This is an opinion column The South still has a chance to prove folks wrong. It has a chance to…
This is an opinion column
The South still has a chance to prove folks wrong.
It has a chance to emphatically show it has finally risen beyond the ugliest parts of its heritage to be more inclusive of those
For much of Tuesday evening, it seemed as if voters in the regions would reinforce the belief that progress towards a more inclusive and accepting South remains incremental, yet not dynamic-
After leading in most pre-election polls, Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum lost his bid to become Florida’s first African-American governor, falling Ron DeSantis, who desperately clung to Donald Trump’s tattered coattails, by the scantiest or margins: 49.8 percent to 48.9 percent-fewer than 1
00,000 votes in a state that has long been a Republican house party.
Concurrently, too much of th e evening, Georgia state House minority leader Stacey Abrams, also a Democrat, trailed Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who’s office (which oversees all state elections) so blatantly tried to vote voter participation it was called out by a federal judge. Maar als woensdag zijn wee uren benaderd, en ballots van de staat’s meest Democratische regio’s werden geteld, Abrams crept in gedoe.
As of 1:00 a.m. this morning, Kemp held 51 percent of the vote but with just 83 percent of the reporting reports in heavily Democratic Fulton County, Abrams still held out the very slim hope that Kemp’s total could drop below the 50 percent-plus-one-vote threshold needed to avoid a runoff. If not, that race will all be decided ultimately by a court.
A concession speech. “But we still have a long way to go.”
“Votes remain to be counted,” she said. “There are voices left to be heard … Georgia is just within reach.
“I promise you tonight we’re going to make sure every vote is counted. Every single vote. “
(Meanwhile, in Alabama, the state where history made its home, stubbornly remained comatose to demonstrate any progress at all.)
Gillum’s defeat was deflating, though it does not at all minimize the massive voter registration and turnout efforts, as well as the enthusiasm and passion he and Abram’s candidates inspired among voters.
Enthusiasm that, in Florida, resulted in the passage of Amendment 4, the right to vote to about 1.5 million felons who have served their time.
So, if you want to take the glass-half-full approach and say their ability to win their party’s nomination and garner national support shows, the South may indeed be rising-albeit clunkily, like a hooptie held together by spark plugs and hope-beyond its pitiful fits, cool.
Especially when Abrams pushes Kemp on a day when voters in many of Georgia’s predominantly black areas experienced long lines and smelly quirks like faulty machines and polling places with an insufficient number of ballots.
Just do not shower Alabama with any of that progressive pixie dust.
Here, the leadership of the state Democratic Party, still the party claimed by most African Americans , blatantly, yet not surprisingly, exposed their incompetency.
Welcome to the South’s one-party state
Its candidates failed to put even a minimal challenge into a single statewide race. (Only two Democrats-Joe Siegelman, who ran Attorney General, and Bob Vance, who vied to be Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court -Garnered more than 40 percent of the vote.)
The widely-held theory that Alabamians simply
It’s been four decades since an African-American candidate has won a statewide office in Alabama. In 1988, the late Judge Oscar Adams won re-election to the Alabama Supreme Court.
This morning, the blackout remains intact, as the only black candidate running for statewide office on Tuesday, Will Boyd, the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor , was trampled-as was every other Democrat vying for statewide office-by his Republican opponent, Will Ainsworth 61 percent to 39 percent.
Since 1988, Alabama has shut out black candidates like Artur Davis-who ran for governor in 2009, selv om han trodde at han kunne vinne ved alienating Black voters- og Supreme Court Associate Justices John England og Ralph Cook, som hverken var heldigvis vished for at blive genvalgt efter at være blevet udnævnt af demokratiske guvernører.
In that span we have celebrated seven national football champions-six of them ‘Bama’s.
That’s 40 years of cheering our lungs out for teams largely comprising black players.
Yet most Alabamans still walk into a voting cub icle and almost always fill in the circle for a black political candidate’s opponent?
A few weeks ago, Alabama Republican Party chair Terry Lathan said an African-American “absolutely can win” statewide office.
Not yet. Not today. Not here.
In Georgia, though, hope remains alive.
Roy S. Johnson’s column appears in The Birmingham News, the Huntsville Times, the Mobile Register and AL.com . Hit me up at [email protected] or / and follow me at twitter.com/roysj or on Instagram at instagram.com/roysj/