ESPN host Stephen A. Smith says that if every African-American voted Republican for one election, it would send a strong message to the GOP that their vote is important.
“What I dream is that for one election, just one, every black person in America vote Republican,” Smith said Tuesday during an appearance at Vanderbilt University, according to audio published by Breitbart.com.
During the 2012 presidential election, an overwhelming 93 percent of black voters supported President Barack Obama, while just 6 percent voted for Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
“Black folks in America are telling one party, ‘We don’t give a damn about you,’” Smith said. “They’re telling the other party, ‘You’ve got our vote.’ Therefore, you have labeled yourself ‘disenfranchised’ because one party knows they’ve got you under their thumb, the other party knows they’ll never get you and nobody comes to address your interest[s].”
Smith compared voting with “shopping around” to let store owners know they have to cater to you to win your business.
“We don’t do that with politics, and then we blame white America for our disenfranchisement,” he said.
The “First Take” commentator is known for being outspoken.
Earlier this month, Smith suggested that Philadelphia Eagles coach Chip Kelly was racist for trading away black players like LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin while keeping Riley Cooper, a white receiver who was fined by the team in 2013 for using the N-word at a Kenny Chesney concert.
“Chip Kelly makes decisions over the last couple of years that, dare I say, leave a few brothers feeling uncomfortable,” Smith said. “I think that’s fair to say. I mean, we’re sitting here looking at some of the decisions that Chip Kelly makes, and I’m like, what is up? What’s up with that? I mean, it’s like you’ve got to be his kind of guy, you know? And I’m like, well, Riley Cooper’s your kind of guy?”
Last year, Smith was suspended by ESPN after he made controversial comments suggesting that Janay Palmer, the wife of Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, could have done something to prevent the domestic violence incident that was caught on tape in an Atlantic City elevator.
Smith later apologized.
“I made what can only amount to the most egregious error of my career,” Smith said. “My words came across that it is somehow a woman’s fault. This was not my intent. It is not what I was trying to say.”
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