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. Attacks by the Establishment on Ron Paul Continue

    John Dean tried to tell the Dems last time not to ignore the Confederate Americans but they did not learn at that time and will not learn this time.

    Confederate Americans will wind up voting for the least of two evils being the Repubs, hopefully an independent but I think if not Ron Paul then it should be Huckabee!

    Looking for not just change but major overhaul of the central government then vote Ron Paul!

    January 23, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  2. Will

    So let me get this straight. White voters will refuse to vote for a candidate who is supported by black voters? That is somewhat depressing however, these particular voters would probably never have voted for Obama anyway so no big loss I guess.

    January 23, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  3. Daniel, San Diego

    Based on what I have heard so far from the presidential candidates, there is no evidence that white democrats in South Carolina or any other states have been ignored or marginalized. The real question is whether the nation is ready to vote in a person of color or a woman as president. I am pessimistic that neither will happen notwithstanding the sterling qualities and /or messages of the candidates. Race will remain the silent arbiter of presidential elections in America for the foreseeable future.

    January 23, 2008 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  4. Scott

    so you pick and choose the coments you post in the coment section. shame on you. you are less of a person for not allowing all coments.
    i guess its comment supression.
    scott missouri

    January 23, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  5. stan pitts pa


    January 23, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. Suzan

    True!!!The race question is not the issue, but Obama opportunistically made it an issue to try to capitalize on it. Fortunately for the country, not all African Americans bought into it.

    Now if you are looking for a true UNITER, look no farther; isn’t it sooo obvious who the true UNITER is? Clintons defended African American rights when Obama was in junior high (and very much high!!!).

    January 23, 2008 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  7. stan pitts pa

    Barry: you are dead on! There are a lot of white-Americans who love obama and are watching the divisive and destructive hrc campaigning techniques on the sidelines, i think the clintons may just pay a big price for trying to rip a good candidate like obama! most white democrats may just vote against the clintons! besides they have had enough of the bush-clinton-bush dynasty!

    January 23, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  8. Gene

    Putting John Edward in any presidential running mate will be disaster. This guy is a liability. He was a loser 2004 presidential election and he is now. He had a private meeting with Hillary, in some debate he was leaning with Obama, now he is leaning with Hillary. His mouth sweets like honey...lives in a multi-million house, always talk about the poor, but never do anything for the poor. What does this great opportunist want?

    January 23, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  9. jep

    Martin thanks for your comment, but is it not you the media CNN promoting the race card everytime? Why do does the media ask questions that will lead to race obviously instead of asking about the important stuff? I don't blame Hillary for hitting back because she has to defend herself thus proving that yes she can hundle being the chief of staff and the president of the united states of America.
    Go Hillary '08 I am with you all the way, This is one nation one people the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

    January 23, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  10. Sherry

    For all you people who think Hillary is Bill's front person. You do not know Hillary Clinton. Think about your own households and you will have to admit...the woman in the family is the glue.

    I seen Hillary last night here in Phoenix. She looked mighty sporty in that canary yellow. Her talk was direct and to the point on the issues. Yes she gave details on the economy, education, Iraq and big corporations. She also gave the details on how she intends to pay for it. There will not be any free rides during her presidency. Fiscal responsibility is one of her goals..

    She has not given up on winning S.C. She will be back in that state tomorrow.

    HILLARY 08

    January 23, 2008 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  11. Sherry

    One more thing. Thank you Martin for pointing out the obvious.

    January 23, 2008 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  12. MR KLINE

    Yes, African-American issues are important, very important. But at the SC debate, if I were Obama, I would have been disappointed, offended, and irritated about all the "black" questions. Is Bill Clinton the first black president? If I were Obama, I would have reframed the focus, saying "What kind of question is that? Whether pro or con, the country does not need to hear divisive discussions about color. Who's black and who's not. Let's talk about more pressing issues. That's what people want us to do. Do you have a better question?". If he said that, I'll bet the audience would have roared it's approval. I'll also bet in retrospect, that response occured to him. Obama's a smart man, and he has my vote.

    January 23, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  13. bill

    I read an interesting article in yesterdays' papers about the huge party/celebration atmosphere in Myrtle Beach had by the supproters of Rep Clyburn, his fellow Black Caucus members and other dignitaries. How sad. Mr Martin is absolutely correct in pointing out the omission of SC white voters. After all the state is 60-70% white. Ignoring the white voters in the press coverage will rankle most of the white South Carolinians. It would me also. I still get upset when a Democratic candidate will only hold and hug a minority baby while on the campaign trail. What about our white babies? These on-going activities are fanning the flames as usual. Big mistake, Big mistake.

