November 2nd, 2010
10:42 PM ET
12 years ago

No African-Americans in next U.S. Senate

New York (CNN) - Despite record election achievements by African-Americans in the House, the United States Senate will not have an African-American in its ranks.

All three black Senate candidates, Kendrick Meek (D-FL), Alvin Greene (D-SC) and Mike Thurmond (D-GA) are projected to lose tonight. The only incumbent black senator, Roland Burris (D-IL), is retiring.

Only six black senators have served: three Republicans and three Democrats, including the future President Barack Obama (D-IL).

There have been 118 voting members of Congress who are African-American. This year the GOP has 14 African-Americans on the ballot, any one of which could become the first black Republican in the house since 2003.

There are 41 African-American Democrats in Congress of which most are running in majority black districts. CNN projects Alabama sent its first African-American woman to Congress tonight with the election of Terri Sewell in the state's 7th district. She is a Democrat.

Filed under: 2010 • Senate
soundoff (297 Responses)
  1. Brandon

    If more black candidates would run, and then when they do run, run based on the values of their communities and not based on the agenda of the party they're told they have to be a part of, maybe more would get elected. Because this election was about a rejection of the Democratic agenda more than it was an acceptance of Republicans. Even the most conservative Democrat in the House got the ax, despite voting with Republicans on every big issue that has come up for vote. .

    November 3, 2010 01:54 am at 1:54 am |
  2. USA

    It's funny how many racist Americans pride themselves on having an ALL WHITE anything (senate, congress, etc.) and understand it to be an asset or a strength. They all say, "who cares?" It is just that sort of mentality that has gotten your country in the position it is in right now. You are right when you say, "It's NOT about race." It is about lacking cultural perspective on a major level. How can you represent your constituents? The answer is, you cannot. No matter who you elect, white, black, purple or gold, it is going to take a very long time for America to see it's glory days again, if ever. America lacks integrity and respect WORLDWIDE. It's not just about you, the individual citizen. It is much bigger than any of you or anyone you put into office.

    November 3, 2010 01:57 am at 1:57 am |
  3. Mentality

    We can choose to believe what ever it is that YOU believe and i am going to say this...since President Obama entered office there has been a modern day lynching of him and his ideas. He's smart enough just not smarter than us. How do you propose this problem be changed. It took us 8 years to get into this mess and will take longer to get out...President Obama is a man expected to make mistakes just as your prized George Bush did yet you have amnesia and forget how we got in this mess in the first place ...give me a break...and for those who don't believe their is a problem with race in America wake up I would like to know what country you've been living in!

    November 3, 2010 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  4. Ray

    It's like the Devil has tricked the Republicans and T party, into thinking their ignorance makes since. America is facing some real problems if we do not think and act wisely. I do not see any other political mind out there, that can come close to saving America from the the economic hell that the Republicans and Bush caused. You ignorant republicans didn't say one thing while he drove this country to the ground. there was a time when you could count on white intellegence, like WWII era. But now, If Obama can't do it. No one can. and our drop outs and femanin males might not have the fight needed for the other powers that are rising.

    November 3, 2010 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  5. Gia

    Kara and Cheese are just about the only people who get it. A lot of you are just painfully, painfully and willfully ignorant to the most basic of realities. Racism in the United States is just as American as apple pie. Denying that fact is admitting ignorance. If you can't, for the life of you, comprehend why it's a significant of issue for any ethnicity to not have a voice in the primary legislative body of our government, then you can't possibly be a high-functioning human being. Even reading a survey of American history made for a small child will demonstrate what happens when groups of people are under-represented or not represented at all in their government. Remind yourself what the purpose of the legislature is and imagine not seeing anyone who looks like you there. Perhaps then you'll start to see the light.

    November 3, 2010 02:07 am at 2:07 am |
  6. kiri11

    Just wait until these 45+ year old white people start dying. Most of them lived in America before the civil rights movements of the 60s. They may have deep embedded beliefs that racism is ok because they grew up with it. We took a step backwards this year because of straight ticket votes, but wait and you will see more diversity in congress in the coming years.......hopefully.

