Elect Doug Jones (D-AL) did not have to win his battle against
accused sexual molester and Republican candidate Roy Moore in the
epic battle in Alabama on December 12. He won because young people,
some white women (most of them voted for Moore), and an amazing
effort from Alabama’s African Americans put him over the top.
Some white folks crossed party lines for the first time, voting for
Jones because Moore repulsed them. Some analysts have especially
noted that white moms were more likely than other white women to vote
for Jones. But Black folks showed up and showed out – a larger
percentage of African American voters participated in this election
than in the 2012 election of President Barack Obama. And 98 percent
of African American women voted for Doug Jones (along with 94 percent
of Black men). Among whites, 27 percent of white men voted for Doug
Jones, along with 35 percent of white women.
cyberspace, people are thanking Black women for their support of Doug
Jones, on Twitter, and Facebook, and Instagram. A friend told me that
a woman she had not seen in a decade called her to thank Black women
for saving the Senate from the likes of Roy Moore. Everyone likes to
be thanked, but Black women deserve more than thanks. We deserve the
“hook up”, the connection, organizational, institutional
and financial support for our efforts.
women’s organizations in Alabama should get immediate
contributions from the Democratic Party. Indeed, some of the sisters
who led the effort to get the vote out, like Congresswoman Terri
Sewell (D), need to be consulted on how to effectively support Black
women in Alabama. The Democratic Party ought to cultivate Black women
leaders in Alabama, so that they are poised to run for other offices.
And since Doug Jones has a short term, and will be up for reelection
in 2020, Black women need to be deputized to begin, immediately,
working on his reelection campaign.
focus should not just be on Black women in Alabama, but also Black
women nationally. The white women around the country who cheered
Black women on now need to open their doors and embrace the Sojourner
Truth observation that “Ain’t I A Woman”. Too many
women’s organizations are white women’s organizations.
Don’t these women think they can learn a thing or two from the
amazing way Black women organize, mobilize, and step up?
women are often in the unique position to hook Black women up, in
politics and in the workplace, but they don’t offer the hook up
as often as they should because it is challenging for them to step
outside their comfort zone and embrace diversity. But when folk step
out of their comfort zone, look at the results! Thanks to Black
women, among others, Doug Jones is the unlikely winner of this Senate
cognizant of the fact that Black women weren’t the sole reason
for the Jones victory. It is especially exciting to see young people
reject Roy Moore. Millennials are far less partisan than their elders
are. You can’t say they cross party lines because many of them
have no party affiliation. But like Black women, young people in
Alabama thronged to the polls to elect Jones. Their participation
makes a strong case for generational inclusion when political
strategies are being developed.
any case, it is heartening to see Black women being thanked for doing
what we always do – the work. I don’t just want thanks, I
also want the hookup. Those white folks who are thanking Black women
might also send a contribution to Higher Heights, a Black women’s PAC
named after Dr. Dorothy Irene Height. Or, folks can send
contributions to the Black Women’s Roundtable, which is part of the
National Coalition for Black Civic Participation. It is great to
express gratitude, but it is even better to put your money where your
women have always had to assert our place in the mainstream, and we
have too often been ignored by our natural allies. And we still come
through in a crunch. Those who are thanking us ought also to support
us. They need to hook Black women up!