Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mayor Races on Race and Sexuality

Oh yeah, it's time for another one of my rants on the mayor races and the racial issues that have come out because of them.  This post will be updated in the next day(s) about what is going on in Birmingham, Atlanta, and Houston.  Some black folks can't elect a progressive for shit to some black folks just want to stir the racial pot just to get the splaboos to vote for the "black" candidate. 

BIRMINGHAM: Suprisingly, the race has stayed quite non-contentious on the racial front, but it's likely to be a run-off considering 14 candidates are running for mayor on Dec. 8th.  However, the infamous William Bell aka Lay Low Brown hasn't spared any racial quips about Patrick Cooper when he called "a slave trader that will bring plantation politics back to the city" during a Sunday morning prayer breakfast about 2 weeks ago.  Then word is that Bell supporters and workers are going around taking up Cooper signs all around the city.  SMH

Also the bootleg YouTube video posted by "thevacantoverload" with two white guys doing a lame video acting as if Cooper is the bigger than life hero for Birmingham and making vulgar swipes at Carole Smitherman and William Bell.   Cooper's campaign quickly denied responsibility of this, but Bell wasn't having it and claimed it was Cooper and he should be more mindful of usage of such "blue language".  Now WTF is "blue language" is beyond me, but this seems like an hack job to patronize black voters.

On the other hand, I'm waiting for Carole Smitherman to make a swipe or two towards Cooper for being an "over-the-mountain" pawn like she did to Shelia Tyson during the District 6 council race.  So this is just the beginning, so more is likely to come.

ATLANTA: Since it is the run-off come next Tuesday, December 1st, the racial issues are threatening to tear the faux facade of the "city too busy to hate" which has claimed to never had any during the 1960s.  However, the battle between Kasim Reed and Mary Norwood has up the ante for sure.  Now Reed was endorsed by civil rights activists like Joseph Lowery and Andrew Young, but apparent one alternative web-rag dubbed the Atlanta Progressive News about Reed's past as an attorney.  According to the Atlanta Progressive News, Reed was working for a law firm that representated the often-racially contentious and controversial Cracker Barrel chain of restaurants over the piss-poor treatment of black customers compared to white customers.  The suit was over hourly wages for workers not their race, but this rag also endorsed Norwood over Reed hoping to garner more black supporters for Norwood. 

It gets worse, some  poster known as Diondra Rollins posted the "Norwood Rap" basically a bootleg rap video saying what Mary Norwood would do as mayor.  In othe words, it the Norwood campaign denied responsibility or connection to the video.  Finally, the alleged threats that Norwood's black supporters have faced from according to Norwood during an evening debate on WAGA-TV "FOX5 Atlanta" this past Saturday.

From the Atlanta Journal-Constitution blogs:
Fox 5’s Diedra Dukes opened up the topic by asking Reed whether the mayoral campaign had divided the city by black and white.
Reed responded optimistically:
“I think that the city has made outstanding progress. I think that we both received support both from white citizens and from black citizens. My support in the white community has actually been growing significantly.
“Elections are tough. But I think now that the campaign is down to two individuals, you will see more support that is cross-racial. And I think that is important. Both Ms. Norwood and myself are working toward the best Atlanta – the Atlanta that Dr. [Martin Luther] King talked about.
"I think that we have both conducted ourselves in a way that makes the citizens of Atlanta proud. And as long as we don’t get bogged down in trying to win an election based upon dividing the city, I think that Atlanta will come out just fine.”
Norwood contradicted Reed's statements in this follow-up exchange with Morse Diggs:
Diggs: Some of your black supporters say that they have been harassed and intimidated because they are supporting a white candidate. There’s still an edge out there. What does that say about the level of race relations where we’re at right now? Are we still a divided city?
Norwood responded:
Morse, I have been very saddened, that the people that have been supporting me, who are so courageous, have been threatened. The people who have gone up to their doors, and knocked on their doors, and have said, “What are you doing supporting this woman?”

And it is coming from other camps. It has been going on for a while. We have had our yard signs – just every day – taken away. So we have seen evidence of just not great, not appropriate behavior.

I think the citizens of the mayors of Atlanta deserve to have the mayor they want, whoever that mayor is. And so I’m very hopeful that the harassment will cease.
Diggs: What are you telling those supporters who have been harassed?

