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Columns

It's the Democratic Party, but Is It Really Inclusive?

January 4, 2017 - 6:00am

We like to refer to ourselves as the "big tent" party. We say there is room for everyone within the Democratic Party. 

Is that really true?

I know, there are a lot of people from various walks of life in the party, but what message do we, as Democrats, actually send?

Since Dwight Bullard has entered the race for FDP chair -- a position no African American has ever held in this state, by the way -- much is being made of his loss in Senate District 40 this past November.

The district was Democratic, his critics say. Hillary Clinton won the district overwhelmingly, his critics say. This speaks poorly about Dwight Bullard, his critics say.

Does it?

I don't think so.

In fact, I think it speaks poorly of those Democrats who are clucking about his election failure now. I'm talking about those same Democrats who expect black Democrats to toe the party line, no matter the candidate, but will NOT hold themselves to that same standard when that candidate is black.

Yes, I said it. I said it and I meant it. Candidates of all racial definitions can represent black communites, but blacks apparently can't represent other than black communities.

Within the Democratic Party, it has been no secret that black candidates, for the most part, are only seen as viable as long as they stay in predominantly black areas.

In other words, we have to stay in our lanes.

Now, mind you, a nonblack candidate will come into a district or area that is predominantly a minority area and run in a heartbeat. No questions asked. 

If the candidate is a good candidate, black people will indeed vote for him/her.

Ask yourselves why that same respect and reciprocity is not afforded to black candidates in districts that are not predominantly black.

You can't tell me Frank Artiles stood for what the people in District 40 wanted more than Dwight Bullard did. Dwight's critics have pointed out that the district overwhelmingly went for Clinton, remember? 

So no, I'm not going to buy that loss being Dwight Bullard's fault. That loss belongs to the fact that no matter how much Democrats want to deny it, they are still just as racist as they proclaim Republicans to be.

Despite electing the first African American president of these United States, Democrats still carry the notion that black people can only govern other black people.

Mind you, that is changing with the Bernie Sanders crop of voters coming up. I see a wide amount of support for Dwight Bullard from them, but make no mistake about it, to a large degree, the people who have a problem with Dwight Bullard can't see this man leading the Democratic Party for reasons other than they will admit publicly.

Stephen Bittel and his alliance spent $3 million on the combined races of Murcasel-Powell and Buesing, and THEY lost.

Their districts were Dem-leaning. Is he being criticized for poor judgment? Are they being criticized as poor candidates?Did Bittel even attempt to help in Dwight's race?

No, he did not. In fact, Dwight didn't receive much party help at all.

Is that how Bittel will run the party? Will certain candidates get extraordinary amounts of money, while others get nothing?

That's what his track record shows.

Dwight Bullard had no control over the fact that DEMOCRATS didn't vote for him as a fellow Democrat.

Stephen Bittel had control over where that money went.

I don't like this message being sent that we should stay in our lanes.

Make no mistake about it: That indeed is the message being sent.

2018 is right around the corner.

We are watching.

Leslie Wimes is founder and president of Women on the Move and the Democratic African American Women Caucus, www.daawc.com. Follow Leslie on Twitter: @womenonthemove1.

 

 


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Comments

Please tell me why Bullard decided not to attend the election? I had no idea he was African-American, but was disappointed to hear that he was on a boat at the time.

Well, Lyndon Johnson thought the Democrat Party was "INCLUSIVE"; and we have seen the results of THAT LIE (as well as the ongoing decimation of the "family" unit ever since...)!

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