(TriceEdneyWire.com)—For years, Black people have delivered our vote to Democrats. Many Democrats wouldn’t have won without our vote. Now some Black people, and other people of color, have become discouraged because no matter the votes we deliver, we are taken for granted. Once elected, many forget our efforts on their behalf.
When I ran for the U.S. Congress in my home state of Louisiana, I lost by less than one-percent in a 2/3rds Democratic District. Much of my organized support came from Congressional Black Caucus members and a few Progressive Whites. I received lukewarm-to-no support from the state Democratic Party. On the strength of Black voters and a few White people, I won 97,000 votes at a time when many Democrats were winning their Congressional seats with 35,000 to 40,000 votes. As a first time candidate, we brought out a record number of Democratic voters in my district.
Congressman John Breaux also ran for the U.S. Senate. His campaign events weren’t attracting as many potential voters as mine. His crowds were often so thin that he left and came to my events. We welcomed him, and on the strength of the Black vote, he won. I lost narrowly because he was unable to deliver any votes to my campaign.
My campaign ended with a debt. Customarily, losing candidates get help from those who win to assist in debt-erasing fundraising efforts. Since I had helped him so much, I thought it was logical that Mr. Breaux would lend his name to a fundraiser for me. Instead, his response was, “Well, I’m a U.S. Senator now, and I don’t lend my name lightly.” I’m sure there’re other candidates who can relate. Apparently, Mr. Breaux’s whiteness overshadowed his party loyalty and loyalty to his fellow Democrats. That’s just one example of the treatment African American Democrats often receive from the Party we consistently help to gain so many victories.