on the brink of economic collapse, and we’re having a statewide
election in less than three months. The major party candidates,
Attorney General, Jerry Brown, and former Ebay CEO, Meg
Whitman, are moving around the state campaigning for votes.
Yet, the only time I’m hearing what either of them are going
to do is on television, and most of it is negative. Whitman
has bought her name I.D. and has pulled even with Brown
(she’s ahead in some polls).
know Republicans usually don’t find their way to the hood
(neither do Democrats, lately), but Jerry Brown should know
his way around. We talkin’ bout Jerry Brown from East Oaktown,
right? Jerry Brown that was the hippie, counter-cultural,
activist Governor from 1975 to 1983, right? Maybe he knew
his way around 30 years ago, but to me, he seems a little
lost now. Maybe it’s just me. Or maybe Jerry Brown thinks
we should know who he is, when our community has two generations
of voters who weren’t voting when he was Governor the first
time. Some of these voters weren’t even alive. I think it’s
time for a new reintroduction to the African American community
in Los Angeles. Why? I get the sinking suspicion we’re about
to be taken for granted (again). California Gubernatorial
candidates aren’t coming around. They’re ignoring the black
see this dance every election, election after election.
Let’s go over how this dance is going to go down. Both candidates
are kicking their campaigns into high gear by buying tons
of television, radio and mail. Spend millions of dollars
for an office that pays a couple hundred thousand, but runs
the nation’s largest economy (the 7th largest in the world).
candidates have been dropkicking each other in campaign
ads for months. Some allegations appear to be true, and
some have been discredited-but all assail the other as unfit
(or unprepared) to run the state. There should be a public
conversion about that where our community can be involved.
Whitman is threatening to end state pensions with lifetime
benefits. I happen to have one of those state jobs with
lifetime benefits. I need to understand what the hell she’s
talking about. Jerry Brown claims he has the experience
to resolve the current state budget crisis. Is he talking
about the experience he gained 30 years ago? The world has
changed twice in the past 30 years. The state population
is almost twice what it was 30 years ago. I need to know
what the hell he’s talking about. I can’t learn much from
a commercial or a televised debate.
means if I really want to know what the future of California
state government holds. I need my community to have access
to these candidates and hear it from their own mouths. That’s
a difficult task to accomplish when your community in the
process of being ignored. Not for long though. With the
race being a virtual toss-up, both candidates are gonna
come a running. And the black community always tips the
vote to the winner in close elections. When we’re ignored,
we stay at home (reference Bradley, circa 1982).
may want the black community to stay home, for a suppressed
vote helps her. But if she’s Governor of “all the people”
she might want to come out and explain her government reforms,
given the state is the largest employer of African Americans
in the state. Brown may think that black’s historical anti-Republican
voting pattern will default to him. Not necessarily. This
is about to be a forced conversation.
election is both candidate’s to win, or lose. Both candidates
will look at politicians or preachers to act as surrogates
for their campaigns. Bad idea. Both candidates will do the
church “drive-by” thing, infringing on black people’s prayer
and not have to worry about rebuttal in the pulpit. Bad
idea. Both candidates will try to flood the mailbox hoping
that repetition gets the vote out with their name on the
voter’s lips. Bad idea.
best idea is to engage us on a different level, not broker
us and not ignore us. The black community likes to see who
they’re voting for, and not just during election time. But
if there is ever a time we should see a candidate in person,
it’s election time. I KNOW it’s not just me that feels like
my community being ignored by my gubernatorial candidates.
Well, we wanna to talk to them—even if they don’t want to
talk to us. And it’s about to become a campaign issue. If
they want us to force the conversation, we will.
BlackCommentator.com Columnist, Dr. Anthony Asadullah Samad,
PhD is a national columnist and author of Saving The
Race: Empowerment Through Wisdom. His Website is AnthonySamad.com. Click here to contact Dr. Samad.