Democrats need to shi*t or get off the pot when it comes to standing up for civil rights issues for Blacks in 2014.
Now I specifically said civil rights for Blacks because we already know that Democrats have no reservations about raising their voices on civil rights for illegal immigrants and gays. But I have to say that in 2014, Democrat’s loyalty to the race of people who have been the backbone of their Party is questionable.
Some days I’m not sure which is worse—Democrats benefiting from Black’s blind allegiance or Republican’s refusal to seemingly even acknowledge the passage of the 15th Amendment granting Blacks the right to vote.
As someone who has spent my entire career working in politics and mostly for Democrats, it’s awkward to see the lack of anything to say or even visible concern from some of the Party’s most ardent members on the issue of police killings and police brutality.
I know the issue of policing is not as glamorous as supporting gay marriage and Democrats probably can’t raise as much money addressing it, but there seems to be a fundamental misunderstanding between campaigning on representing the voice and will of the people and actually doing the work of the people.
It’s that same misunderstanding that has the Los Angeles City Council mulling over ways to incentivize voting to increase voter turnout.
Quote me: the best way to increase voter turnout in 2014 is to give people a reason to vote.
The lack of interest in voting is more a referendum on the people in office than it is on those who abstain from voting.
Every Sunday before the Tuesday of an election, here come the politicians. I call it church run Sunday. And after Tuesday, you usually don’t see them again until the Sunday before the Tuesday of their re-election campaign.
I’m actually fine with that as long as the time in between is spent taking care of the people’s business. But most times it isn’t.
A perfect example of that is the silence from politicians from coast to coast on all of these police shootings that result in the death of someone who is usually Black.
It’s no secret that the police union contributes money to the campaigns of politicians. It’s the accepted and expected way of doing business in politics. I know it, they know it, and now you know it.
However, if taking that money means that Democrats look the other way and have nothing to say when one of these questionable shootings arise, I think it’s time to find another political party to support or another candidate for office.
For me, it’s this exact type of behavior that has me trying to find the difference between Democrats and their GOP counterparts.
Even if the people who are upset and protesting the rash of recent deaths by the police didn’t vote in the last election,
Democrats have a responsibility to not just sit by idly. They didn’t campaign to represent only those who voted–no–they campaigned to represent everyone.
The bottom line is that Democrats—including Hillary Clinton who is no stranger to showing up at Black churches in Black voice courting the Black vote—should not get a pass on taking up the issues of the people, no matter what those issues may be including police killings and brutality.
Jasmyne A. Cannick is a native of Los Angeles and writes about the intersection of race, pop culture, class, and politics. She was chosen as one of Essence Magazine’s 25 Women Shaping the World and One of the Most Influential African-Americans in Los Aneles Under 40. She can be found online at jasmyneonline.com. Follow her on Twitter @jasmyne and on Facebook at facebook.com/jasmynecannick.