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Andrew Gillum wins by being his natural black self

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum speaks at a rally at North Florida University on Monday, October 20, 201 8. Photo: Terrell…

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum speaks at a rally at North Florida University on Monday, October 20, 201

8. Photo: Terrell Jermaine Starr (The Root)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.-Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum is not afraid of to say that he is a proud black man. The political consequences of being “too black” worry about black candidates running for statewide or higher offices throughout the history of the United States do not scare him. He embraces his blackness because he believes in himself and feels black candidates before he has blossomed a trail that makes his approach viable in 2018.

Gillum has already made history by becoming the first African American to win the democratic candidate for governor in florida If he wins next week on Tuesday, he will be one of the handful of black people ever elected to the governor of a US state.

Because of how racial has so often been used against black politicians aiming at such a high office Barack Obama had to give his now famous “competition” in Philadelphia 2008 to keep his first presidential run alive – they often have to call down their blacks because they would not turn off white voters. They had to do it even before obvious races provocations from their political opponents.

Not Gillum.

During his first debate on the former US republic Ron DeSantis, Florida’s GOP nominee for the governor, Gillum highlighted his opponents’ appearances at racist conferences and criticized DeSantis for refusing to return money to a donor who called President Obama a “Muslim nigger “. And Gillum reminded all of DeSanti’s “monkey this up” comments, which came the day after Gillum became the democratic nominee.

“He has just continued during his campaign to draw all the attention he can to the color of my skin,” said Gillum in response to DeSanti’s rhetoric. “The truth is, I’ve been black all my life. As far as I know, I’ll die black.”

It was a crucial moment not only during the debate but for black politics in general. Obama, for example, was disappointed by attacks that he probably would put together with terrorists and an out-of-context movie clip from his former pastor who shouted “God fan America” ​​who ran on an apparently endless loop on cable TV . Obama gave his racing number in response. Gillum, 39, reflected at the moment backstage after his rally at the University of North Florida last week and said that Obama must go a much finer line because of its background and position as the first black president.

“He went out there first and had to try a lot for the first time,” said Gillum. “My guess is that he probably has to negotiate a lot about how high and proud he can be with his race. And he … also had to live his truth. He grew up by a white mother and two white grandparents. There may be some … certain reality about how he had to negotiate that space for himself. To me I am unapologically black. You can not negotiate here. You look at me and you see a black man – a real black man. And when I say correctly, I do not mean it as if he is not. I’m dark-haired black. I do not have the luxury of trying to weave it slightly differently than it is. “

Former Vice President Joe Biden talks at a rally at North Florida University in support of Andrew Gillum and other Democratic candidates Monday, October 20, 2018. Photo: Terrell Jermaine Starr (The Root)

Marcus Ferrell, a political strategist working with local elections in Florida and acting as Bernie Sander’s 2016 national blackmail leader, said that black politicians in Florida have historically gone away not to discuss race because of their relatively small black voters. (Not to mention that Many of the 1.5 million residents who are dismissed from voting because of felony convictions are black.)

Gillum’s approach, which includes a powerful battle against “stand your ground” laws, gentrification and proclaiming racism can be a The plan for Democrats if he wins, Ferrell said.

“It is the difference between Florida right now against all other democratic races in the past,” said Ferrell. “An drew leaks into messages that black people and latin people can see and feel. It does not take extra money or super huge black outreach operations to automatically make people happy about their campaign because he talks about the things that attract people. For the first time in Florida history, they have someone on top of the ticket talking about ways to help everyone and he is not afraid to say “Black.” “

Much of Gillum leaning into his black I come from his Florida A & M University Days. He was always on top of his class and had many AP lessons at Gainesville High School. When he came to FAMU, Gillum realized that everyone was at the top of his class and had AP lessons under his belts. It was “black excellence on steroids,” he reminds.

“You know the adage of iron grinding iron? I’m so honored to have got my iron to sharpen on some of the brightest sharpest senses that exist, “he said.” I carried it over to my recruitment procedures. When I got HBCU applicants they would immediately get to the top because I knew what they were doing. I felt their layers because I had come from it. If you can do that you can do it somewhere. They would slip harder. They would do nothing in any way, because that was what a HBCU experience taught us to do. “

When he decided to run for governor, Gillum spoke with his most trusted counselor on how to feed the breed’s subject. One of his early followers, Donna Deagan, a retired, long-term news reporter in Jacksonville, first noticed Gillum 2016 when he spoke at that year’s Democratic National Convention. Shortly thereafter, Deagan sat with Gillum for more than an hour talking about his platform. Gillum made the most of listening; Deagan did the most of the conversation. to support his campaign and is part of his debate preparation team. Deagan portrayed Gwen Graham, his primary primary opponent, during his training sessions.

