- Faith & Family
It’s less than two weeks before the primary elections and as expected the tension is beginning to mount. For some candidates, particularly incumbents, the next several days could be viewed as a life or death situation. To lose the race could be the end of their political career. On the other hand, there are those who want to replace the powers that be with new voices and different ideas. They too, like many of the incumbents, have invested their time, energy and money with one goal — victory. But then, one must be careful when it comes to what we will do just to secure the win.
As the voters make their decisions about whom they believe is the best candidate for each race, it is important to stress that while we may have the tendency to vote Black, not all Black candidates may necessarily be the best candidate. Don’t get it wrong — we are proud and pleased that there are so many Black men and women who have taken up the gauntlet and are seeking elected office. And it is equally clear that many of them are very talented bringing with them some innovative ideas to the plate.
Still, it is one thing to be Black and proud. But it’s another and far more dangerous notion to tell folks that we owe it to our “brothers and sisters” to vote for any candidate that looks like us. Why? Because some Black candidates do not have our best interests at heart. They are in it to win it because they have a grudge to grind or because they like the smell, the feel and the allure of power. They are not in any way representative of men and women who once led this community: Charles Hadley, Rev. Theodore Gibson, Gwen Cherry, Carrie Meek and M. Athalie Range, just to name a few.
One other thing to consider: where would Blacks be if whites or those of other ethnic groups had voted by race only and never considered that a Black candidate might be the best for the job?
It’s time to stop race baiting and demand that the candidates prove to us why they are the best man or woman for the job.