Leave a comment

WASHINGTON (AP) — For all the many successes among candidates of color, the midterm elections also proved to some the enduring power of racism, with minority politicians’ intelligence and integrity called into question by their opponents and President Donald Trump in what were widely seen as coded appeals to white voters.

Several Democratic strategists said Wednesday that the outcome showed the need for the party to recalibrate its strategy heading into 2020 and beyond.

To win, they said, the party must expand its base of black and brown voters while also calling out racism more directly and doing more to persuade white voters to reject bigotry.

“At some point, voters have to stop rewarding racist behavior,” said activist Brittany Packnett.

During the campaign cycle, Trump referred to black Tallahassee mayor and Democratic candidate for Florida governor Andrew Gillum as “a thief” because of an undercover FBI investigation into his acceptance of Broadway tickets. Trump also branded Gillum’s city “corrupt.”

And he framed Yale Law School graduate, veteran lawmaker and Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, a black woman, as incompetent.

Republican Ron DeSantis, who beat Gillum on Tuesday, began the campaign by cautioning Florida voters not to “monkey this up” by voting for the Democrat — a remark that was also decried as racist.

In the end, Gillum, who would have been Florida’s first black governor, came within less than 56,000 votes of DeSantis. In Georgia, the contest for governor was still too close to call on Wednesday.

“Progressives have to have a better rebuttal to Trump’s tribalism than they have right now,” said Democratic strategist Cornell Belcher. “We have to give moderate white voters who are bothered by a sense of division some skin in this racism game. That’s not pivoting to health care. That’s talking about how this tribalism will affect them and their children. You don’t fix racism by not taking it on.”

In an often-combative morning-after news conference Wednesday, Trump rejected any suggestion that he emboldened white nationalists recently by describing himself as a “nationalist.” The president repeatedly said the question, posed by a black journalist, was itself racist.

On the plus side of the ledger for minorities Tuesday, a lot of the organizing during the midterm cycle was focused on minority voters, and record early turnout and long lines on Election Day suggested those efforts paid off.

Organizers pointed to the election to Congress of blacks and Latinos such as Massachusetts’ Ayanna Pressley, Connecticut’s Jahana Hayes, New York’s Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Texas’ Veronica Escobar, and the passage of a constitutional amendment in Florida that will restore the right to vote to more than a million former felons.

They also cited the defeat of GOP conservatives like Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Kansas Gov. Kris Kobach as evidence that coalitions with liberal and centrist whites can work. Likewise, congressional candidates such as Illinois’ Lauren Underwood and New York’s Antonio Delgado showed that blacks can win in majority-white districts.

Packnett said there was a lot to be hopeful for going into 2020.

“I’m saddened that the white women who also possess a marginalized identity are not voting in their interests more,” she said. “But just because we didn’t get all the wins in our column that we wanted doesn’t mean that there were not people who learned better and did better this election.”

Pressley, elected from a liberal, diverse Boston district as Massachusetts’ first black congresswoman, said candidates of color ignited and expanded the electorate in this year’s midterms. But she said America is not yet at the point where candidates of color are assumed to be capable or experienced.

“When we’re characterized as a fad or a trend of a fluke, that’s a disservice to our leadership,” she said.

 

HEAD BACK TO THE BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM HOMEPAGE

 

 

 

Also On Black America Web:
Find Out What Your Favorite Celebs Did On Instagram (09/01-09/07)
10 photos

2 thoughts on “Black Candidates See Both Progress And Racism

  1. Point well taken. You hit the WHITE RACIST 45 right on the top of his BIGIOTED ORANGE HEAD.AMERICA white again NEVER,NEVER,NEVER!!!!!!

  2. The progress is seeing so many WOMEN being elected across the country to political posts.
    The regression is the VOTER SUPPRESSION which IS taking place in Amerykah to DENY
    PEOPLE OF COLOR the RIGHT TO VOTE.
    Both the states of Florida and Georgia are GUILTY of this blatant act.
    Both states have deliberately gone out of their way to PURGE folks of color from the voting rolls,
    refuse to process their voter registrations in a timely manner, HARRASSING US at the damn polls or having US waiting in long lines to vote, ONLY to be told later that the polling place
    is CLOSING.

    ONLY INCOMPETENT people CHEAT—GOP!!!!!!!

    Chump and his base wish to make Amerykah white again—–NOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Add Your Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s