    January 23, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  14. Pia

    It seems to me that Roland Martin either wishes he was running Obama's campaign, or that he was Obama. His constant chastising of the Obama campaign has grown tiresome. The casual observer would think the Clinton and Edwards campaigns were walking on water according to Martin! At least be fair and equitable in your criticisms and drop the holier-than-thou routine!

    January 23, 2008 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  15. Billy, Florida

    Well Obama receives his so called spiritual support from his church pastor who openly praises racists like Lewis Farrakhan. Go figure.

    January 23, 2008 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  16. Obama 08

    READ THE ARTICLE before responding. Martin did not state that it was the CANDIDATES who are not addressing white voters.

    It states that it is the "reporters, anchors, pundits, columnists and writers" whi is empasizing race. Anyone who has listened to the campaigns realize that the Democratic candidates are speaking to the needs of all races especially of the low and middle income voters. I

    VOTE FOR WHOM YOU WISH BUT AT LEAST READ AND LISTEN and try to exercise some critical thinking before you decide.

    January 23, 2008 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  17. chris

    Look, Obama is THE black candidate, PERIOD! Every black radio station and every (virtually) black person interviewed is FOR Obama and against Clinton. I don't blame the african american community, I just wonder if they realize Obama CANNOT and WILL NOT be able to win a general election. If they want to blindly support Obama, feel free but don't be upset when a republican is elected in November and any issues blacks are concerned about are once again ignored for at least 4 years and probably eight............just some food for thought. As for me? I'm a democrat who will sit home or NOT vote if Obama is the democratic nominee and I know many, many people who feel the same way...don't kid yourselves, at the end of the day who really thinks Obama will receive republican and independent voters in the election? Think about it!

    January 23, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  18. JAM

    Mr. Martin, Ever since you joined CNN you have done a pretty good job of ignoring whites, unless it is to say something negative about them any chance that you get. If you were white and said what you say about Blacks you would have gone the route of Imus.

    January 23, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  19. Stacy Clarks, Texas

    to dave:

    I do nto understand your comment saying Martin is pro Obama simply because he is black. Am I the only one who read the above comment that is appealing to candidates to appeal to white voters? will we ever get over race in this country?
    Obama/Edwards 08!

    January 23, 2008 02:13 pm at 2:13 pm |
  20. jyfranca

    Obama may be appealing to all people but people like Martini ruin his chance because they want him to win blacks votes only.I cant disagree with you martin no more but when you attack obama for praising reagan i knew you are another clinton,al sharpton and jessejackson.how long will you continue to divide this country?If you think Republicans are the worst you better concentrate on clinton comment on obama and you will find that among democrats you are racists

    January 23, 2008 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  21. Paul, Atlanta

    Roland Martin is a joker! He truly sensationalizes the race issue just like Obama does. He has punted Whites against the blacks and on monday night he did the same with Hispanics/Latinos against the Blacks. This guy is crazy. He doesn't know he is dividing the democratic party. That's not going to get the votes for Obama!

    January 23, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  22. jyfranca

    Even if you dont want to post my comment but martin rolland is racist like sharpton

    January 23, 2008 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  23. Anne

    Martin, I am an older white woman (from Georgia) who is voting for Senator Obama. Speaking of the WHITE voters in South Carolina, there will be those
    who prefer Senator Obama, as I do, and will vote for him because they believe in him and TRUST him and see him as the next President of the United States.
    Then there are other WHITE voters who will vote for Senator Obama because
    they do not want to vote for Hillary.
    I do not say this because I choose to vote for Senator Obama. I see no
    good in negative statements. I am just repeating what I hear from Democratic
    leaders in South Carolina

    January 23, 2008 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. Jack, Greenville, SC

    I am white, whatever that means, and a SC voter. I have been to several Obama events in SC and I see a whole lot of people of my particular race and gender in the audience. I don't know what people are talking about with these percentages.

    January 23, 2008 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  25. TX

    I have lost respect for both Hillary and Bill with the low down dirty tricks they are willing to use against Mr. Obama just so that THEY can get back in the Whitehouse.

    If she gets the Democratic nomination, I hope whites who destest her will vote Republican in droves and I hope blacks will do the same. YES, I will hold my nose and vote Republican.

    January 23, 2008 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
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