AFL-CIO Political Director Karen Ackerman says she believes racism is playing a role in limiting Barack Obama ’s appeal to some union members, but she said union leaders were making a concerted effort to overcome prejudice among their members.The Hill offers a similar report:
“We feel there is a racial component for some union members,” she said Sunday. “We feel confident we can overcome it.” ....
“There has never been an African-American candidate for president and many folks around this country have never voted for an African-American candidate for any office,” she said. So Ackerman said union leadership is urging local union officials to reach out on a one-to-one basis to members resistant to voting for a black candidate. “We’ve had a lot of discussions about how to talk to union voters . . . to identify closely what issue is preventing some union voters” from considering a black candidate. [emphasis added]
A prominent union leader on Tuesday blamed racism for Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-Ill.) failure to build a big lead over GOP rival Sen. John McCain.
Gerald McEntee, president of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), said many workers are considering voting for McCain (R-Ariz.) because of his military service and status as a hero of the Vietnam War.
McEntee said several union members had approached him, saying they could not vote for Obama because of his race. ....
Other union officials also have cited Obama’s race as a reason why some white union members are not embracing him.
The AFL-CIO's Richard Trumka explains his first hand experience with "a lot of good union people" who think it "wrong" to vote "for a black man":
Hat tip: BotW.
PREVIOUS examples of racism among Democrats include "That's just how white folks will do you" and "He's not black and he can't represent me, that's just the bottom line." Previous of examples of Democratic leaders accusing Democrat voters of racism can be found here and here.