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Obama or Romney: Who will get the sistas vote?

OBAMA: Still popular with African Americans and Mitt Romney hopes his running mate will win him black voters

THE RACE for the White House has become the battle for the black woman's vote. In the ultimate ‘some-of-my-best-friends-are-negroes' strategy, American vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan has let it be known that he had a black girlfriend at school.

It's one of his trump cards against Obama, the official 'black' candidate, in the U.S. elections later this year.

Why Ryan had to bring up the colour or ethnicity of his childhood sweetheart is plain to see. His running mate, Mitt Romney, has little if any black credentials.

He's as white as they come, though not as lillywhite. And so is Ryan without the cudos of his puppy love. But Ryan believes that fact, that childhood romance is the perfect antidote to Obama's 'made in the shade' factor. Because Obama's going to get the black vote no matter what.

Even those black Americans who have not benefitted under the Obama administration or have even suffered economically are still going to vote Obama.


Unless of course someone can come along and say “I'm as black as you are” or, “I'm an equal opportunities dater just like you are, Mr President.” And that might just shift some of those 20 million sistas who have put a question mark over Barack Obama's youthful dalliances.

The revelations last year in the book Barack Obama, the Story that Obama used to date white girls shouldn't have come as a surprise to anybody. That's who he is and who he was. Besides, who dates based on colour any more? Surely that's a thing of the past?

It is, except that sistas find it hard to forgive a bruvva who, as they see it, preferred white girls to them.

You can understand why. After all the stats about how many black guys date white women, the elephant in the room is the question why? It's a valid question without being a racist one. Would we not wonder at the phenomenon if half of white guys were dating black or Chinese or Indian. Would white women not want to know whether it was because they smell or something?

Then if you add to that all that enslavement legacy and put it in the mix, you'll understand why so many black women cut their eye on road at bruvvas who are being all lovey dovey with their white partner.

In fact, I'll be honest with you. I know sistas who consider me to be ‘soiled foods' just because I used to sing No Women No Cry to some Swedish girl. It's not to say that these sistas are racist. In fact they big up the white guys dating black girls or who have dated black girls.

They've been waiting years to give their vote to a white politician who says, “Oh by the way, I'm down with the sistas, I even used to date one, I just thought I'd let you know that, and I promise that when I become President I'll always have an eye out for you, ladies."

Now you can see how that is going to work. You've got the black guy who used to date white girls but is now married to a strong sista. Or you've got the white guy who was down with the sistas from longtime and is still down with them, even though he didn't marry a sista.

It's a choice that black American women have got to make and it will be interesting to see which way they go. I, for my part, am just happy that it's not me up there having to convince you sistas that just because a bruvva's had a white wedding, it doesn't mean he's not on your side.

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