John Kerry heard some flak recently about taking black voters for granted, even as nearly half the delegates at his party's nominating convention will be minorities -- but George W. Bush has yet again proved his willingness to just ignore black voters altogether. The NAACP says Bush has turned down an invitation to speak to its convention -- as he has every year of his presidency.
The White House declined the invite because of scheduling conflicts, and a spokesman suggested that Bush didn't really need to appear before the NAACP because he has spoken about "equal opportunity and equal rights for all Americans'' in many public places. Perhaps Bush would have found time in his schedule for the NAACP if he polled better among black voters -- in a Gallup poll released Tuesday, Kerry led Bush 81 percent to 12 percent among blacks. Although, these numbers are at least an improvement over Bush's showing in 2000, when exit polls showed he received only 9 percent of the black vote, compared to 90 percent for Al Gore.
Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.