Why We Have No Black Senators

On Monday, I wrote a blog post asking why Illinois is the only state that regularly elects African-Americans to the U.S. Senate. Of the four black senators who’ve served since Reconstruction, three have hailed from our own hometown of Chicago.

The post was picked up by the Drudge Report, and read nationwide. Since this is a blog about Chicago politics, I normally only hear from Chicagoans. But yesterday, I heard from the other 49 states. Maybe passions are high these days, because Southerners are commemorating the 150th anniversary of the secessionist movement. But I was assailed with e-mails from all across America, informing me that blacks are too stupid, lazy, greedy and corrupt to be trusted with public office.

Here’s a message from John (surnames have been withheld), “American voter”: “Obviously you have lost touch with reality. Maybe you should spend some time in the black portions of Chicago where black men divulge in a lifestyle devoid of work ethic, more interested in killing each other than growing up to become politicians.”

Robert, a member of the North Florida Militia, informed me that “[n]o blacks in the Senate is a good thing. Do you realize what the mindset is of the general population outside the Chicago area? I’ll tell you. We believe that blacks are a huge problem in this country, not only for their obvious lack of intelligence but because their crime figures are higher than any other racial group…They have the added distinction of raping, on average, 37,500 white women per year, with the reverse almost nil…Blacks are the curse of the entire Western world”

A woman named Judy informed me that I am a racist because I am in favor of black politicians passing the tax dollars of hardworking whites around the ghetto: “taxing white store clerks, truck drivers and waiters for the benefit of black store clerks, truck drives and waiters does not actually create ‘equality,’ rather that IS racial oppression, not its remedy.”

And Kirk T. is thankful that “we again have an all white Senate that will dispense with the Jesse Jackson extortion or having to deal with the stupidity of Blacks. Not having been a racist it soon became obvious that Shockley was correct in that Blacks are genetically inferior. They cannot speak, they cannot form coherent thoughts, they refuse to work and want everything given to them. It may be argued that Blacks have been infantalized by the Democrats and I would agree but still they must take responsibility for their own actions. Every immigrant to the United States has after one generation moved up but Balcks want to sit around waiting for their check.”

These people are right about one thing: I am a provincial rube who does not understand the mindset of voters outside Chicago. As the author of a book that explains why Chicago produced the first black president, I thought we were leading the nation in racial progress. But maybe Illinois is an outlier, rather than a pioneer. America did elect Barack Obama president, but so far, except for a governor in uber-liberal Massachusetts (the only other state to elect a black senator), that has not translated to success for black politicians in other states.

Now I understand why. Black politicians still have a lot to overcome.

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