A man in Houston, TX decided to run for a spot on the Houston Community College Board of Trustees in a predominately black district. That man, Dave Wilson, a self-identified conservative Republican knew the odds of winning that particular race were slim-to-none, considering the district was black and by definition, Democrat. So rather than concede the race to the 24-year incumbent whom Wilson was running against, he decided to get creative.
And that creativity won him the election by the narrowest of margins- twenty-six votes.
Wilson’s strategy- to lead voters into believing he was black.
Did Wilson deceive the public? Yep. Did he lie? I don’t think so.
He didn’t, like president Obama, come out and promise Americans over three dozen times- that they could keep their health insurance, or their doctor- if they so desired, while knowing full well that wasn’t a realistic possibility. That was a lie.
Wilson never claimed that he was black. He never released altered photos that made him appear black. He simply- through creative ads and campaign messages- played on voters’ assumptions and insinuated that he was black so that black voters in a black district would vote for him. In other words, Wilson used the racial emotions of potential voters to his political advantage in hopes that blacks would vote for him.
And they did.
Of course, his opponent wants a recount.
Here’s how Wilson won. Wilson sent out direct mailers that assumed his blackness. The mailers were adorned with pictures of smiling black faces which Wilson admits he found on the world wide web. Under the pictures Wilson printed, “Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson.”
He also printed an endorsement by “Ron Wilson,” hoping Houstonians would assume it to be former state representative with the same name, who’s also black. But the Ron Wilson to whom Dave Wilson was referring is his cousin by the same name who lives in Iowa.
And that was enough to win.
The most important takeaway from this laughable yet pathetic episode is that it exposes the emotional embrace of race that blacks continue to have. As a white candidate, Wilson had no shot in hell; as a black candidate, he won.
Wilson’s strategy uncovered the folly of racial solidarity and racial politics. It also indicates precisely how and why Democrats take advantage of blacks. Democrats know that as long as the candidate has a (D) next to their name (or in this case, assumed to be Democrat), blacks will come out in large numbers to support the candidate, even if the policies that the candidate supports are against the best interests of blacks and their community.
Look at the recent exit polling in Virginia regarding the gubernatorial election of Terry McAuliffe.
It’s also why the GOP, despite intentionally half-hearted articulations of “outreach” and “messaging” to minorities, all but ignores black outreach. And rightfully so. The thought behind GOP inaction is that time and resources shouldn’t be wasted attempting to politically evangelize a community that will vote in lock step against people and policies the party represent – even if the policies being advanced will be immediately advantageous to black voters.
Republicans know that political outreach to blacks is a lost cause; blacks have proven themselves a stiff-necked people- unable to turn this way or that- and have been for more than fifty years. Blacks elect candidates who implement policies that directly contribute to the problems that plague their communities and yet turn around and complain about the very problems that they themselves and their candidates facilitate.
It makes no sense to actively contribute to the very problems that are the source of so many complaints and frustrations. For example- how can blacks complain about the lack of quality education their children receive, particularly in the inner cities, when blacks continue to vote for the party that’s funded by the teachers unions which are culpable for the low-quality education?
More importantly, how do blacks think they will illicit any sympathy from the country at large (in regards to the numerous problems facing the black community) when they are complicit in the pathologies that afflict them? Furthermore, lets put sympathy aside- do blacks who engage in racial politics, without pause, expect to have or gain any credibility in electoral matters?
Not only are blacks stiff-necked, they’re also blind to the inevitable consequences of their electoral behavior.
In any case, Dave Wilson’s sneaky strategy of using racial politics to his advantage, fooling race-worshiping blacks to win an election is an open mockery of the folly that racial politics have become.
Unfortunately, blacks won’t learn the obvious moral of the story.