Friday, January 25, 2008
Democrats In The Black Community - Series Part 1
2 years ago during election season I drove though two local majority Black counties and noted the array of campaign signs that were plastered all over. Two things that caught my attention were, first - that seemingly every single one of these posters had some reference to "Vote for XYZ for Change In The Community". The second thing I noticed among the signs in the Black community - all of the posters were for DEMOCRATS.
This second point cannot be diminished in that other areas of the metro region that are more racially diversified or even lily White had more party diversity in their campaign signage. Indeed among the White liberal areas which surround the colleges or intown places indeed there were more Democratic posters but party diversity none the less. In the case of the Black community EITHER the Republicans don't even bother competing or the candidates who evaluate all of their competitive advantages for winning don't dare try their lot in the state's general election where they will go one on one with the sole Democratic selection. Instead they feel they have a better chance in being a part of the crowd of contenders in the Democratic primary. At least they will go unopposed in the state's general election. This is a sad circumstance indeed.
As with the 80% cities of Philadelphia, Baltimore and Detroit - such concentrated single party positioning removes the natural partisan "checks and balances" that keeps politicians looking over their backs. This is the case so much so in Philadelphia that even a liberal inclined activist who I heard on an interview longed for the days when there was party conflict to curtain the party cronyism and other corruption that was going on in the city.
I could not help but notice that in regards to this local majority Black county that indeed has known problems because the problems appear on the news so frequently - that those who were advocating for CHANGE were fellow Democrats who were criticizing the already Democrat dominated machine that was throughout the county. Years earlier this Black political machine had finally gotten control of the reigns of this county from the WHITE DEMOCRATS who had long dominated the "good ole boy" system.
The cheers of "We run things now" were quickly put to the side as intra-party squabbling kept the county in the local news. First the battles between the school board and the School Superintendent and then among the board members themselves. Next came the battle between the new county sheriff and the head of the county board who is a former police chief himself.
Admittedly some things have stabilized in Clayton County Georgia. Though they have had their share of store closings related to the great demographic changes that have taken place - other entities have built up the retain strips with big box stores as well as a flurry of strip malls that allow smaller owner/operators to set up shop.
Thus far there has not been a REVOLUTION as a result of this Black Democratic take over. It has been more the case that a "person who looks like us" is in power and is largely doing the same ole same as the guy before. There are some good leaders and there are some that need to be tossed out. Some have their egos too closely tied with their position of power and some place their public trust above themselves.
The first task of "gaining the positions" has been accomplished. Now we must see if their GOVERNANCE and their ability to solve community/cultural problems that show up as academic performance lag, crime rates and the level of skill embedded within the work force can be addressed. Some of these points are not political. I am simply observing if these political official will recognize this and appeal to the community resources to actually do their part in the matter.