Given that the study reports that 29 percent of black households are headed by a married couple compared to 53 percent of white households, and that 66 percent of black births are to unmarried women, compared to 24 percent of white births, there seems to be an important realism and awareness today among blacks as to where the real problems are in their lives and communities.
Similar themes emerge when looking at the type of leadership and figures in the news that blacks view most positively.
Only 18 percent of those surveyed see black political leaders as "very effective." However, 36 percent of black ministers and clergy are viewed as "very effective."
Eighty five percent say that Bill Cosby, who has been actively speaking and writing about the importance of black personal responsibility, is a "good influence." However, only 17 percent see rapper 50 Cent as a "good influence" and 42 percent see him as a bad influence.
The survey devoted quite a bit of attention to attitudes about Barack Obama, which, among blacks, are overwhelmingly positive. Eighty nine percent view him positively, and 89 percent respond that he shares their interests somewhat or "a lot."
However, 39 percent of blacks, compared to 26 percent of whites, feel that his race diminishes his elections prospects.
What might politicians who are courting the black vote conclude from all this?
For one thing, blacks are increasingly buying into the "values" agenda. Growing numbers of blacks are buying into the personal responsibility message, appreciate the destructiveness of promiscuity and the importance of education. Hence, blacks are seeing their future well being more in terms of personal life management than in terms of political action.
However, blacks retain a pervasive sense of vulnerability. They see racism continuing to loom and have a low level of confidence that they can depend on our courts and police to protect them.
So, despite progress on the part of conservatives to woo the black vote based on the values agenda, big government Democrats continue to hold on to most black voters.
The potential positive news for conservatives is that the movement in black attitudes is in their direction. With proper care, attention, and education, more black voters can be reached by the conservative appeal.
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