The Black Vote

Where Should It Go?

Kerry show’s he’s been on both sides of every issue; he’s for the war in Iraq, then he’s against the fighting in Iraq; he’s for the fight against terrorism and then he’s against the fight against terrorism–that is the kind of confusion that will kill us, literally.” –Senate Candidate Alan Keyes
Kerry Camp: Terrorism is about Al Qaeda and Afghanistan, and not Iraq. Bush blurred the two to make Americans think the two were the same. But never has a line been connected between our country being the target of irrational hatred and the war in Iraq over weapons of mass ‘distraction.’” –Economist Julianne Malveaux

KISHIA MITCHELL
Age: 35, Location: Stone Mountain, GA, Occupation: U.S.P.S. mail handler and Army Reservist
Issue: Since no weapons of mass destruction were found in oil-rich Iraq, and American military casualties continue to mount, many are divided on whether war should have been waged, particularly with Bush’s strong ties to the oil industry. Sgt. Mitchell is among them. Although she doesn’t agree with Bush’s military policy, the single mother of four is still ready to answer the call of duty, after learning she could be deployed to Kuwait in 2005.
Favored policy: Mitchell doesn’t agree with any of the current administration’s policies because she says she hasn’t benefited from them.
Vote: Kerry.
Why: “This [war] was something that [Bush] initiated. [He was] looking to complete what his father started,” Mitchell says. “You’re losing too many sons and daughters, sisters and brothers, children over there–it’s worthless. It’s not a war against terrorism, you know. It’s not a war [for] oil–it’s personal.” (Her brother and sister, both of whom are in the U.S. Navy, were sent overseas as a result of the war in Iraq.)

ANYONE BUT BUSH
Bush Camp:Bush has started us down that road of making schools accountable. Kerry seems to have no real clear position there, and he is certainly not in favor of something like vouchers.”
–Hoover Fellow Shelby Steele
Kerry Camp: [Bush's No Child Left Behind is] a joke and it’s all just symbolic. The money should be making sure the school facilities are of high quality, but all Bush is focusing on is standardized tests.” –Princeton University Professor Cornel West

SHARON SMITH
Age: 54, Location: Paterson, NJ, Occupation: Principal, Rosa L. Parks School of Fine and Performing Arts
Issue: Despite Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act, Smith has found that funding for financial aid programs for college students and major K — 12 programs still falls short. While Congress and the White House have included the arts as core academic subjects under NCLB, the administration’s budget proposal has omitted support for the Arts in Education program, which funds the development of arts educators and curriculum, for the past three years. (Congress has supported the program with $35 million in funding for fiscal year 2004, up from $33.7 million in 2003.) “From what I can see, we have not realized any significant contributions in the way of public, private, and higher education under Bush’s presidency.”
Favored Policy: Smith says she, as an average American, hasn’t benefitted from

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