The Case for Black With a Capital B



Mass Decision 2010: Voices From The Community

By Talia Whyte

The Patrick/Murray campaign held a rally attended by approximately 100 enthusiastic supporters Oct 10 in Roxbury’s Hibernian Hall.  A running theme with all the supporters I spoke to was that they felt that Patrick has made strides on key issues, such as jobs, health care and education.  

I noticed that there is an obvious racial divide among gubernatorial supporters.  I have attended many Patrick campaign sponsored events in the last couple of months, which I have been the most racially diverse.  However, I have also attended events sponsored by Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker, where I am the only person of color in the room.

Most recently I attended a “Women for Charlie Baker” town hall meeting in the South End to again find myself to be the only brown face in the crowd.  In previous conservative and/or Republican campaign events I have attended hosted by different candidates, one could at least find one or two other supporters of color.  This year, the racial gap might have to do with the Tea Party fervor that has taken over the country and the perceived racism and exclusion within that movement that has turned many people of color off.

I have even made an effort to interview black conservatives or Republicans who are supporting Baker, but with no success due to fear of backlash from rest of the black community.  Even if Baker were to win the election next month, I hope his campaign realizes that he will be governor of all of Massachusetts and not just white Massachusetts, and make more efforts to include people of color at the table. 

The invitation still stands for any black conservatives/Republicans who would like to be interviewed.