Dave Wilson’s Black Strategy

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.

For The Congressional Black Caucus, Race Trumps Economic Prosperity

This week, The Hill reported that for many black Americans, racial identification and empathy with the first black president trumps economic concerns.  This unfortunate bit of news- though a shock to absolutely no one- remains troubling, nonetheless.

This “empathetic” response was triggered by president Obama’s so-called impromptu remarks regarding the emotional reaction, mainly from pockets of black America, to the not guilty verdict of the George Zimmerman trial.

The Hill lists several economic indicators such as declining income, declining home ownership and the high unemployment rate to demonstrate just how poorly black Americans have fared under the nation’s first black president.  Yet, for the black political class (as well as black Americans generally), racial identification with the president takes precedence over socio-economic prosperity.

The Hill also notes how black politicians- some being members of the Congressional Black Caucus, are reluctant to criticize the president- constructive or otherwise- for fear of emboldening the political opposition.  Black politicians and black intelligentsia prefer the salve of racial identification to the hard and responsible task of genuine congressional and executive leadership- all at the expense of economic opportunity.

Unfortunately, “black leadership” is just as much a euphemism as “choice” and “equality.” These racial tribal chiefs are again publicly- and foolishly- embracing “race” and passivity regarding Obama’s economic stewardship rather than fighting for improved economic opportunity for their constituents.

It’s not the first time members of the Congressional Black Caucus have chosen the commonality of the president’s color as a priority over increasing economic opportunities for blacks. Last summer, Emanuel Cleaver noted: “With [such high] unemployment, if we had a white president we’d be marching around the White House.” He also said: “The president knows we are going to act in deference to him in a way we wouldn’t to someone white.”

So “racial empathy” means the president’s blackness trumps black unemployment.

For progressive black politicians to be this trivial with regard to the economic plight of so many Americans is disrespectful and shameful.

Since Barack Obama has been president, unemployment rate for blacks has been below thirteen percent only once (Jan. ’09) and has risen above 16 percent, thirteen times.  Furthermore, the unemployment rate for black teens has yet to drop below 30 percent and has risen above 40 percent, twenty-nine times.

The Congressional Black Caucus is obviously not too concerned with the unemployment rates in its representative districts.  But it should be known how their constituents have fared during president Obama’s “recovery.”

Keep in mind that the national unemployment rate is currently 7.6 percent and 13.7 percent for blacks.

– Karen Bass (CA-37) – 11.9%;

– Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18) – 11.6%;

– Joyce Beatty (OH-03) – 12.1%;

– Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08) – 15.2%;

– Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) – 14.6%;

– Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30) – 11.7%;

– Corrine Brown (FL-05) -17.4%;

– Hank Johnson (GA-04) – 15.6%;

– G.K. Butterfield (NC-01) – 15.5%;

– Robin Kelly (IL-02) – 17.9%;

– Andre Carson (IN-07) – 13.9%;

– Barbara Lee (CA-13) -11 %;

– Donna M. Christensen (VI) – no stats given;

– John Lewis (GA-05) – 15.5%;

– Yvette Clarke (NY-09) – 12.7%;

– Gregory W. Meeks (NY-06) – 8.7%;

– William Lacy Clay Jr. (MO-01) -14.7%;

– Gwendolynne Moore (WI-O4) – 14.4%;

– Emanuel Cleaver II (MO-05) – 10.7%;

– Eleanor Holmes-Norton (DC) – 11.4%;

– James E. Clyburn (SC-06) – 16.4%;

– Donald M. Payne Jr. (NJ-10) – 15.7%;

– John Conyers, Jr. (MI-13) – 24.7%;

– Charles B. Rangel (NY-13) – 14.9%;

– Elijah E. Cummings (MD-07) – 13.4%;

– Cedric Richmond (LA-02) – 12.5%;

– Danny K. Davis (IL-07) – 16.5%;

– Bobby L. Rush (IL-01) – 16.8%;

– Donna Edwards (MD-04) -9.5%;

– David Scott (GA-13) – 15.1%;

– Keith Ellison (MN-05) – 9.5%;

– Robert C. Scott (VA-03) – 13.1%;

– Chaka Fattah (PA-02) – 16%;

– Terri Sewell (AL-07)-16.1%;

– Marcia L. Fudge, Chairwoman of the CBC, (OH-11) – 17.7%;

– Bennie Thompson (MS-02) – 14.4%;

– Al Green (TX-09) – 10.7%;

– Marc Veasey (TX-33) – 13.3%;

– Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20) -17.1%;

– Maxine Waters (CA-43) -11.3%;

– Steven Horsford (NV-04) – 12.9%;

– Melvin L. Watt (NC-12) – 15.3%;

– Frederica Wilson (FL-24) – 16.0%.

The average unemployment rate of the districts represented by the CBC is 13.8 percent.

Members of CBC currently represent many of the districts that are suffering the highest unemployment rates in the country.  Yet these so-called leaders choose to embrace racial empathy and racial solidarity rather than being actual leaders who should be pressuring the president to implement policies or reduce regulations that could diminish the absurd levels of unemployment for their constituents.

The CBC has become a national embarrassment- not only to their constituents, but to the congressional body itself.

And that’s saying something.

Black Americans who continue to elect political charlatans like these are unfortunately complicit in their own socio-economic asphyxiation.

With loyalty like this one can understand why the Democrat party takes blacks (elected and unelected alike) for granted and why the GOP ignores them completely.

It’s far past time- in a twenty-first century America which will soon celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s unforgettable “I Have a Dream” speech- that blacks rethink their reflexive and emotional embrace of race and “racial empathy.”

Refusal to do so in favor of the continued idolization and commodification of race will inevitably facilitate black America into a moral and political irrelevancy.

And the sad fact is that the black Americans who do so will have no one to blame but themselves.