Many Democratic Voters Feel This Way…like we’re Cheated On By Our Democratic Leaders
For decades, African-Americans have been a reliable voting bloc for the Democratic Party. You earned our loyalty when the party began to support and vote for and on issues that benefitted the everyman. Most of the time, the “everyman” included People of Color. From FDR, through Truman (when he decided that Brothas had the right to die right along side their red-necked bretheren), y’all showed a few signs of accepting POCs, but then the 50s and 60s came along – turbulent times they were. POC wanted to be treated just like YT – with all the privileges and rights thereto.
Y’all told us we could have it with “all deliberate speed”. Fifty+ years after Thurgood Marshall argued Brown v. Board of Education, we still don’t have equal schools and our kids are still getting bargain basement educations, which the current crop of Congress Critters think it’s okay to reduce what little money they do get.
Until four little girls sitting in Sunday School got blown up in church on a Sunday morning in 1963 – no one had a clue just how bad racial segregation was for POCs – especially African-Americans. Until that horror, “strange fruit” was not a concept to you – no matter how many Black journalists were writing about it; the injustice of it. Until we started looking like a reliable bloc of votes to put many of you in office – JFK took advantage of it, you know; y’all acted like you really didn’t want anything to do with us. But you found that we could vote you into office, and you took full advantage of that. Saying what we wanted to hear. Making promises that, at one time, you actually KEPT. Even elected 13 Negroes who formed the Congressional Black Caucus – ensuring our voices were really heard; that we had a place at the policy table – you got stuff done, and we were better off for it.
When Lyndon Johnson decided to keep the promises of Civil Rights that Jack Kennedy made to us, the Negroes, he literally conceeded the South to some of you, and those of you who couldn’t go along with Black people being equal to you – well, y’all became REPUBLICANS. And Tricky Dick got all of you in 1968 with that “Southern Strategy” of his. Some of them good ol’ boys thought we Black people had too much, just because we couldn’t be forced to drink at segregated water fountains or eat in segregated lunch counters anymore. Some of you lost your damned minds just because we could shop at Needless-Markup (Neiman-Marcus) just like you.
But, you Democrats did bring us to the dance. Even elected a few of us to public office. Shoot, we got a couple of brothas who are Governors – something that was almost unheard of. You were very good to us. However, now that a Black Man actually holds the office of President of the United States, you act like your job is DONE. You act like Bigotry and Racism are over, finished, KAPUT, especially in elections and in politics. You really believed that “post-racial” BS that was being spouted about on November 4, 2008. Let me tell you something – IT IS NOT OVER. FAR FROM IT. How do you think the Tea Bag Gang got up and running like they have?
I know, many of you thought “I’ll vote for the Black Guy, just to demonstrate I’m not a bigot.” You also thought if you ignored Sarah Palin and the Tea Bag gang, Americans would see them for the nutjobs they are, but as long as Glenn Beck, Hannity, O’Falafel Man and Corporations own the Media, the Tea Bag Gang, while they’re the gang who can’t shoot straight, but sure as hell can stomp the snot out of defenseless women; they’re screaming they want their country back when Bo knew where the back of the bus was, and, as Bill Clinton famously said to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy about Barack Obama: “This guy would be serving us tea” ; a comment that so upset Kennedy that he was the first renown politico to endorse Barack Obama for POTUS (shortly followed by former POTUS Jimmy Carter).
And by God, that brotha decided he was actually going to GOVERN because he had a legitimate mandate from the American voters! Those of you who kept trying to convince yourselves that you weren’t racist or bigoted, your heads literally exploded when Barack Obama actually started making decisions, trying to implement policy and do the things that a POTUS does. Some of y’all can’t handle this, and the Republicans started looking better to you, but you couldn’t outright defect. You might not get re-elected as a Republican. So you straddle the fence – looking like a Democrat; acting like a Republican. We call you Blue Dog Democrats, or members of the Democratic Leadership Council. Some of you wear both tags and call yourselves “Conservative Democrats”. There’s no such animal, anymore than there are “Liberal Republicans.”
So, you engage in circular firing squads within your own party, and shoot down those who rightfully earned Democratic nominations in favor of fake Democrats and Republicans who are no longer conservative (meaning reich-wing) enough for their own party. You seem to appear to want to maintain status quo – do nothing, and complain about the big, bad Republicans who get in your way of getting things done. We gave you the chance – we hustled votes and gave you the majority in BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS that you said you needed to make CHANGE. While Nancy Pelosi herded the Democrats in the House to keep the promises they campaigned on – the Senate blocked up everything and even bragged about how they weren’t going to pass the judicial nominees of the POTUS; how millions of people had a jacked-up summer because the extension for unemployment benefits didn’t get passed because those mofos went on VACATION – that a whole lot of legislation passed in the house sits undone in the Senate because Mitch McConnell whines about a filibuster and Majority Leader Harry Reid caves like a soggy Pop-Tart.
How do I know this? Well, here’s how I know you really believed that post-racial BS; not to mention you’re not that PROGRESSIVE, either. The leaders of the National Democratic Party decided to attempt to force Rep. Kendrick Meek, who earned the right to run for the United States Senate, out of the race to curry favor with former Republican Charlie Crist, in the hopes that he will win the Senate and caucus with the Democrats upon his arrival in Washington.
You refused to give money to progressive candidates like Reps. Alan Grayson and Mary Jo Kilroy, who are battling to hang on to their Congressional seats so they can advocate for the progressive issues we sent them there to do. You didn’t give any money to Meek, either. How many other progressives are in fights to hang on to their seats in Congress and the Senate, and they didn’t see a dime from the DCCC or the DSCC? Why is Russ Feingold trailing his opponent, a wingnutty Tea Bagger, and having to nearly back up off his previously progressive stands to hang on to his Senate seat?
