The race card

If it weren't for the AP's Glen Johnson*, nobody** would have noticed the pivotal role of race in Barney Frank's recent endorsement of Deval Patrick. Let's take another look at Frank's race-related commentary, which was excised from Blue Mass. Group's write-up of the endorsement:
Race is important also for us as Democrats. African Americans are an indispensable part of the coalition that Democrats need if we are to be able to win elections and carry out the policies to which we are committed. Excluding any of these important groups from the opportunity to win high office is both unfair and unwise from the political standpoint. No Democrat should be happy at the fact that in America today, so far only the Republican Party has nominated African Americans for statewide office at the highest level – for the Governorship in Ohio and Pennsylvania, and for the Senate in Maryland. In each case, I believe that the Democratic opponents of these men better represent the interests of all people, including African Americans, and I would not support any of the three Republicans. But the contrast between the parties does us no good. Were Deval Patrick lacking in ability, or wrong on the issues, this would not count for anything. But given the impressive qualities and insight he brings to this contest, then as Democrats I believe we should take into account the consequence of continuing a policy in which no African American is ever nominated by us for any office higher than State Senate, as a matter of both fairness and enlightened self-interest.
So how about it, readers? Should Massachusetts Democrats take their party's local and national track records on African-American candidates into account when they're deciding who to nominate for governor?

*NOTE: And the ever-astute Jon Keller, whose blog I neglected to read before making making my too-sweeping generalization.

**ANOTHER NOTE: When I said "nobody," I meant "nobody except for Jon Keller, and the Herald's Kim Atkins, and maybe one or two other people I've missed." Please treat any subsequent sweeping statements with appropriate skepticism.

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