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02 October 2008

We've Got Our One Negro...And One Negro Is All We Need

Just over two months ago, I expressed my disappointment in the Georgia Democratic Party's DNC elections that resulted in only one African-American --Labor Commissioner Michael Thurmond-- representing the state on the Democratic National Committee.

I wrote, quite bluntly, that the four people elected at the state Democratic Party's July 26th meeting did not reflect all segments of the state's population [Source: Georgia Politics Unfiltered, "The Georgia Democratic Party's Lingering Diversity Issue", July 27, 2008]. In fact, the four DNC members elected in July didn't fairly reflect all segments of the state's Democratic electorate.

You see, I've seen the numbers.

Going back to the 2004 Democratic primary, no less than 40% of the Georgia Democratic primary voters have been black. This year, for the first time in Georgia history, blacks represented a majority (55.4%) of the state's Democratic electorate [Source: Georgia Secretary of State]. Based on those numbers, I felt it was completely unacceptable for only one African-American to be representing Georgia Democrats on the national level when, as I've previously established, no less than forty percent of the Democratic primary voters in this state are black.

So I decided to do something about it.

In accordance with the Charter & Bylaws of the Democratic Party of the United States, I quietly filed a challenge to the July 26th Georgia DNC election asking that the National Democratic Party void the election and authorize a new one to be held as soon as practicable. In my complaint, I also asked the national party to work with the Georgia Democratic Party towards adopting, approving and monitoring an affirmative action program which provides for the fair representation of African-Americans in the Georgia Democratic National Committee delegation as indicated by African-American voters’ presence in the Georgia Democratic electorate.

I filed this challenge because, as I said earlier, it is unacceptable for only one African-American to be representing Georgia Democrats on the national level when no less than forty percent of the Democratic primary voters in this state are black.

Now, I was willing to remain silent on this issue and allow the process to take its course outside of the public eye. But, the response I received from the Democratic Party of Georgia just a few weeks ago compelled me to bring this issue to light.

Georgia Democratic Party Chair Jane Kidd wrote, in a signed and notarized affidavit to the DNC Credentials Committee Chair, that "Mr. Walker's suggestion that Michael Thurmond, the state Labor Commissioner, vice-chair of the state party, and Black DNC member, needs some sort of back-up to be effective shows an unfamiliarity with the talents and expertise of one of the most successful Black politicians in Georgia history."

To me, a black male and the son of a soon-to-be-62-year-old black female who had to read the Constitution just to register to vote, that sentence said quite clearly that regardless of the African-American presence in the Georgia Democratic electorate, the Democratic Party of Georgia has its one Negro Democratic National Committee member and one Negro is all they need.

He doesn't need any "back-up."

Because of his electoral and political successes, this one man can effectively speak for the hundreds of thousands of black Democrats that participate in the Party's primary every two years.

I don't doubt that Commissioner of Labor Michael Thurmond gets things done. Actually, I know that Commissioner Thurmond gets things done, but he is not a one-man show. He most definitely needs some back up.

Why?

Because contrary to what other folks may think, all blacks don't look alike, talk alike, walk alike, act alike or think alike. Each one of us are different and those differences are as plain to see as...well, black and white.

Now I can say, almost positively, that if the roles were reversed; if only one out of six DNC members from Georgia were white regardless of the fact that white voters constituted a majority of the state's Democratic electorate (as demonstrated by their participation in the Democratic primaries), then all kinds of hell would break loose.

We'd see a lot of whites saying they don't have a voice in national Democratic Party affairs because one person couldn't possibly guarantee that the issues, needs, and concerns of white voters throughout the State of Georgia would be effectively voiced in the affairs of the Democratic National Committee and the National Democratic Party.

Well that's what I'm saying.

I'm saying that the Democratic Party of Georgia is a party that relies heavily on African-American voters to achieve victory in the General Election.

To be blunt, they can't win without black folks.

I'm saying that blacks represent a clear majority of Democratic primary voters in this state. And I'm saying that blacks should see representation on the Democratic National Committee that fairly reflects their presence in the Georgia Democratic electorate.

Just one, even if it is the state labor commissioner, isn't going to cut it.