Plus, you’ve kicked Howard Dean so far under the bus, the poor man has tire tread embedded in his back, “Michelin” imprinted on his forehead, and he’s become part of the pavement you willingly step on. Never mind he crafted that 50-state strategy that has you sitting in the White House, and gave you the majority in BOTH HOUSES OF CONGRESS like you pleaded with us to do. You promised to effect some changes to the nightmare that we lived in as a result of 30 years of Republican rule that resulted in deregulation, industries writing legislation and getting passed to poise this country on the brink of ruination, while positioning China to take over as World Superpower.
I know change has to be done incrementally. You didn’t learn how to “Tell the Story” of incremental change. And you did yourself no favors keeping stuff quiet until six weeks out from the midterm elections. I guess Adrian Fenty getting sent to the unemployment line after royally losing his job as Mayor of Washington DC woke y’all the hell up. But arrogantly ignoring us; then coming back like a lover who knows he’s done his woman wrong, but he knows if he says the right things, she’ll take him back – sooner or later, the woman gets tired of her man’s BS, and one day, when that guy tries to come back, he finds he’s been replaced by someone who is treating his ex-woman right. We feel the same way about the Democratic Party. We stick with you, but when we find someone who will treat us right….
And then, you put out a call to Black Bloggers six weeks before the midterms, pleading with us to write about the accomplishments of the Obama Administration, and holding out access to the key players for interviews, tidbits and whatnot like a carrot before a hungry horse - in the hopes of currying favor with us to write favorable blog articles about the wonderful, big-tent, Democratic Party, and how, if we don’t get out and vote, the big, bad Republicans will ruin everything you’ve managed to do.
Well, voting ReThug is not an option and it never will be. But I have to say this – you keep playing with us, and one day, that third party just might get off the ground and because we know, and continue to learn the different ways of the circular firing squad, we’ll eventually learn how to navigate around it, and form a viable option to you and the Republicans. It is only a matter of time. You’ve pissed many of us off – arrogantly suggesting via Slick Willie (Bill Clinton) that while actually campaigning for Meek; he’s advising Meek to withdraw from the race.
If Kendrick Meek were a white guy – would y’all be asking him to withdraw in favor of a former ReThug who couldn’t win his own party’s nomination? As Tim Wise would probably tell you, “Your whiteness is showing.” He told many of us at the Facing Race conference in Chicago last month that the crap like what you’re doing to progressives like Kendrick Meek is pissing him off. And do you remember what happened when you negotiated with Joe Lieberman in good faith, allowing him to keep his Chairmanships in the Senate, though he should have been stripped of them the day he went Independent and openly campaigned against Barack Obama?
Lieberman caucuses with the Republicans every friggin chance he gets. You Democrats who allowed Lieberman to continue holding positions of influence within the Senate – y’all got caught with your slips showing! I said that not neutralizing Lieberman would come back to bite the Democrats and the White House in the ass. And which of you believe Charlie Crist will be any different? You think he will actually caucus with the Democrats, should he actually pull off a win on Tuesday? After what Lieberman did to y’all, you should have gotten behind Kendrick Meek with double-barreled action and money to make sure this race was the two-candidate race it should have been.
You should be behind every Democrat campaigning like real Democrats. But you aren’t. And your statement from the DNC of “supporting Meek” sounds kinda lame and not convincing at all, even though Gov. Tim Kaine is out there campaigning for him. Why are all the faux Democrats getting the money for their campaigns, but Meek is being asked to stand down, and Kilroy and Grayson can’t get no love or money from you guys? Should you manage to hang on to your majorities next Tuesday, Meek, Grayson and Kilroy, plus any other Progressive you’ve ignored – you arrogantly believe they will bury their feelings and fall in line for you, especially the Senate bretheren, who really appear to have problems with race in that they can only deal with one Black person in the Senate at a time (Carol Moseley Braun, Barack Obama, Roland Burris). They don’t seem to be able to deal with more than one of us at a time, can they? I guess the Senate believes that having two Asians from Hawaii (Sens. Inouye and Akaka), one Latino (Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey) and Roland Burris is enough ethnicity in that body of Congress. It is apparent from the way Reps. Meek, Grayson and Kilroy have been treated.
I don’t give a damn that Meek looks like he doesn’t have a chance to win – he’s earned the RIGHT TO CAMPAIGN UNTIL THE END. He won the Democratic Nomination – and y’all chasing after Crist like he’s carrying the magic cure for AIDS. What does that say about you, DNC and Democratic leadership? What message are you sending with this stunt? What message are you sending when you arrogantly admonish us to stop complaining; buck up, etc. etc. – yet while you do this, you deliberately starve out viable candidates who actually care about the jobs they go to DC to do, chasing after Republicans who can’t get anywhere within their own parties because the Tea Bag Gang took over?
Shall we praise you in this? I PRAISE YOU NOT. And you need to quit playing with US.
Don’t worry, we’ll be out voting next Tuesday, because, as I said, the Tea Bag gang is NOT AN OPTION. Not when Sen. Mitch McConnell has already laid out the game plan if they regain power – two years of doing nothing, trying to impeach the POTUS and repeal what he did accomplish because they don’t like the idea of Americans being treated like human beings.
We’ll be at the voting booth, but you must understand – you can’t keep treating us like dirt and think we’ll keep welcoming you back. One day, when you least expect it….we’ll be gone to someone else who treats us like we want to be treated.
Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell
Special Contributors: James Rucker, Rinku Sen, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Adam Luna, Kamala Harris
Technical Contributor: Brandon Sheats