Thursday, February 24, 2011

Just got to put this out there...

This story from ABC7 discusses whether or not Chicago is in the post racial era. Of course we should note the words of Alderman-elect Will Burns (well he's already an alderman :P):
"I think it is really hard to generalize about black politics in one election cycle," Alderman-elect Will Burns, 4th Ward, said.
That is true, but I could buy into the fact that many don't care about what color someone is in order to run for office. As you'll see later in this post, Blacks don't just want to see one of their own in office but they want someone viable and qualified. The above video may also discuss the generational divide although this story may not be directed at one racial or ethnic group particularly.
It was also noted that...
Northeastern University professor Robert Starks said the older generation of leaders like Jesse Jackson and Bobby Rush have done a poor job of grooming the next generation's African-American leaders.
That leads to comments political blogger Rich Miller wrote at the Capitol Fax Tuesday morning on the subject of the old school Black leadership:
Anyway, the problem with this consensus candidate process is the same basic dilemma Barack Obama faced in the presidential primaries. The Old School African-American leadership was behind the choice of Braun. Nationally, three years ago, the Old School mostly went with Clinton. The local and national leadership has held power for so long that they no longer fully understand what’s going on at the precinct level. I mean, Carol Moseley Braun? Really? Many of those who remember her don’t care for her. She threw away what should’ve been a long, glorious career in the US Senate, then humiliated herself with a presidential bid of zero consequence. And the young folks don’t even know who she is, and probably don’t care.

Chicago’s black “A” bench is a problem as well. Jesse Jackson, Jr. is horrifically damaged goods. Sen. James Meeks has fundamental problems communicating outside his district and can’t pull the trigger. Pat Horton, running for city clerk, is underwhelming.

There are some up-and-comers, but they have yet to prove themselves outside their wards or districts and the folks at the top are so well-known and entrenched that they have no desire to step aside (Bobby Rush and Danny Davis, to name just two).

A generational change is absolutely needed. Airing reruns of the greatest hits from the 80s and early 90s just doesn’t work.
In writing that Miller was bouncing off of a Mary Mitchell column in addition the errant usage of the word infidel by that same dinosaur former mayoral contender in a radio campaign ad.

Bouncing off of another Mary Mitchell column Miller wrote this one paragraph on Wednesday:
I think the take-away for black leaders on this campaign should be: Quality black candidates matter to black voters. They have never just “voted black” for mayor because the candidate happened to be the same skin color. They vote for viable African-American candidates who can prove they can win. Braun was a disaster. And the leaders should’ve known that after watching her implode in the US Senate.
Going back to Robert Starks' quote, I wonder what it takes to groom the next generation to get out there. What is it that Jesse Jackson Sr., Bobby Rush, or Danny Davis can do to groom the next generation into power? And we need some young people bold enough to either gain the confidence of these older gentlemen or step up to the plate and run against them. It can work either way.

1 comment:

gerard said...

The problem is that the consensus black candidate, especially if it's groomed by folks like JJ Jr. and DannY Davis, isn't going to win a general election.

David Dinkins won in 1989 because he was able to exploit the Percey Sutton/Charles Rangel nexus of black political power while also winning over white liberals. Chicago politics are more racially polarized than ours, but I think someone similar would have to happen there for this to be a reality.

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