Martinez

Just days after the November mid-term election, the race to woo voters has already started.

Cuban-born Sen. Mel Martinez has received the golden nod from President Bush in his quest to replace out going Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Melhman.  Republican’s share of the Latino vote dropped to 30% from more than 40% in 2004.  Party leaders have said they need to build more support among Latinos for the GOP to regain its dominance.

All eyes are on Speaker-Elect Nancy Pelosi as she is in a position to make several key selections for leadership positions.  Five members of the Congressional Black Caucus are poised to take the helm of key House committees when Democrats assume control of Congress next year: John Conyers Jr. (Mich.) of Judiciary, Alcee L. Hastings (Fla.) of intelligence, Juanita Millender-McDonald (Calif.) of House Administration, Reps. Charles B. Rangel (N.Y.) of Ways and Means, and Bennie Thompson (Miss.) of Homeland Security.  Rep. James E. Clyburn (S.C.), is slated to be named majority whip, which would make him the third-ranking Democrat in the House.

Top issues sure to be used in the fight for America’s top position in 2008: illegal immigration, gay marriage, abortion, stem cell research, and of course the war in Iraq.

It’s going to be a long and turbulent road to the White House for Blacks.  It can almost be guaranteed that Blacks are going to be pitted against one another on non-issues.  For me, it will be more important than ever for the Black leadership to address the real issues that are facing Blacks and to actually take a position on those issues that are being used against us.  The Black leadership will not be able to take a vacation when gay marriage and other so called “moral issues” are used to divide and confuse us on what’s really at stake.

I guess my question is, when they come knocking on our doors, which at this rate, I expect to be any day, will Black people again fall for the rhetoric?  Can we expect to see our Black pastors pandering for government dollars at the expense of our livelihood in the name of protecting marriage from gays and women from having a choice? And finally, are we going to be able call out those same leaders and pastors out when it hits the fan or will we just sit on the sidelines and watch?