On April 1, Talk Magazine held their annual political convention.
I have been in attendance at 98 percent of the conventions, but this was the liveliest. State Sen. Jay Costa was the opening speaker and he addressed the potential negative effects of the federal and state budget cuts, and not only would it have a devastating effect on multiple programs but would constitute the laying off of a tremendous number of bread winners.
The second speaker was the Pennsylvania and Allegheny County chairman of the Democratic Party who also serves as president of Allegheny County Council, a man who wears many hats, Attorney Jim Burn.
I have been involved in politics for more than a half century and Jim Burn’s speech was the most unusual speech that I had ever heard from a party chairman.
The speech I cannot quote verbatim, but the text of it was that he did not view the Democratic primary on May 17, 2001 as a primary in the usual sense where all democrats are expected to vote for the endorsed candidates. He in essence said, it’s like a family debate where a group of democrats get together and may the best democrat win, whomever that may be.”
It left those who have adhered to the endorsement policy for years in total disbelief. Over the years Black democrats have been brainwashed that it is almost a sin not to support the endorsed ticket.
Democrat representative Jake Wheatley took the Democratic Party to task for their disrespectful attitude toward Black people, who have been their most loyal block of voters over the last 60 years. Jake also criticized some Black voters, who have not reacted by proving they are not going to accept being dissed any longer.
The next speaker was Representative Joe Preston, who continued the presentation delivered by Jake. Joe, who is one of the most senior Black legislators in the state of Pennsylvania was able to call upon his years of experience, not only was he able to substantiate what Jake expounded upon but spoke at length about the Black voters too frequently not living up to their responsibility as citizens and voters.
It has been a many, many years since not one, but two currently elected Black officials stood shoulder to shoulder in a public meeting place and exposed the “DAMM IF WE CARE ATTITUDE ABOUT BLACK VOTERS.”
The audience was so appreciative about this refreshing presentation they gave them an overwhelming ovation. It’s been a long time coming.
Please remember Kingsley Association.
(Louis “Hop” Kendrick is a weekly contributor to the Forum Page.)