Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Race Apprehension


"For a party that heavily relies on Black votes and campaigns as a champion of civil rights, these are not ideal optics."

--Lucille Sherman and Jeffrey Billman, "Josh Stein's Challenge With Black Voters," The Assembly, February 26, 2024


Lord, it hurts, but Sherman and Billman pressed their hard index finger right into the tightest muscle:

"This year, Democratic party elites have rallied not just behind Josh Stein for governor but also Jeff Jackson, Rachel Hunt, and Allison Riggs in their bids for attorney general, lieutenant governor, and Supreme Court justice, respectively. All are white and have Black primary opponents. The likely outcome is that Democrats will have a lily-white statewide ticket in November, while state Republicans will be led by Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, who wants to become the state’s first Black governor."

That's a bad enough summation, but Sherman and Billman pile on the insights and opinions of Black political operatives who say the atmosphere has soured for Black voters who generally vote Democratic.

Collette Alston, chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party’s African American Caucus, said she only remembers Stein showing up “whenever it was time for us to vote for him. There was no other time that there was a visit or any other kind of correspondence or anything. We haven’t seen Josh Stein out in public, around North Carolina, nowhere near as much as we’ve seen Michael Morgan” -- Stein's chief rival in the primary whom the African American Caucus endorsed.

Morgan Jackson, Josh Stein's
political advisor

It's not just Stein's aloofness that's a problem. Preacherly Mark Robinson's hellfire denunciations of queers appeals to elderly Black men, who do vote. Alston went straight to "culture" to explain Robinson's potential for earning Black votes:

“Within our culture, especially in the South, we’re gonna go to hell for certain things, because of our religious thoughts,” Alston said. “Mark Robinson can placate that type of voter. Black men can feel more empowered. And plus—he’s Black. And, you know, that’s what I’m afraid of.”

Not to worry, sez Stein's chief political guru, Morgan Jackson. Jackson runs Stein’s campaign and downplays the concerns raised by Collette Alston. Jackson and other Stein supporters believe that "every Black voter Robinson peels off will be offset by suburbanites turned off by Robinson’s rhetoric."

Dawn Blagrove, director of the civil rights group Emancipate NC, said she’ll vote for Stein if he’s the Democratic nominee. But “there is nothing about his tenure as AG that will make me, as a social justice advocate, excited about seeing him move to the governor’s mansion.”


Anonymous said...

Vote black.

You'll never go back.

Red Hornet said...

Vote Palestinian (Here or in Michigan).
It's just an opinion, not a reason for killing
(or self-immolation).

bobh said...

Looks like Josh Stein supported the Ag-Gag law, it was enacted by override after Republican Governor McCrory vetoed it. Later ruled to be unconstitutional by the Fourth Circuit Court, Supreme's declined to hear appeal. He has some explaining to do...https://www.farmprogress.com/farm-policy/supreme-court-will-not-reconsider-north-carolina-ag-gag-law.