There aren’t a lot of black Senators

A brief bit of meta-blogging:

I was going to post an entry on February 28th (I guess I still could) entitled “Black History Month K-12 Educational Simulation”, wherein I post a link to a wikipedia article about black soldiers in the Civil War, and thus make fun of the tokenism that greeted me with Black History Month through my public schooling. That goes back to my Freshman year of high school, where on the final day of February the teacher showed us… a film about black soldiers in the civil war… and it was a last minute schedule change on the part of the teacher, who evidentally had a “Holy Crap! This is Black History Month!” moment. A test that students may or may not have studied for was thusly delayed.

There haven’t been many blacks in the US Senate. There were a couple during Reconstruction, and then… nothing… until Edward Brooke’s two terms beginning in 1968… and then nothing until Carol Mosley Braun’s term from 1993 through 1998, and now Barack Obama, who defeated notable gadfly (and black) candidate Alan Keyes. We now approach the 2006 election, and I note that we may have two black Americans duking it out in Maryland, and that Harold Ford, Jr. is running in Tennessee (either a credible campaign, or not. I hear the Ford name has been tarnished as of late).

Maryland’s Republican black Senate hopeful, Michael Steele, has gotten in trouble for comparing stem cell research to Nazi Medical Experimen. He apologized for it, though pointedly insists he never used the word “Holocaust” which is I guess the most stinging charge of what sticks into people’s minds about the situation. The former black Maryland Senate Republican hopeful, Alan Keyes, would never have apologized, but I guess he never thought he had a realistic shot of winning a Senate seat. But the point here is that it threw Steele’s Senate campaign completely off balance, and may help make him as unelectable as Keyes was in both Maryland and in Illinois. If I were in Maryland and a registered Democrat, I may just pull the lever (or the bubble) for Kweisi Mfume in the Democratic primary over his primary opponents due to the simple historical joke that is the paucity of blacks in Senate history. I guess with his election, we’d then have a Senate black Caucus of two? An odds-against chance at three, with Ford… for what it’s worth the Black Commentator does not liketh much. Or very much at all.)

Trent Lott’s token Democratic opponent, Erik Fleming, is black. But the Mississippi Democratic leader threw his reluctant support behind Lott. The Democrat is a LaRouchite of some sort, a scandal that played itself out in the comments of He ended up denouncing LaRouche. But it looks like NORML will be endorsing him. Trent Lott, incidentally, I read recently, receives something on the order of 90% of the white vote and 10% of the black vote in his Senate elections. I don’t think you have to probe very deeply to figure out where this racial discreprency stems from.

Despite what Rush Limbaugh may think, Ohio Democratic nominee Sherrod Brown is not black. As he said, “And don’t forget, Sherrod Brown is black. There’s a racial component here, too. The newspaper that I’m reading all this from is The New York Times, and they, of course, don’t mention that.” But, Rush Limbaugh has race seered in his mind — as his rather bizarre ESPN commentary about quarterback Donavan McNabb demonstrated. Limbaugh’s retraction: “Sherrod Brown’s a white guy? Then, I’m confusing him with somebody. … Must be somebody in New York [who] has got a similar name.” It’s a disappointment. The Senate black Caucus after the 2006 election will thus either remain one, be doubled to two, or tripled to three… but will not sit at four, as it might had Sherrod Brown been black.

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