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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.l.cnn.net/cnn/2008/POLITICS/01/22/roland.martin/art.martin.cnn.jpg caption="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. Mike

    Among whites, Clinton is attracting 56 percent of the vote in South Carolina; Obama, 20 percent; and Edwards is polling at 16 percent. Among African-Americans, Obama is receiving 73 percent, and Clinton is at 16 percent."

    Very telling of the racism that exists in our society – both ways.

    January 23, 2008 09:23 am at 9:23 am |
  2. Brattleboro, VT

    At last! There is someone who can see things clearly. If there are fifty per cent of Black Dem voters, where are the other 50% coming from. I don't think they ignore them. Those people just want to have people swallow racist ideas they've kept under their blankets. I wish a human being could easily be recongized like a leopard is.

    They want to let people believe that if Obama wins it will be because the black voters didn't chose any other candidate. Why don't they talk about the white polls in SC? According to those polls Obama comes 3rd far behind Clinton and Edward, but they don't talk about it. Media and politicians please help America grow positiveley. We can't keep fighting the same fight for centuries. We must focus our energy toward the future. China is coming. Things are changing. Don't you see that?

    January 23, 2008 09:33 am at 9:33 am |
  3. SAmrawi

    Martin, you are right! I don't understand that either. It tells me that the Media, specially, is lagging behind the the very people it is supposed to represent.

    January 23, 2008 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  4. Lisa, Texas

    Roland Martin....you make me laugh.

    January 23, 2008 09:39 am at 9:39 am |
  5. Roland Martin ROCKS

    Absolutely correct!

    Now is the media correct when they say that if Obama loses SC that it's all over? What about Edwards?

    Let's just hope that the outcome of the primaries leads to the best candidate and not the most popular one–whomever he or she might be.

    January 23, 2008 09:40 am at 9:40 am |
  6. dan, tx

    I am committed to Obama. He has the vision, experience as an elected leader, and the organizational skills to accomplish the things we need. He understands technology and the complexity of the world in a way that Clinton seems unable to understand. She is a fantastic politician, but there are many fantastic politicians in Washington.

    We need a leader with integrity who can bring the country together. The best of those running is Obama. The next best is McCain.

    I hope to vote for Obama this November, and if that's not possible, then I hope I'll be able to vote for McCain.

    Anyone out there agree with me?

    January 23, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  7. Ray

    uggg..This guy. Obama's #1 Fan

    January 23, 2008 09:47 am at 9:47 am |
  8. Voting for America

    No kidding...there are whites in South Carolina? The way the media has covered the state, I had a completely different picture. Well, what do you know? I was completely mislead by the media. Dagnabbit. Wait, do they vote, too? Wow, who knew?

    Thanks for informing the media. And while you are at it, could you inform them of the rest of their bias???

    January 23, 2008 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  9. Steve

    The only ones ignoring them is the media. Somehow the concept of "reporting" has turned into creating story lines. What happens in "real life" is usually far different than what the talking heads are saying...and usually goes unreported...

    January 23, 2008 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  10. Jasmine

    Come on Roland, you know why. The white vote will be split, among Clinton, Edwards and yes, even Obama, while the the VAST majority of the black vote will go to Obama. In your heart, you know that's the truth. Oh, and good try reminding us that Obama's mother was white. Who's playing the "race card" now?

    January 23, 2008 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  11. Keith Singleton

    The only people that can change the media focus is people like you!! We the public do not control program content. The courage must come from media management to focus on real content and not sensationalism.

    I am real disappointed that you have not highlighted the smearing the Clinton's have levelled against Obama and defining very clearly that they introduced race into this campaign because it benefits them (Clintons).

    Being unbias is one thing, pandering to a market is another. CNN has been pandering to the right every since the famous republican meeting with CNN. It is this type of boldness that the Republican party has pushed and forced Liberals to retreat from their positions. We do not need another FOX News channel. CNN is slowly losing viewers like me. The content now is fluff. I lived for show's such as the Capitol Gang and Crossfire. What do you guys offer viewers like me now??

    January 23, 2008 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  12. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    There is the idea that many of the minority groups have not had their interests really touched on by major party candidates. Given this year that there are two candidates that have some significance, talking to the minority groups is going to increase. Just because there is much made about the talking to (and with) minority groups doesn't mean that the white community can't listen to what is being said. Many issues bridge the divides; concerns over the war, health care, the economy are just the major ones.