    November 3, 2010 02:09 am at 2:09 am |
  7. Austin

    OK. I too am wondering why the article focuses on african american people and fails to mention that there will be no asians, native americans, latinos, or other different peoples.

    November 3, 2010 02:12 am at 2:12 am |
  8. David

    What, exactly, are we supposed to think about this? Is it "unfair" if a person of color does not win a seat? Are we to all get up in arms because of it? If color does not matter, than it should not be an issue, if it does matter, than skin color is an issue. You cannot have it both ways. We cannot be a nation of no color and talk about how fairt it is that some person or another won and then act like we are all equal. I am a liberal and it sucks that republicans took control of the house, but frankly, either people want to elect you or they do not. The most unfortunate outcome of all of this is the citizens united decision. We can all count our days as individual voters because pretty soon, like it or not, corporations will be the deciders.

    November 3, 2010 02:14 am at 2:14 am |
  9. Mark Walker

    As long as this country remains ignorant on race, the United States will never move forward in realizing what real potential she has.

    We, as a people, have to stop treating each other as labels. I know that it's hard to do, when it feels superior to look down upon another. But take a moment and think about all of those who have died for the rights and freedom of this country.

    Do you honestly think that they deserve such disrespect and bias points of views? Besides, what does a person's skin color have to do with politics? You should be more focused on real issues and not profaned rhetoric.

    November 3, 2010 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  10. kalin is a young black male

    Its a shame that people arent even giving Obama the time to fix the problems. You really think 2 years was enough time to fix a country in such bad shape. Give the man a chance he is working with tons of smart people and coming up with ways to get this country back to where it was, But idk maybe you think Bush actually did a good job.

    November 3, 2010 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  11. joan durtz

    White fright lives on in America!!! American whites are the most afraid, ignorant, and socially unacceptable people on the planet. Now, carry on with you finger pointing and rhetoric about how a black man was put into power in this country and did nothing (which is BS by the way). He has done more for the this country in his SHORT time in office than that old BUSHwacker.

    November 3, 2010 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  12. Chris

    Corey, you said "Did you know that there has never been a republican african american in the house of reps? Never. I think that would be an interesting occurance."

    If only you knew what you were talking about: JC Watts was the Rep for Oklahoma's 4th Congressional District from 1995 to 2003. During reconstruction there were several.

    November 3, 2010 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  13. AMERICAN Sailor

    @Wayne: the pure ignorance that you preach is laughable. You talk about us being racist and than turn around and call us barbarians. Whom might I ask is the barbarian attached to the hip of his ancestors pity. You sir are what we logical idealist call radical and I do believe myself along with others, regardless of race, think you need to keep these heinous, radical remarks to your self and go back and bury your self in another Al Sharpton book.

    November 3, 2010 02:21 am at 2:21 am |
  14. WhiteVermin

    Why don't you all just come out and tell us what you really want? That you'd love nothing more than to see white vermin exterminated. Our mere existence is a nuisance to you racists whose sole purpose in life is to point out people's differences and socially engineer a more perfect "balance". Imagine that coming from the "protectors of nature" and advocates of science and evolution. Every single thing you twisted headed liberals stand for contradicts itself!

    What do you want? An affirmative action senate? The people have spoken!! You go out and earn what you want in life. RISE UP and make yourself be counted! Obama had no problem doing it, there's no longer a valid excuse for being an underachiever! Sink or swim and stop your sniveling! We are a color blind nation, except when rags like CNN and its airheaded reporters insist on forcing us to identify people by the color of their skin.

    Get a lobotomy, you race obsessed sicko!

    November 3, 2010 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  15. Atticus

    CNN should ask how many Asian Americans, Latino Americans, Native Americans, Pacific Islanders, et cetera are in the Senate. Last time I checked Latino Americans make up the largest percentage of minorities in America, and Native Americans suffered more than any other racial group.

    Reality is liberals only care about blacks and ignore every other racial group. Liberals and Democrats are intrinsically racist and continue to stymie racial progress. Continue to speak out against the racial hypocrisy of the left.

