The latest poll in the St. Petersburg mayoral race from St. Pete Polls (shown below) has former mayor Rick Baker winning 39 percent of the black vote. Current mayor Rick Kriseman is only getting 28 percent of the black vote.
While this race is nonpartisan, Rick Baker is a Republican and Rick Kriseman is a Democrat.
As you can imagine, white liberals are losing their collective crap.
They are literally foaming at the mouth. How dare black people give the vote white liberals have taken for granted for so long, to someone other than a Democrat?
Well, to quote the Tampa Bay Times when they endorsed Rick Baker: "Unlike any mayor before or since, he (Rick Baker) focused on improving the city's poor, black neighborhoods in the Midtown area south of downtown. He helped bring a grocery store, a credit union and a full-service post office to that community. He also helped lead efforts that brought Midtown a health clinic, a St. Petersburg College campus and the sprawling Job Corps training center."
Well there's a novel idea. Vote for the person who invests in your community.
Vote for the person who comes around at times other than election time.
Vote for the person who hasn't ignored your community.
Apparently for the people polled, that person is Rick Baker, not Rick Kriseman.
To add insult to the injury of those who think they should own the St. Petersburg black vote by virtue of simply being a Democrat, 40 Midtown black pastors endorsed Rick Baker.
Now, the strategy of the Democrats in seeking the black vote has been to point out that Rick Baker is a Republican and Rick Kriseman is not.
That strategy isn't working. Nor should it. Actions speak louder than words, and like it or not, Baker has a positive record with black folks.
Like it or not, Baker's history with black folks isn't the Trump tale Democrats want to spin.
The best way to combat Baker's record of accomplishments in the black community is to post up with Kriseman's accomplishments.
Where are they?
What exactly has Kriseman accomplished positively in Midtown?
We know about the closing of the Walmart Grocery store.
We know about the closing of Sylvia's.
We know about the closing of Walgreens.
What improvements has Kriseman made in Midtown?
How has he made life better for the black community whose votes he is now courting?
We know he wanted to give taxpayer money to the local Democratic Executive Committee to spruce that place up, but what has he done for the black community?
We know he has concentrated heavily on downtown, but what has he done for MIDTOWN?
When I ask these questions, I get anger and insults, because black people aren't supposed to question.
We are only supposed to hand over our votes upon request.
When white liberals tell us who the progressive is, we are simply to say "yes'm boss, here is our vote".
Never mind that the progressive is responsible for dumping 200 million gallons of raw sewage into the water.
Never mind that the progressive has ignored the black community in favor of other communities.
Never mind that the progressive has shown the black community he will ignore it again, once he gets what he wants; after all, he did it the first time.
Honestly, the candidate in this mayoral race who has focused almost exclusively on the black community has been Jesse Nevel, but I'll talk about him in a separate column.
This hysteria emanating from the left because they didn't put in the work in order to reap the rewards of the black vote required my attention.
I've said it before. I'll say it again.
Stop taking the black vote for granted Democrats.
You are not entitled to the black vote. You have to earn it just like you do every other demographic.
You have gotten the bulk of the black vote for so long, you feel as if you OWN it and us.
You. Do. Not.
I know that you get mad when I, as a Democrat, tell you these things.
Leslie Wimes, a Sunshine State News columnist, is founder and president of Women on the Move and the Democratic African American Women Caucus, www.daawc.com. Follow Leslie on Twitter: @womenonthemove1