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PLATFORM : Getting It

November 13, 1994| DERMOT GIVENS is a campaign consultant and author. He told The Times: and

DERMOT GIVENS is a campaign consultant and author. He told The Times:

I can hear them now:

"We did all the right things . . . met with the leaders of the major civil-rights organizations and the ministers of the big churches . . . We toured a housing project and even had a great photo-op with those African American students at that inner-city school . . . the fund-raiser at that lawyer's house was well-attended . . . Position papers were issued supporting civil rights for all minorities . . . We did everything possible to increase African American voter turnout . . . But they just don't seem to vote."

These candidates just don't get it.

The African American community is ready and willing to support candidates who represent our interests. But low voter turnouts can almost be assured as long as candidates continue to believe it's a matter of which candidate will best represent African American interests. There is little difference between a conservative candidate who will dismiss our concerns out of hand without giving us an audience and a liberal candidate always delivering the message that we should trust and wait for them to determine the right opportunity to make a stand.

Yes, we vote. But not for the lesser of two evils.

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