    November 3, 2010 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  16. anonymous

    Now that republicans dream of power and demeaner came true wat is next for the poor and the jobless

    November 3, 2010 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  17. BDGFN

    "Only six black senators have served: three Republicans and three Democrats, including the future President Barack Obama (D-IL). "

    Once again, CNN's attention to detail is readily apparent. Idiots.

    November 3, 2010 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  18. David

    Who cares?! Not everything is about race. Please please stop this racial pandering

    November 3, 2010 02:31 am at 2:31 am |
  19. Jesse Sablan

    I fought in vietnam, my son is now in aftghan........WE WERE FIGHTING FOR "AMERICA"......Enough /w the ethic background
    keep that to yourself..WERE ALL AMERICANS. This is were we lose the interest of the country and focus on "Hate"
    and "other separative issues. HELLO, ANYBODY HOME!!!!!!!!!WE HAVE AN ECONOMIC CRISIS HERE........
    LETS "ALL" DO SOMETHING FOR AMERICA AND "AMERICAN" It's never going to be a perfect world......But we need to stop being the UGLY AMERICAN.........

    November 3, 2010 02:32 am at 2:32 am |
  20. Pastor Leo

    this is typical of the American political system we move with emotion, No African Americans in the Senate. God has blessed America, however we can't understand why around the world there was praise and celebration for the election of our 44 President. (we got it right) We are moving away from all that is good and right, it is amazing that we would put the people back in power that cause this economic tailspin. Is President Obama is experiencing something new? or is it the same old Politics? If race is not an issues look at the historical numbers and the language. When are we going to focus on putting America back to work? We use to make things ,now we just make a mess.

    November 3, 2010 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
  21. Steve

    Not to sound like a hippie or anything, but why does the race (or sex) of a politician matter at all?? All politicians are supposed to have the Country as a whole in mind in making decisions. The US tries to pretend that we are better than every other country in the world yet so called 3rd world countries have had female presidents, minority presidents, and they make no big deal out of it. We are all the same race....HUMAN. As soon as everybody remembers that, the world will be a much better place.. Don't know who said the following, but it is true... "When the power of love surpasses the love of power, the world will know peace."

    November 3, 2010 02:40 am at 2:40 am |
  22. tony

    it was Martin Luther king jr. who said a man should be judged by the content of his heart not the color of his skin, but it seems that only applies to those of non-European decent, so called "white" people (which I consider a racial slur) are judged and hated simply for not being the right shade of brown. racism is a double edged sword that cuts both ways and equally as deep.

    November 3, 2010 02:43 am at 2:43 am |
  23. Anti-Demogouge

    I love the implication of racism and the lack of courage and where-with-all to make the accusation out-right.

    Maybe instead of "articles" like this, and pandering "reports" like Black in America, this O'Brien could actually look at the numbers of how long it takes a minority group to economically integrate with a larger society once social equality has been achieved. If, and only if, there is evidence to suggest that blacks aren't being economically integrated into the US as other groups have in the past, then the question of why can be made. And if the question of socioeconomic division based on race (racism) is raised, it needs to be asked just which group is doing the division. I guess that would be boring though, and racism= instant ratings.

    Since Senators are generally from the upper-class I find the idea of there not being a black Senator benign. The question that does matter is when the socioeconomic distribution of blacks will reflect that of the general US population. Not if they don't get there over night.

    November 3, 2010 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  24. The Veteran

    A lot of folks beat me to the punch, which is a good thing. Every racist Christian is only fooling themselves. They cannot fool Christ. He already said that they are liars. It is impossible to love God and hate someone because of the color of their skin. Impossible. With that said, it is about time that the Conservative Christian movement be exposed for what it is: A cult. It is no where near Christian. It is Pharisee.

    And since the religious leaders refuse to speak up about it, I believe their days are numbered as leaders. New leaders will emerge that speak the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. Not ones who are Christian in name only, but look and act like Pharisee.


    November 3, 2010 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  25. Anonymous

    The more things change...the more they stay the same...

    November 3, 2010 02:48 am at 2:48 am |
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