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Wednesday, 22 May 2019 08:48 pm

Race matters in more ways than one, as election leadup showed

Nov 7th, 2012 | By | Category: Featured Article, Front Page Layout

BENEFITS for minority groups, and famous and influential friends, are expected to help President Barack Obama keep the black votes.

Perhaps the most outspoken supporter of Obama’s presidential campaign is successful rapper, Jay-Z (above).

Most people associate Jay-Z with Empire State of Mind, his 14 Grammys, and the rest of his impressive music repertoire, but ever since Obama’s 2008 campaign, Jay-Z has been as outspoken in politics as he is in his music, says political website

The music mogul is becoming a major political influence, who is making politics and Election 2012 even more relevant to black and other minority voters, especially those who are music fans, says the site.

In a new video, The Power of Our Voice, Jay-Z encourages Americans to remember why they voted for Obama as their president four years ago.

“When the president got in office initially, what he represented to a nation of kids was hope … the hope of people across the country who would look and see themselves and know the possibilities,” he says in the clip.

“Now people are exercising their right, and you are starting to see the power of our vote. He (Obama) made it mean something for the first time for a lot of people.”

According to Rolling Stone magazine, Jay-Z has backed Obama’s recent and controversial support of legalising same-sex marriage.

In an interview with CNN, Jay-Z outlines that opposing gay marriage is “no different than discriminating against blacks” and that it is an issue that is “still holding the country back.”

Mitt Romney, on the other hand, has promised little that would give minority groups such as African-Americans or Hispanics much to look forward to if he were to take office says The Daily Beast, the online home of Newsweek Magazine.

This, along with the colour of her skin, contributed to Stacey Dash receiving a huge amount of backlash following an endorsement for the Republican candidate.

Dash, a former Clueless actor, is a black American.

In early October, Dash posted a picture of herself wearing a red bathing suit and red lipstick as she stood in front of the American flag with a prop that read “Dash America” and had a large “R” on it on her own Twitter page.

“Vote for Romney. The only choice for your future,” the photo caption read.

Reactions ran wild, with most people slating Dash for publicly voicing her support for Romney.

@iLoveJoeyNoHomo said: “You’re an umemployed black woman endorsing Mitt Romney. You’re voting against yourself thrice. You poor, beautiful idiot.”

@cookiezandbeatz said: “Stacey dash must not know that Mitt Romney doesn’t care about black people.”

Samuel L Jackson also responded to Dash’s endorsement on Twitter saying “Wait, did Stacey Dash really endorse Romney today?! REALLY????! Is she CRA….??!”

On a video posted on the Huffington Post website following the criticism, Dash said she did not understand the fury and she is saddened and shocked.

“You can’t expect everyone to agree with you. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.”

Dash created yet more controversy following the initial backlash when she once again tweeted a controversial photo of herself, this time going to cast an early ballot for Romney.

Whoopi Goldberg gave her opinion on Dash’s support on talk-show, The View, saying: “She’s being attacked because she has a different view from other people and I think that’s unfair.”

The amount of public debate generated from both Jay-Z’s video and Dash’s Twitter comments show how much influence politically active celebrities have on the voting public.

 Images: Twitter, Access Hollywood

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is a Whitireia journalism student.
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