By Aiyana Ma’at By now you may have heard about Al Reynolds,the Tea Party candidate in Illinois’ 52nd District, who recently came under fire for saying that African American men preferred dealing drugs to going to college, because it is “easier.” Republican Party leaders in Central Illinois are now calling on their own candidate for state senate to step down following these remarks he made at a candidate’s forum last week.
So, here’s what he said (Video Is Below):
“I’ve been in the city and the dichotomy of the women and the men in the minorities, there is a difference in the fact that most minority women either the single parent or coming from a poor neighborhood, are motivated more so than the minority men,” Reynolds said, when asked what he would do to increase diversity at state colleges. “And it’s a pretty good reason. Most of the women who are single parents have to find work to support their family. The minority men find it more lucrative to be able to do drugs or other avenues rather than do education. It’s easier.”
“We need to provide ways that are more incentive, other than just sports avenues, for the men for the minorities to want to go to college and get an education and better themselves before the women have to support them all.”
Reynolds’ Democratic opponent, incumbent Sen. Mike Frerichs,responded with:
“I’ve been in this community for a long time now,”. “I’ve been working in this community for a long time and I’ve worked with a lot of African-American men. They’re not pursuing careers in sports. They’re not trying to sell drugs. They’re trying to support their families. They’re trying to be good people.” Reynolds is being asked to withdraw from the race but hasn’t done so at this time.
So, while casually talking with a group of women yesterday–all of us black–about this one person says: “It’s amazing how white folks can have these narrow minded racist views about black folks! It really gets to me!” But, then another person says: “He just said what black folks, especially women, say all the time. Yeah, he took it too far with the whole drug dealing and sports comments but don’t a lot of us (I’m assuming by “us” she meant black folks) say that it seems as if black women tend to have more hustle than black men these days, are more focused on our goals, more educated, and that black men need to help support their children more than they do? He’s just not allowed to say it cause he’s white.”
Well, the looks and comments that followed got…let’s just say…a little heated. But, the interesting thing is that the group was truly divided. There were women who agreed with both of these sistas and it turned out to be a very interesting conversation.
Ok, so B Intentional Family, we need you to weigh in on this one. Were Reynolds’ remarks just racist–plain and simple? Did he get smacked with a “you’re not black so you can’t say that” card….or are both points of view valid?
WATCH Reynolds make the comments here: