No, Rush Limbaugh, African-American Voters Aren’t ‘Uncle Toms’—We’re Just Smart

Limbaugh didn’t just insult black Mississippi voters by referring to them as Uncle Toms—he also showed just how clueless he is about the black electorate.

U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran (R-Miss.) greets supporters during his victory party June 24, 2014, at the Mississippi Children’s Museum in Jackson after a narrow GOP primary victory over Tea Party-backed Republican candidate Chris McDaniel. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

It doesn’t mean black voters are suddenly enamored with Cochran. He voted, for instance, against the Affordable Care Act, which 76 percent of African Americans still favor.

And now that the primary is over, it’s very plausible that black voters will come out for Cochran’s Democratic opponent, former Rep. Travis Childers, in November. Either way, though, I’m guessing that Mississippi—a red state that Obama lost twice by double digits and which has a Republican governor and two GOP senators—will wind up choosing a Republican in the general election.

But this was a pretty striking example of black voters in one state debunking the idea that black voters, generally, are “straitjacketed” or don’t vote based on the issues. This time out, black voters in Mississippi made a cold-eyed, logical choice for the least objectionable candidate. That’s not hypocritical. That’s smart politics.

David Swerdlick is an associate editor at The Root. Follow him on Twitter.