Sunday, October 5, 2008

WHAT ARE WE DOING!!!!


This is probably the biggest voting year for black since the Voting Rights Act passed and they got the chance to vote for the first time. I have never seen so many of my folks eager to have a political discussion or getting involved in the process. That makes me proud and scared at the same time. I am scared because black voters are the most gullible people in the country and sometimes have no idea what their votes mean.

How in the hell is William Jefferson in a run-off for his congressional seat? He will be on the ballot against Helena Moreno on the day when there will be the biggest black voter turnout of all time. Unless a miracle happens he’s going to win and I can’t be more pissed off.

I remember back in 1994 when Marion Barry became mayor of Washington D.C. after he was arrested for and caught on videotape smoking crack. All I could think of was with all the families that have been affected by the selling and smoking of crack, how could they possibly elect a guy that endorses it through his actions. When crack was out of control in D.C. how could you take any cries for help seriously when the mayor was a known user and still got elected? One could assume rightfully or wrongfully that crack was a pretty cool thing in D.C.

Here we are down here in New Orleans bitching and moaning about everything other people have that we don’t. We want better schools. We need some hospitals. We need drug treatment facilities. We need new infrastructure and to fix this blight problem. We need to make the streets safer for our citizens. We need some economic development and more jobs. I could go on. It is obvious even to the most ignorant person that all these issues affect the black community more than anyone else in this city. I know it appears that more white people make their concerns public but the reality of it is that there are no white ghettos and hoods in the city limits. If there is a school with subpar conditions and limited resources I can assure you that ninety nine percent of those kids in there are black. That’s not a racist statement. That’s just the truth and you are in denial if you don’t agree.

All these problems can be corrected but it’s going to take money that we don’t have. We are about to send a representative back to Congress when he and almost his entire immediate family has been indicted for hustling public funds. That’s the person you need to send when you really need some money. The message we are saying to the rest of the country is this:

Hello America! Send us a few billion dollars so we can get things together and give the check to that guy who had money in his freezer and is facing indictment.

It’s just a foolish idea to send him back to Congress. There is no excuse for voting for him and he was selfish to even run again. Even the most pro black/anti whitey black people who vote strictly for a candidate because of his color have no excuse for this. There were five other brothers running! You could have still voted black five different ways and not voted for Bill! You have to know where you live, what you need and vote according to who has the best chance of delivering that. Maybe Congressman Jefferson had a moment of bad judgment and is really a good man. That’s fine but you don’t have to put him back in office to validate your forgiveness. He can be a good guy and rebuild his name from his house while a new, less scandalous person works in Washington.

I love and respect Barak Obama because of what he is trying to do and how he has went about doing it. When he wins it will forever change the game and expectations for every black person and all generations afterwards. However, if he gets in office and falls flat on is face, I will be the first person in line to get him out of there and build up the next brother who can do things the right way. I’m never going to sacrifice the whole community for the sake of one person no matter what he did in the past. You have to do it that way because if you don’t then you can’t say anything when you don’t get what you need.

Now, if anyone has read this and doesn’t agree, please send me an email and I will tell you where to pick me up so you can drive me to the black neighborhood in Congressman Jefferson’s district that is thriving and doing so well that I have to post a public apology. I know one thing; we won’t be driving anywhere close to my house. We don’t have an open hospital.

19 comments:

E.J. said...

Makes you want to pass a law requiring passing a test on basic political knowledge before voting, doesn't it? The right to vote in the hands of folks who don't know what the hell they're voting for is a dangerous thing. The black AND white electorate in Louisiana never cease to disappoint me.

Another Conflict Theorist said...

Peace Cliff,

Yeah. As a former resident of DC I have to admit that I couldn't believe we were going to re-elect Marion Barry. I looked at it as a display of pure, unadulterated cynicism.

I believe that the black underclass are the most jaded, cynical people in the country - particularly when it comes to politics. We view the political realm as a theatre of the absurd. In fact, I kid you not, cats were selling and wearing "That Bitch Set Me Up!" t-shirts the VERY NEXT DAY after Barry was arrested. I guess many of us figure since elected politicians aren't going to keep their promises or improve our situation anyway, we may as well vote for the cat that white people hate the most.

Karen said...

I blame it on Jefferson Parish. Look at the voter totals for Orleans.

http://www400.sos.louisiana.gov:8090/cgibin/?rqstyp=elcpr&rqsdta=10040836

Clifton said...

The Jefferson Parish equation is not surprising. That went about how I expected it to go. Jefferson should not have received one vote in the city. Our situation is much more critical. We have to start cleaning up our own house.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T said...

reading is funndamental some folk just vote black, crook or stupid or not, and Barry is my home boy - he is from memphis so cut some slack lol

Mark Folse said...

