port of harlem magazine

April 18 - May 1, 2008


Obama Draws Integrated Crowd in Chocolate City

Obama in Gary, IndianaGary, Indiana Mayor Rudy Clay addressed the crowd that came to see Presidential candidate Barack Obama as he campaigned in Gary, the city with the highest percentage of Blacks among large American cities, and predicted that the votes from Gary will be the difference in giving a May 6 Indiana primary victory to the senator from neighboring Illinois. 

Speaking just 30 minutes from his base in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois Obama told the crowd with thunderous approval, “people say ‘Black kids in Gary, that's not our problem.’ ‘Hispanic kids in south Texas, that's not our problem.’ ‘Poor white kids in Appalachia, that's not our problem.’ ‘Indian kids on a reservation, not our problem.’  "Let me tell you something, every child is our child."

Gary is the heart of Northwest Indiana, one the nation’s most racially segregated regions, and home of the historic 1972 National Black Political Convention.  Clinton also visited Northwest Indiana, but chose to rally in Gary’s surrounding majority White communities.  Jerry Davich, a reporter for one of Northwest Indiana’s daily newspapers, even asked readers of his column:  “will Northwest Indiana Whites enter Gary to see Obama rally?”  The answer:  They did.

While Obama has won each of the many voting blocs at least once, Clinton has failed to win the majority of Black voters in any state including that in which she represents in the Senate, New York, or where she served as First Lady, Arkansas.  (Obama won about 60% of the New York Black vote, more than 70% in Arkansas). 

Photo:  Obama in Gary, Indiana.  From the Post-Tribune.


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