But I thought diversity was the most important thing in the world?
Axios ran an article this morning about how the Democratic black women running for Congress “feel slighted by Democrats.” 43 black women have decided to run for seats in the chambers, but only Lauren Underwood has received “backing of the national campaign organization.”
The Democrat Party praises itself for being the progressive party and often props up black causes and people. DIVERSITY! Is this a case of actions speak louder than words? Maybe the Democrats are just like the GOP and care more about winning than sex and race as they’ve led many to believe.
Look at what happened at the DNC’s annual Women’s Leadership Forum this year. The participants “praised” black women as “Democrats like Rep. Maxine Waters and DNC Vice Chair Grace Meng calling them the ‘backbone’ of the party.” From Axios (emphasis mine):
- The DNC’s Political and Organizing Director Amanda Brown Lierman said in a statement: “While the DNC does not endorse in contested primaries, we work with our state parties to make sure first-time candidates have the tools and information they need.” She added: “African-American women are the backbone of the Democratic Party, and we know we can’t take them for granted. That’s why we’ve made meaningful investments in our state parties in order to turn out and engage women of color.”
- The DCCC didn’t address the number of black women on their Red to Blue list, but said they’ll keep working on diversity of candidates because it’s “crucial to winning back the House.” DCCC spokesman Kamau Marshall added: “The DCCC is proud to support the historic number of women and African American candidates running for Congress, who will bring a wealth of knowledge and cultural competence to the political table for Democrats.”
Interesting. Then why are you only backing ONE out of 43? Why not support these black women if they’re so important? You’d think their importance would trump other factors.
Massachusetts’ 7th District
This one really caught my eye because even the Congressional Black Caucus has chosen to support incumbent Michael Capuano in Massachusetts’ 7th District instead of black woman Ayanna Pressley. This right here exposes the hypocrisy within the Democrat Party. They care more about winning than diversity. Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) said that “[I]t’s important to keep a leader, a fighter, and warrior like Mike Capuano around.”
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) explained that the caucus has nothing against Pressley, “but when you have a colleague that’s done the right thing for 20 years, and has worked with you intimately, there’s not a reason for us to not endorse him.” Meeks insisted that the new candidates “should focus on unseating Republicans” instead of “a Democrat who has worked hard in the caucus.”
The 7th District is Massachusetts’ only “district where the majority of residents are not white and Mr. Capuano, who is white, has never faced a serious primary challenger in his 10-term tenure in Congress.” It’s a Democratic district and whoever wins the Democratic primary will more than likely win the seat.
It looks like I’m not the only one who has noticed the hypocrisy. From The New York Times:
Still, the endorsements have prompted a backlash locally from those who believe that the Democratic Party is failing to live up to its oft-repeated rhetoric regarding the importance of diversity.
Among Boston’s tight-knit black political community, Marie St. Fleur, a former state representative and the first Haitian-American elected to statewide office in the country, posted a statement on social media questioning the black caucus’s understanding of local issues. Bennie Wiley, a powerful civic leader in Massachusetts who is supporting Ms. Pressley’s campaign, said she was “disappointed, but not surprised” in the actions of the black caucus.
Ms. Wiley said she would rather the caucus follow the lead of the state’s two senators, Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey, and decline to endorse either candidate.
“I understand people feel they have to be loyal,” Ms. Wiley said. “But I was disappointed.”
Twelfth Baptist Church ministers cannot understand the caucus’s decision and it “caused concern” among them:
One associate pastor, the Rev. Jeffrey L. Brown, decided not to attend Saturday’s town hall, and said the optics of blocking a viable campaign by a black woman in 2018 were at best divisive and at worst hypocritical.
“For me, I kind of recoil and I know many leaders recoil at the idea that we’re supposed to sit back and wait our turn because someone else has voted within our interests,” Mr. Brown said.
The Rev. Willie Bodrick II, another associate pastor at the church, said he thought the endorsements of Mr. Capuano were “hasty.” Though he attended the town hall with Mr. Lewis, he characterized the primary race between Mr. Capuano and Ms. Pressley as one that exposes the generational gap in the Democratic Party, as a respected elder statesman in the House backs a 66-year-old incumbent over a challenger more than 20 years younger.
“The generational struggle, this pull and tug, is showing itself across the board here,” Mr. Bodrick said. “This is about just what kind of party the Democratic Party wants to be.”
Money, Money, Money
I know a lot of Democrats have shouted to get money out of politics, but the truth is you cannot do this. As Axios pointed out, if the candidate is “not raising a lot of it,” then the party views you as unelectable:
Electability is not just about money, but the numbers are telling. Underwood, the Illinois candidate who has the backing of the DCCC, has raised more than $590,000 so far. By contrast, Alabama candidate Adia McClellan Winfrey has raised $8,756.25, and Alabama’s Audri Scott Williams raised $25,352, per FEC filings.
No wonder Underwood received national support. Williams said that “[T]hese are organizations that are meant to help make sure black interests are represented and yet everybody is looking at who’s more electable based on money.” Williams is vying for a Solid Republican seat, but you’d still think the DCCC would work harder in Alabama after Doug Jones won the Senate seat in December.
At No Cost?
Maybe they can blow their hot air and go the different direction without feeling any repercussions. 94% of America’s black women voted for failed Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. 98% of the black women in Alabama voted for Jones over Moore last December.
Polls from the Associated Press/NORC Center and CBS News showed that 1% of black voters identify as Republicans while 92% of them disapprove of President Donald Trump. Plus, “the 59% who identify as Democrats is smaller than the percentage of black voters who actually vote for Democratic candidates.”
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