Way too tired to be doing this today, and I think the Secretary of State's web site numbers are off on some pages, but it's clear that outside of his own neighborhood of far New Orleans East (Eastover and adjacent neighborhoods) West Bankers gave Dollar Bill the largest numberes of votes.

GentillyGirl said...

Cliff, it ain't Black folks or White folks... it's about folks who don't pay attention to what is going on outside of their yard. They tend to vote inside their Societal references.

Same happens in the LGBT and Women's communities. We want someone "like" us in office.

Notice that this really hasn't worked with the regimes of mainly White folks that have run our country into the ground over the last 30 years. Most of the population took the hits.

I agree with E.J.'s take concerning political knowledge, but it is also about trust, and Goddess knows most of the colors/sides do not trust outsiders to their cliques. This really hurts when there are many folks from all sides willing to work together and create a new way of "community".

Anonymous said...

With all of that said and Bill having the money in his freezer "apparently" he is innocent until proven guilty. Many blacks have an approach that hey we didn't actually see the money in his freezer so maybe it WAS planted. If Bill is convicted we will have to vote again for this seat and (I did not vote him in this runoff). Honestly AMERICANS believe what they want to believe. The same people may ask how in the hell did the bouncers get off from killing Lavon Jones when there was actual video footage of the killing. Just something to think about various races sometimes make decisions out of spite. I've come to realize we will never have or make equal or the correct decison as PEOPLE in my lifetime. If William Jefferson is convicted Oct. 4th will have been a waste of my hard earned taxed dollars and more of our money will be used at the polling places to elect the person that should have been elected in the first place.

Maitri said...

I wish the Orleans Parish Democrats had supported one nominee to replace Jefferson, not two Carters and Richmond. Knowing that Jefferson was running for re-election and all of Jefferson Parish was voting for the only white person on the ticket, the OP Dems could have presented one stronger opposition. Like Big Red Cotton said at nola.com, we need a voting intervention.

Anonymous said...

I wish everyone would realize that all of Jefferson Parish did NOT vote for the only white person. Honestly I believed all the candidates were part minority in some fashion. The problem was there were too many good to decent candidates running against each other. The black population in Jeff Parish is greater than many realize...it is even greater now that non felony blacks are voting to insure they are on the roster for the November election! I think the women are trying to see a woman succeed...we know in this gender biased world that it is hard for people to accept a woman in control. I believe the FEMALE population played a part in the candidate running against Bill Jefferson. Just my take on things.

An African American female who's choice did not make the run-off!

E said...

I'm kinda with Maitri on this one. The biggest problem was with the slate of possible replacements and the lack of courage those candidates had over the course of the campaign. I can't really blame voters for voting Jefferson given the alternatives. Had there been any kind of unity amongst progressives behind one candidate, or rather had their been a progressive candidate, I think things would have been different. Were you particularly passionate about any of the alternative candidates, Cliff?

Clifton said...

Passionate is a strong word E. I can't say that I was. I voted for the one I liked the best but I wasn't riding around with his bumper sticker.

E said...

Word, I think that was part of the problem. You could make a decent enough argument as to why ONE alternative candidate was less objectionable than Jefferson but that argument could be too easily applied to more than one alternative candidate. It ended up splitting votes between the Carters and Richmond that if added together would have trumped Jefferson.

E said...

Not one of the three less objectionable candidates stepped up to distinguish himself as the definitive viable alternative. I have argued that James Carter was especially positioned to do this but opted out or was otherwise incapable but Cedric Richmond and Troy Carter also had their opportunities.

Clifton said...

I agree with that. I thought Cedric Richmond could do it but I don't think any of them want to attack that Jefferson machine. With that said, there is no excuse for Jefferson getting 25 percent of the vote. That's the voters fault. Any good work he did in the past means nothing now when we are dealing with the image problem we have. You can't get a lifetime pass for work you did 20 years ago.

E said...

I won't vote for Moreno though.

Wasn't Malik Rahim running as a Green? Maybe I can throw my vote away over there. Er, recycle it.

migou said...

Rahim is indeed running, and there's also a Republican and another candidate. All of them - Jefferson and Moreno included - have agreed to a public debate tomorrow from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. at the Bourbon Orleans, 717 Orleans in the Quarter.

Everyone is welcome to attend.

matter said...

re: "There were five other brothers running! You could have still voted black five different ways and not voted for Bill!"

That's exactly what happened. They split 55% of the vote five ways. The five other brothers should have had a brotherly meeting, and chosen one amongst themselves to challenge old Dirty Dollar. Then one of them would have come out with 55% - maybe more - and there wouldn't even have been a runoff!

But no. The unbridled ambition of the five worked against all of them. (Although conspiracy theorists might suggest that Byron Lee got in the race to siphon off West Bank votes and thus help Dollar.)

Howie Luvzus said...

Have you seen the latest?
http://www.nola.com/news/index.ssf/2008/10/ministers_back_jefferson_for_c.html