Those Stale Crackers

The Macon Telegraph is taking a novel approach to candidate endorsements this year. Instead of the usual grilling, the Telegraph has released in advance five questions for which it hopes candidates will provide detailed responses. Details are here. The questions are:

• What will you do in your first year in office to promote fiscal solvency and responsibility, specifically as it regards financial records, the budget and city operations?

• What will you do in your first year in office to reduce street crime?

• What will you do in your first year in office to promote collaborative leadership?

• Would you be willing to participate in an early organizational retreat if paid for with private funds?

• What will you do to promote and enhance development, redevelopment and the natural environment in the city of Macon?

What really got me though was this next bit and the reaction to it.

One aspect of the six-page report did cause a bit of controversy Wednesday. Candidates will be asked to pledge not to play the “race card to excuse any poor performance,” the report states.

Betty Bond, a county resident who attended the meeting, said the question offended her because it’s focused on black people.

“No other race can play the race card,” said Bond. “If you’re white, you can’t play the race card.”

It’s a sad day when people get upset by a pledge not to use the race card. I will gladly take that pledge. The key, of course, is when I say someone is incompetent, if that person happens to be of a race different that me, I should not be saying the person is incompetent because of their skin color and the rebuttal should not be that I am saying so because of their skin color.

That’s what happens in this town. There is a large contingent of people who say we should not make race an issue and if you vote for Robert Reichert in the Democratic primary then you are a racist for failing to give the black candidate a chance. At the same time, there are a lot of white people in town who think black people would never vote for Robert Reichert because they’ll only vote for a black candidate. This whole bit of race baiting madness descends into a catch 22 where black voters vote for the black candidate because they don’t think the white voters would give the black candidate a fair shot and the white voters vote for the white candidate because they think the black voters will, in the commonly heard vernacular around here, “stick to their own kind.”

Macon will never advance until both the black voters and the white voters choose the best candidate instead of the [insert color choice here] candidate. I was absolutely gobsmacked recently when I was criticized for actively supporting several black candidates in town. It completely floored me.

Maybe all the candidates should go around in town during campaign season in hermetically sealed opaque costumes so we can’t see what race they are. Then put their resumes on pink paper with purple ink to totally keep the black and white issues out of the campaign.

*Yes, I did just use the word “gobsmacked.”

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Erick Erickson

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3 Comments

  • Just keep waiting for hell to freeze over, and then you can solve the race problem. In other words, reality does not change, ever.

  • We cannot even come to a consensus to wipe out the R word and the D word before names on the ballots in Macon. This partisanship balloting was not created by the black race, as it was used by the white race to divide voters. All someone had to do is allow the Macon Telegraph to come out with the D list, since forever and that is how the voters voted.

    A few of my students at the technical college were in my district, and told me we can’t vote for you because my grandmother told me to always ask for a Democrat ballot. How do you change that type of mentality? These students liked me for my candor, and for what I explained to them about how one would be more prosperous if there were no government or very limited government. But the fact was that I was running as the big bad evil Republican.

  • The campaign I volunteered in ended Tuesday. My candidate ran in the toughest ward possible (it has a decent sized housing project) and normally independent candidates get killed.

    Well with 1877 votes cast my candidate won by 6 votes. Believe me we earned every vote. Going door to door to register voters and giving absentee applications to people who work long hours or travel to stopping people on the street to remind them to vote. Heck one volunteer I know through 3 voters into his car with 10 minutes left before polls closed to get them there in time.

    Democracy isn’t easy but victory is sweet. Plus now I can have a life again.

    Enjoy your run.