Norwood: That I will do everything in my power to protect them. That I have alerted the police department, just to make sure that they are riding through neighborhoods where Mary Norwood signs are, because there are people who have been very concerned.
Reed was given an opportunity to respond:
“If she’s talking about old campaigns, prior to the two of us, then I don’t have a problem with her comment. But if she’s talking about ‘other camps’ now, the only camp is me, and I wholeheartedly reject it. If Ms. Norwood wants to make an accusation, she should stop [indistinct]. Make the accusation.
“My campaign has 6,000 addresses with yard signs in them. Yard signs for Kasim Reed have been removed citywide as well. So we can get into this game. Both of us have supporters who have been who are supporting us very aggressively and robustly.
“But the notion that my campaign is engaged in intimidation is something that I reject. And it’s time for us to put up, or let’s stop slinging mud.”

The sign removal incidents that occurred last week with Norwood's only real endorsement from an elected official came to the light last week when Georgia State Rep. Ralph Long of SW Atlanta when he told that to WXIA-TV.  Then Long followed the theives back to a Reed campaign field where they gave the Norwood campaign signs in exchange for cash.  Then Long's vehicle was pounded and pelted by individuals at the Reed office after exposing them of the events leading up to the confrontation. 

According to 2 polls done by WXIA-TV "11 Alive"/V-103/Survey USA and another by WSB-TV and InsiderAdvantage shows that Reed is in the lead over Norwood.  The WSB-TV/Insider Advantage poll shows that both are practically in a deadheat with Reed having 46.3% whereas Norwood at 46.1%.  However, Norwood does better with men and Reed does better with women, but black women are more likely to vote than black men so it's at the advantage for Reed in the race.  The WXIA-TV/V-103/Survey USA poll has Reed in the lead at 49% whereas Norwood is at 46%, but Reed's lead doesn't exceed the margin of error. 

I knew this was going to come to this head for sure.  Atlanta's majority white business community wants to take back their city, but the black folks there want to keep a black person leading the city as well.  If polls and early votign shows what is going down Reed will win because of his black support there, but I still have my reservations since he seems like an "establishment" candidate more than an standout from the crowd.  In the end, it shows that the white-black divide that exists in Atlanta just like in Birmingham along with the majority of the South when it comes to politics and social issues. 

HOUSTON: It has also came to a sexuality turning point with the mayoral run-off between Annise Parker and Gene Locke as I also warned.  Some fools can't handle shit for nothing without bring up race and in this case as well sexuality. 

Parker was the victim of a nasty mail campaign depicting her and her partner with the title "Is this the Image Houston wants to portray?".

According to Houston CBS affiliate KHOU, was distributed by electrician turned community moral compass Dave Wilson.  He seems to feel that if Houston has a homosexual mayor it will 'the openly gay lifestyle leads to extinction. You can't reproduce.'"  Wilson has mailed out 35,000 fliers asking this question to potential voters across Houston. 

According to poll by Lake Research Partners,  Parker is leading Locke in a 47-34% with 18% undecided. 

A recent Lake Research Partners survey of likely voters in Houston's upcoming mayoral runoff shows that City Controller Annise Parker holds a strong lead over former City Attorney and lobbyist Gene Locke. In our recent survey, among likely voters with previous participation in past city runoff elections, Parker leads with 47 percent (37 percent strong) to 34 percent for Locke (27 percent strong). A fifth of voters (19 percent) remains undecided.

Parker holds this large lead even though the poll simulated high turnout among African American voters. The sample was comprised of 54 percent Anglos, 30 percent African Americans, and 12 percent Latinos. Parker remains the best-known and liked candidate in the race and she maintains her lead even under a simulated attack.

Only a substantially negative campaign from Locke can interrupt her momentum. Sixty-seven percent of voters have a favorable impression of Parker and 62 percent think she has done either an excellent (21 percent) or good job (41 percent) as City Controller. Fifty-seven percent of voters hold a favorable view of Locke.
Also the Houston Chronicle endorsed Parker over Locke. 

Well, the run-off election will be December 12th, but it's ashame that candidates can't be elected based on platform.  However, I doubt this mailing will affect Parker and Locke just seems weak as a candidate in this race.  Houston will apparently become the largest city in nation with a openly homosexual mayor surpassing Portland (Oregon) with their mayor Sam Adams.  I'm just as surprised as everyone else since Parker was the underdog in the original race, but now is the frontrunner in the run-off.

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