Blacks no longer the Democrat's 'mistress.'
(Sep. 11, 2003) *The Rev. Al Sharpton cautioned the Democratic Party that it can't treat black voters as its "mistress" and rebuked rap artists for lyrics that that degrade black women.
The fiery New York preacher and Democratic presidential candidate told a dinner for executives from minority construction companies Saturday that the patience blacks have for the party was about at an end.
"We must not be in a relationship with a Democratic Party that takes us for granted. We must no longer be the political mistresses of the Democratic Party," Sharpton told the audience attending the first awards banquet for the Central Virginia Business and Construction Association.
"A mistress is where they take you out to have fun but they can't take you home to mama and daddy. Either we're going to get married in 2004 or we're going to find some folks who ain't ashamed to be seen with us," he said.
Sharpton has trailed among the eight Democratic candidates in recent polls in Iowa and South Carolina, but hopes to find a boost in February primaries in Southern states with sizable black voting blocs. Sharpton also denounced what he called "negro amnesia" among a generation of black people who had forgotten the sacrifices of people who were jailed, beaten and even killed for their involvement in the civil rights movement 40 to 50 years ago. He took particular aim at rap artists whose violent lyrics refer to women in derogatory terms.
"To think that we have come down dangerous alleys, that we have traveled through the backwoods of terror, that we have survived beatings, been shot down in cold blood doesn't give you the right to call your mama a whore," Sharpton said.