African-American politicians definitely have their own race right up there with oxygen on their list of priorities. It informs everything they do.
Indeed. During the 2008 Democratic presidential-primary campaign, the Washington Post reported [Obama Wave Stuns Clinton's Black Supporters, by Kevin Merida, February 19, 2008] a bald statement to that effect from none other than California’s black caudillo, Willie Brown:
That black voters have so embraced Obama, even against the legacy of the Clintons, is not surprising to Brown. “I think most white politicians do not understand that the race pride we all have trumps everything else.”
So there you have it.
(It seems to me that being “proud” of your race–or, for that matter, being ashamed of it– is nonsensical, no matter what race you are. Doesn’t pride have to do with what you’ve accomplished, not with conditions you were born into?)