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07 November 2010

No Diversity in Statewide Offices? Mandate It The Way Democrats Do

Longtime Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Maria Saporta recently lamented on the lack of diversity in Georgia's statewide elected officials after the November 2nd elections.

Let this sink in.

We have gone from having a diversity among statewide leaders serving as constitutional officers in terms of women, Democrats and African-Americans to a total “good-ole-boy” administration.

This happened while Georgia is becoming a more diverse state in terms of African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians with more than half of its population being women. The election outcome can lead us to question the whole notion of representative democracy.

Saporta, Maria (2010-11-3). Election means that all of Georgia’s top leaders will be white male Republicans. Saporta Report. Retrieved on 2010-11-7.

I suggest, in an entirely facetious manner, that Georgia pass laws similar to Democratic Party rules that mandate racial and gender diversity among the state constitutional offices.

What am I talking about?

Well, just in case you didn't know, the Democratic Party requires that their committee members be evenly divided between men and women. Democratic Party rules also say that if a racial group constitutes 20% or more of Georgia's registered voters, then that racial group is guaranteed one of the Party's four vice-chair positions.

So let's apply that to the state of Georgia.

Let's pass a law that says membership in the General Assembly must be evenly divided between men and women. Let's pass a law that says if blacks make up 20% or more of the state's registered voters (and we do), then we are guaranteed one statewide office.

Does that idea sound stupid? It should, and that's the point.

Diversity for the sake of diversity always fails because someone's always going to walk away pissed off.

White folks will be pissed because they feel they're being punished for being white. Black folks will be pissed because not enough people who look like them are holding office. And women will be pissed for the same reason black folks are pissed.

Segmentation of our American society is divisive, and we need to move away such practices.