Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Florida and Michigan Disenfranchisement, Superdelegates - What's Good for the Goose is Good for the Gander

Today I received a mass email from asking for my support in contacting the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) regarding the superdelegate situation. Here is the body of the ColorOfChange letter:
"Dear Congressional Black Caucus Member, Over the last several weeks, voters in CBC districts have spoken with clarity about their choice for President—they overwhelmingly support Barack Obama. But the clear mandate they've laid down is threatened by those in your ranks who as superdelegates may break away from their constituents to vote for Hillary Clinton. The Congressional Black Caucus has worked hard to protect the political voice of Black Americans. You took the lead in 2000 and 2004, insisting that all votes be counted and that they count. Using your status as a superdelegate in 2008 to undermine the people's will would be a tragic reversal. I'm writing to ask that you use your power as a superdelegate to amplify the voice of the informed, engaged, and diverse electorate in your district and across Black America, not silence it. I urge you to make it clear that as a superdelegate, you will support the voters' will. We deserve elections determined by the electorate, not by insiders. And we need you to stand with us, as we speak in a strong voice about who we wish to see as the Democratic nominee. Voters should decide elections--not politicians."
Since I am not in total agreement with the letter drafted by the organization, I decided to send my own email to the CBC: To the Honorable Ladies and Gentlemen of the Caucus: I have supported in every endeavor they have requested. However, I cannot support them in this one and here are my reasons:
  1. I agree. In 2000 and 2004, CBC members stood up to defend the rights of Black voters that had been disenfranchised, insisting that all votes be counted and that they count. WHY IS IT THAT NOW, IN 2008, ONLY THE VOICES OF BLACK AMERICANS VOTING FOR BARACK OBAMA ARE WORTHY OF PROTECTION? As a registered Democrat and a taxpaying citizen of the state of Florida, should not my voice also be protected?
  2. The DNC together with the Florida Democratic Party have effectively silenced the voices of millions of voters (Black, Latino, Asian and Caucasian alike) in Florida and Michigan by not counting our primary votes and threatening not to seat our convention delegates, never mind what the superdelegates do. WHO THEN WILL SPEAK FOR US? SHOULDN'T WE HAVE A SAY IN THE CHOICE OF NOMINEE?
  3. And if, in fact, the rules set by the DNC to disenfranchise Florida and Michigan voters are upheld, why should the DNC's superdelegate rules not also be upheld?
I assure you, I am as informed and engaged as the rest of the diverse electorate to whom the organization refers and I agree, we ALL deserve elections determined by the ENTIRE ELECTORATE, not by insiders such as the DNC, the Florida Democratic Party and super- delegates.

Voters should decide elections - not politicians, yet that is what has happened here in Florida and in Michigan. In such an extremely close race, I think it is a shame that some Blacks feel it is okay to do to other Blacks what was done to us all in 2000 and 2004 - all in the name of electing the First Black President. It seems the more things change the more they stay the same.

For the record, John Edwards was my first choice to be the nominee and he is the person for whom I cast my vote in the primary - even though it did not count. So, my only dog in this race is the integrity of the process. Let's be clear, being able to have the First Black President ever during my lifetime would indeed be historical and uplifting for many. But, if the Florida and Michigan delegates are not seated, we will not have had a fair and honest election. And should Sen. Obama win the general election, this historical presidency will be forever tainted by that disenfranchisement.


Clifton said...

I found your page through a comment you left on The Field Negro's site. This is my first time here but I have become a quick fan. Thank you for supporting the city.

Deb said...

Thanx for dropping thru Clifton. Come back anytime! Supporting New Orleans is and always has been - at least for me - the right thing to do.

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