KEEPING THE POOR POOR? Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell contemplates one source of support for impeached Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich.

Since the criminal complaint against Blagojevich was announced, the mantra in the African-American community has been the governor is "innocent until proven guilty."

Indeed, I've been dodging shoes for just suggesting that Blagojevich should be held to the same standard as police officers and teachers.

After all, community activists have demanded that police officers accused of abusive behavior be taken off the street. And parents would not tolerate a teacher in the classroom who has a cloud of sexual misconduct hanging over his or her head.

But African Americans are a fiercely loyal group when it comes to supporting those in political leadership.

I know that is a sweeping generalization, and someone is going to yelp at me for making it.

She elaborates.

Frankly, Blagojevich is a brilliant politician, and like all brilliant politicians, he knows how to manipulate the emotions of voters.

You also have to consider the relationship between the black community and the criminal justice system.

Too many black families have been nearly bankrupted trying to defend loved ones against false charges.

True though that may be, how many black families have had their lives blighted by the common schools, or the welfare state, or the minimum wage, all important elements of Democratic platforms?

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