Although it took them awhile, I’m actually gratified to see that the MSM is paying attention and covered the Joe Biden “articulate” story. This NY Times story — The Racial Politics of Speaking Well was the #1 most emailed this am for the Grey Lady and has only dipped to #3 as I write this. It’s in the Top Ten Most Blogged.

Black bloggers — ‘twould appear we’ve hit a nerve.

My favorite quote:

It’s like an educated black person is a rare sighting, like seeing a spotted egret. We’re viewed as a fluke. How many flukes simply constitute reality?

— Reginald Hudlin, president of entertainment for Black Entertainment Television.

Interestingly, Republicans actually get this. Before Katrina, they were on track to drive a wedge among African-Americans eager to be recognized for our new gains in society — and our new priorities in contrast to condescending white Democrats who don’t get it.

Get this:

The poverty rate among African-Americans has fallen from 28.4% in 1996 to 24.7% in 2004. W.E.B. DuBois spoke of the “talented tenth” of educated, prosperous blacks who would inspire social change. Yet now those have become the majority — 3 out of 4 African-Americans. Most blacks in America are not poor and most of the poor in America aren’t black. The spotted egret has become common indeed.

You wouldn’t know that to listen to how some Democrats like Biden approach the black community.

The priorities of the black middle and upper class include (in no particular order):
* help for small businesses
* tax relief
* education including student loan relief and stronger public schools
* affirmative action in education and jobs
* job training opportunities

Priorities all African-Americans share include:
* action on police brutality and racial profiling
* healthcare protections
* strong law enforcement
* maintaining the social safety net including Medicare and Social Security
* an end to the war in Iraq, bringing our family members home

Democrats need to understand how the African-American community is changing. Otherwise, they will face an eroding base of support over time as alternative aspirational messaging penetrates.

What do you think about the changing priorities for African-Americans?

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