    January 23, 2008 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  13. Fred


    Instead of complaining about the focus on 50% of the populace, how about writing an OpEd with a focus on the white voters of South Carolina?

    Also, I've noticed a big pattern when it comes to race and this election in regards to your comments on T.V. and writings on the Web. On Monday night you jumped on the racial tension between blacks and hispanics, to which the other members of downplayed the tension.

    January 23, 2008 10:25 am at 10:25 am |
  14. Dave

    anyone who watches Roland Martin on CNN can tell he is obama biased soley because he has black skin. He is another one that lost credibility on commenting on this election. He is certinally non-white friendly. Loved when Lou Dodds put him in his place....

    January 23, 2008 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  15. Darlene Mason

    Sounds like someone's plan.It's already two aganist one,if AFRICIAN-AMERICANS are 10 or even 15 percent of the population and we vote in all fifty states,You do the math, THANKS IOWA

    January 23, 2008 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  16. William Terry, MD

    You are absolutely correct – there is another 50%. But I don't think it is Obama who is ignoring that fact – his speeches and his ads all reach out to ALL voters. There is no candidate who is more inclusive. The problem is the media, who are so fixated on trying to stir up a fight over gender and/or race, that the questions they ask and the comments that they choose to publish/show are focused on what they are trying to do – not what Obama is trying to do. So keep raising hell – and get your colleagues on CNN to remember that other 50%.

    January 23, 2008 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  17. DD, New York

    Obama didn't ignore the white voters....he told Edwards that Edwards can have the white male vote.

    January 23, 2008 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  18. roger, conway sc

    Roland you are exactly correct the white voters in SC have not been considered at all, but I know this much after watching the debate this white voter will not be supporting Obama. If he can not take the heat from the other democratic candidates how in the heck is he going to deal with the GOP...They don't care if he runs & whines to Clyburn or not they will check out his record and jump on everthing that he has to say he will think the Clintons are mild & meek...And if he uses the race card or has you or the black leadership use the race card the GOP will put all of you in your place they do not care....He acted like a teenage bully during the debate, I have to agree with Hillary he was looking for a fight. My choice has nothing to do with race, but I do feel that Obama is playing up to the black people here in SC BUT if they are silly enough to buy his smooth talk let it be BUT not me, I find his message empty with no substance. I find it strange that he & his wife campaign & critique Hillary but when she & Bill do the same he starts whining. I am smart enough to know that ALL politicians stretch the truth even OBAMA so when he makes it out like he doesn't he sounds like a hypocrite..VOTE EDWARDS on 1-26-08 SC Democratic Primary....

    January 23, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  19. checkthisout


    There's your answer. !!! Simple !!!

    Not sufficient time remains to reverse the damage done.

    January 23, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  20. John

    Hi Roland the only people ignoring the white voters of SC are the media CNN included. The candidates are fully engaged with them at all their meetings and visits to the various counties.

    January 23, 2008 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  21. Mateo

    Roland Martin makes EVERY issue into a racial issue. He is the first one to pull the race card. This article of his is beyond belief.

    January 23, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  22. June (California Voter)

    You have a good point there.
    From what I here it is getting differant in S. Carolina than it use to be but that remains to be seen.
    I think they will vote who ever they think can lead the country better.

    January 23, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  23. Greg T

    Martin, thank you for citing the obvious fact that there are more than just the African American voters in this country, that are watching the candidates. Cow-towing to racial lines in votes sickens me. The politicing to racial groups is what is leading the racial divisions every day in this country. The practice would do good to just be stopped and focus efforts and intrests in the overall good of our country and not served to any one race, color, religion, or specific group.

    January 23, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  24. Jaydogg333

    CNN is still trotting out this issue and it's already a horse that is dead and beaten beyond recognition. Stop already! PLEEEASE.

    January 23, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  25. Dean

    Roland Martin , Im 43 white male . Male & married with children and a grandbaby . I enjoy your reports and honesty . Thanks you . I support Hillary Clinton . Have a question ? If Hillary get the nominee ? What do you think of a Hillary / John Edwards Ticket ? Cnn had in a blog . That Hillary & John Edwards had a private meeting after debate ? There alot of people are really excited about the thought of Hillary / John Edwards ticket . Possible ? What do you think ? And great cnn election center , Ask everybody . See what they think ? Thanks

    January 23, 2008 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
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