Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Will Black Voters in Montezuma Vote for a White Candidate for Mayor?

I have a friend who thinks he’s figured out Black folks voting behavior in Montezuma (Macon County) predilection for voting for black candidates. He believes that black folks will vote for incumbent Willie J Larry regardless if a white candidate rises t challenge him in the democratic primary this summer because he is black black. That’s it! No mystery, or political theory behind it. Sure he cites several polls detailing the overwhelming support President Obama received from black voters during the 2008 election. That's 2008!

Black voters makeup close to 70% of the population in Montezuma, so many out there will say Hell No! But I think they could.

My friend's theory is false, based upon an old-time, monolithic group thinking mentality. All he’s done is herd black people in Montezuma into stringent race camps which reinforces the idea that blacks are preoccupied with race and skin color–thereby perpetuating the victimization stigma. (For the record– I don’t know for a fact that this is his exact thinking, but I know it can’t be far off.) Let’s take a look at a recent example of how this line of thinking is myth more than fact.

Back in 2007, Robert Reichert, a white democrat bested 6, 7 other candidates who happened to be African-American in the race for mayor of Macon despite the city being 65% African-American. Reichert won by running as a centrist & appealing to the black community & running against the establishment. He was basically running a general election campaign before the general election.

Yes Willie Larry is a incumbent who haven't had a challenger since being elected, but that doesn't mean since he is black, black people will automatically vote for him. There are serious problems with the city of Montezuma, which is deteriorating day after day, month after month, year after year. Yes a majority of black voters support progressives liberals, whichever, but they identify with issues and ideology that best reflects what they believe, not what they look like. Black people aren’t sheep, and they don’t practice identity group politics anymore than any other group does. Does that mean they are immune to race politics? Of course not. You’ll find that blacks are more driven by issues they care about, more than the skin color of the candidate speaking about them.

So what I'm saying here is the issues, not race will drive the 2011 City of Montezuma Elections. If you are a conservative, run as a moderate. If you are a left winger, you are a lock, but given the makeup of the city, a centrist approach is what's needed. Look at Macon Mayor Robert Reichert as a example

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