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Monday, January 19, 2004

The Real Winner in Iowa and New Hampshire: Whitey

Consider the statistics:
Percentage of African-Americans; United States: 12.3
Percentage of African-Americans in Iowa: 2.1
Percentage of African-Americans in New Hampshire: .7
Percentage of Hispanics; U.S.: 12.5
Percentage of Hispanics; New Hampshire: 1.7
Percentage of Hispanics; Iowa: 2.8

Do you think the frontrunners have been discussing urban renewal in Iowa? Will they discuss crumbling inner-city schools in New Hampshire? Will immigration be a topic of discussion? Will they discuss gun control at any length? Could the homogenous population in these two states have anything to do with the issues left out of the discussion?

The Iowa presidential primaries tomorrow of the first milestone in the U.S. presidential campaign, and it looks as though the field is narrowing down to five: Dean, Clark, Edwards, Gephart, and Kerry. Al Sharpton and Carol Mosely Braun never had a chance; even a black Democrat of the same stature as Colin Powell would have had a hard time. The Iowa and New Hampshire primaries effectively weed out minority candidates, and cause the remaining candidates to focus on issues of interest to the mostly agrarian, white populations of these two states.

One (presumedly) unintended consequence of the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries is that it dampens the voice of minorities within the Democratic party. Outside of purging voter rolls like Katherine Harris did in Florida, it would be hard to think of a better way to disenfranchise a minority population.

Of course, there was a D.C. Democratic primary, but the mainstream press, with the exception of the hometown Washington Post didn't see fit to report the results (Dean won, edging out Sharpton 43/37).

Have you ever heard or read of anyone discussing the racial makeup of IA and NH and discussing the possible consequences of these skewed demographics in the mass media? It's time for those who believe in Democracy to raise the issue.

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