THE BLOG

Black Leadership for Sale in Chicago

03/19/2015 04:04 pm ET | Updated May 18, 2015

The African American vote plays a crucial role in electoral politics, especially in a big city like Chicago. Many candidates have to gain approval from the African American community in order to secure the mayor's office. You have several prominent ministers and community leaders endorsing one candidate over the other. However, when you look at the political landscape of the Caucasian or Hispanic communities, you won't see many preachers endorsing candidates because it's understood that their vote is personal. This would make one think that the African American vote is up for sale. Maybe the candidates are not paying outright for the votes, but some of the select community leaders and preachers receive some form of benefits from the candidate that wins his or her office.

African American voters make up a great majority of the votes in Chicago. Due to the divisional layers in leadership, African American candidates have unsuccessfully run for the office of mayor on many occasions.

The late Mayor Harold Washington was the only successful candidate that was able to unify everyone in Chicago to assure his victory. Maybe there is too much competition and bickering in the African American community since everyone wants a piece of the electoral pie. With all of the social issues facing this community, the candidates depend on the African American votes. You would think that some of the problems would get better if African American voters help a candidate win the Office of Mayor, but the problems still exist no matter who the people vote for.

This type of practice should be examined a little closer to find out why there is such a lack of support for African American candidates in the race for Mayor of Chicago. In the real world, it really doesn't matter what race the candidate happens to be. You would have to think twice when there is a majority of African American voters and you cannot secure a victory because the so-called traditional leaders are standing in the way of progress. President Barack Obama did not seek approval from the traditional leaders and went on to become the President of the United States. Several traditional leaders actually criticized Barack Obama. Another example, Dr. Amara Enyia was a rising star to make the ballot for Mayor of Chicago and another African American candidate challenged her petitions and she dropped out of the race. This represents a sad day in the African American community because the people really need hope and not broken promises. No matter what happens in the upcoming Mayoral Race with Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Jesus "Chuy" Garcia, the African American community is still up for grabs.