“I think what his concern was at the beginning, especially when driving against a white woman, are not you want to encounter this angry black man, “said Deagan.” It’s always an issue when you talk about white people. Black people must not be angry because you are black. But if you know Andrew, it’s not really who he is. So I think he was comfortable to be who he was. “

The more Gillum leaned in his black and realized that there was an asset, the more content he discussed. When he did not talk about his HBCU experience at FAMU, he went out to his campaign song,” Walk it , Talk It. “

Early in his campaign, Gillum said he should be in a room full of white people and make it clear that he was a black man trying to do something that had never been done. That openness would break the ice and liberate people to ask what they already wonder everywhere: “Do you think the state of Florida is ready for a black man?”

“You know when you have a friend and you do not I really know how kindly you are until you’ve insulted them and seen how they handled it or said something a little aside and you’re not sure how to react to it? “Gillum explained.” We have done it now. We pressed that button and we can now move on. For me, it’s a little to allow a deeper relationship to take place when I remove that elephant. “

His sincerity about race has not hurt him in the investigations. Early voting had Gillum in a tight race with DeSantis; he was five points ahead in a new poll in the New York Times / Siena College. Democratic political activists and strategists in Florida knocking on his history of driving and authentic blackness to show black people who were as energetic of Obama’s presidential election 2008. According to the Tampa Bay Times, despite Graham winning more counties in general, Gillum won the counties with the highest proportion of black democrats, giving He’s his three-point victory. Democrats here think he can turn some of the more conservative leaning parts of northern Florida, especially Duval County. Trump lined Hillary Clinton with just 1.4 percentage points.

He actually knows he’s going to need black voices-lots of them – if he is to win Tuesday night. But he must convince enough non-progressive voters that his economic policy will favor all Floridians. There is no personal income tax in the state of Florida, but it has not stopped their opponents from accusing him of wanting to present it. He wants to raise business tax from 5.5 to 7.75 percent, which could generate about one billion dollars from Florida’s largest company, which can be used for education.

GOP attack ads have remarkably noticed their plan “socialist”. [19659026] People at a rally at North Florida University in support of Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and other Democratic candidates Monday, October 20, 2018. Photo: Terrell Jermaine Starr (The Root)

“I’m a pro but I are also pro-people, “said Gillum The Root. “I’m professionals because I need them to be radically successful so people can work and earn a living salary. I simply say that you are radical success should not be a disgusting greed that allows you to concentrate all the money in one place and working people working for you can not even earn enough to pay their bills. Why is it meaningful? It does not. “

Three years ago, The Root ran a third series of global warming leading white people in Miami to gentrify black districts like Liberty City because it sits 10 feet above sea level compared to five feet for richer districts like Miami Beach. Gillum plans to deal with gentrification by requiring developers to reserve a certain proportion of their low-income housing units.

In many ways, the story tells Gillum not to be here. Even some of his closest followers had doubts. During the democratic prime, a rich donor tried to convince him to let go. He simply did not think that Gillum could win. Gillum insisted he could win. But the donor was not convinced and continued to tell a story about a download game that the donor had with NBA Hall of Famer Grant Hill.

The giver said he was trying hard to make an arrangement against Hill. He dribbled and dribbled, went to the shot and missed. Look at Gillum, the donor said he missed the shot because he is not Grant Hill.

“You’re not Grant Hill,” he told Gillum.

Gillum looked directly at me, logging for a second and then collecting his thoughts. He had never shared this conversation with anyone. But it is one of the stories he quietly used to motivate himself through the doubts of others. Not only did he knock out the democratic establishment for the appointment, he leads in the investigations against his GOP opponent. He was not supposed to be here, according to the experts. Now he is.

“When I win the governor’s contest, I will write on the governor’s letterhead, and the words will be simple:” I’m Grant Hill. “” 19659035]
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