to see how this fight will turn out.

But for the life of me, I don't understand - and have been literally screaming this fact on CNN, on my Chicago, Illinois, radio show and on every possible platform I have - how we can focus on blacks making up nearly 50 percent of the voters, and absolutely, positively, unequivocally ignore the other 50 percent!

Note: Watch Roland Martin on CNN.com Live at 11:10 am ET Wednesday.

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Filed under: Roland Martin
soundoff (145 Responses)
  1. Tom Masters

    CNN, why would you post such controversial opinions and not one with the view that there is no place for such discriminant lines?

    This take from your credibility.

    I'm an independent.

    Please be fair.

    January 23, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  2. AJ, IL

    What are you talking about Roland? Obama has reached out to all South Carolinians wanting "CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN". John Kerry came to the College of Charleston to endorse Obama. Just because the media shows more black people at his rallies and events doesn't mean he is ignoring white people. Obama just got endorsed by the largest newspaper in SC, The State. This same newspaper also previously endorse McCain on the Republican side.

    You must be forgeting that Bill Clinton is a fellow southerner and campaigning hard on behalf of Hillary. And that John Edwards is a Son of the South.

    Obama is trying to reach out as much as he can to anybody that supports him, black or white.

    January 23, 2008 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  3. stan pitts pa

    obama has reached out to everyone, blacks and whites and latinos, obama is half-white/half-black, so it comes naturally to him, obama08!

    January 23, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  4. stan pitts pa

    obama has reached out to everyone, blacks and whites and latinos, obama is half-white/half-black, so it comes naturally to him, obama08!

    January 23, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  5. votehillary2008

    Roland, I can't wait until your 15 minutes are up. On CNN, you try to act fair and blanced, i.e, "don't forget about the white people." On your radio show, you try to incite non-educated listeners by making this campaign about race. Your show does nothing but tell people to vote for Obama because he's black. I am a journalist and you are a disgrace to the profession.

    January 23, 2008 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  6. FEED UP

    I WILL BE VOTING FOR OBAMA IF HE DOESN'T WIN I WILL NOT VOTE FOR HILLARY. I WILL VOTE FOR MCCAIN. I AM 62 YRS OLD AND HILLARY AND EX PRESIDENT CLINTON NEED TO CHILL OUT. THEY PLAYED THE RACE CARD. I HAVE NO RESPECT FOR BILL CLINTON OR HILLARY. TIMES HAVE CHANGED. WE NEED NEW BLOOD IN OFFICE NOT THE SAME OLD 60'S IDEAS.
    HILLARY AND BILL CLINTON NEED TO GROW UP. SHE NEEDS TO STOP LAUGHING LIKE SHE DOES. SHE LOOKS STUPID.
    GO OBAMA AND MICHELLE.
    FEED UP

    January 23, 2008 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  7. patrick

    I LIVE IN GHANA AND I HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARIES CLOSELY AS MANY OF MY FRIENDS DO.

    I WAS SURPRISED WHEN RACE WAS INTRODUCED INTO THE GAME, THANKS TO CNN. BEFORE THE IOWA PRIMARIES WHEN EVERY POLL SUGGESTED MRS. CLINTON WAS LEADING, THE MEDIA WAS QUIET ABOUT RACE AND OTHER DIVISIVE ISSUES THAT CAN GO AGAINST OBAMA.

    AMERICAN VOTERS ARE MATURED ENOUGH, AND WILL SEE THROUGH THE LIES PROPAGANDA AND VOTE ACCORDING TO THEIR GOOD CONSCIENCE.

    January 23, 2008 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  8. Bimmer

    Martin:

    Obam cannot claim to be an African-american, as Martin points out his mother is white and his father is a Kenyan immigrant.

    I bet he did not hear from his parents the plights of the real African-Americans who were and still are victims of racial imbalance.

    January 23, 2008 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  9. Belinda

    Love to watch Roland on CNN. He is the voice of reason. I am a white female who will vote for Obama based upon where he wants to lead us as well as where he stands on issues. It was clear that Obama was the candidate of choice in Iowa but the Clinton's had to throw race and trash into the mix because there was no way Hillary could win on her record (more like lack of).

    We still haven't heard "her voice" on the issues only the attacks. I guess there will be no more HOPE for change just more of the same hate speech and divisiveness.

    January 23, 2008 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  10. Dee Ward Mena, AR

    I still say, why run as a BLACK AMERICAN, why not just an AMERICAN. That is part of the racial problem as far as I can see. People should not be seen as BLACK Americans, Mexican Americans etc. We should all be AMERICANS and that would help the racial problems as far as I can see. If we want equality, then just be AMERICANS....how do others feel about this.

    January 23, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  11. Ice Cold PoliticAL

    Roland,
    Fifty percent of the African American vote is enough to almost guarantee a crossover candidate like Barack Obama a victory in South Carolina. African Americans are a strong support base for Obama and he is polling exceptinally well among white voters. South Carolina is a lock for Barack! He's going to have trouble in West where his campaign organization is weak. '06!

    January 23, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  12. joe

    I hope hillary wins south carolina.

    January 23, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  13. Jose Card - Independent

    I don't think the Clintons are ignoring the Whites in S.C.

    I think they know the whites will vote for Obama.

    That's why Bill is so desperate.

    January 23, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  14. Mark Cross Junction VA

    This is the great white hope!!!

    January 23, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  15. Tony.A Goodyear AZ

    Way to go Becky......See you at MSNBC!!!!!!!!

    January 24, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  16. Sean, Santa Barbara, CA

    Why does this guy get his opinions publishes? Who is he? Everyone has opinions

    January 24, 2008 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  17. Obama08

    Iowa and NH were the white vote test

    Nevada was the latino vote test

    S.C is the African American vote test

    there you have it.

    January 24, 2008 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  18. Bruno

    i can't understand why the clintons have to attack obama from 2 sides, poor obama hast to defend himself on every side from these diry clinton attacks and i'm sure it's going to backfire against the clintons as they come across very arrogant and aggressive. i think people don't like this kind of aggressive behaviour.

    January 24, 2008 08:01 am at 8:01 am |
  19. bob

    I just heard that Mr. Obama claims to have hit the wrong button six times to explain his voting record.

    How sure are we that we want someone this mistake prone with his finger on THE button?

    January 24, 2008 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  20. Marie

    From my perspective - for what it's worth.

    First, the world identifies almost all bi-racial people (at least, white and black bi-racial) as black. I have first-hand knowledge. So whether Sen. Obama identifies himself one way or the other isn't an issue; it was decided for him before he was born. Secondly, if anyone thinks race or gender or religion don't matter, tell the pollsters. That's how the statistics are displayed and that's what guide the politicians to target their campaigns – based on the demographics of the region in which they're speaking. Third, people tend to gravitate for social interaction towards those with whom they have most in common. It's human nature – we want to mingle with people who "know where we're coming from." Fourth, the "what about the other 50%" is misleading. Where do you put black women?? In the race or gender slot or in both?

    And finally, the CNN piece featuring a reporter's visit to a black hair salon in South Carolina to ask whether people there would consider race or gender when voting. Wow! What a setup by CNN. I have to believe it was intentional. Consider how it would have played IF .. CNN had visited black businesses, white business, Asian or Latino business AND asked if voter would consider race or gender OR religion. That would have covered various populations and pretty much all of the irrelevant issues in one shot. But that wouldn't have been newsworthy, would it???

    January 24, 2008 08:46 am at 8:46 am |
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