The North Carolina Gubernatorial race is one of the most important races in the Southeast. The impact of this election will be felt for generations to come and yet both of our candidates seem to lacking in very important areas. I support Attorney General, Roy Cooper for Governor, but I do not do so without acknowledging that he has a somewhat credible opponent. Former Representative Kenneth Spaulding comes from a long line of shakers who affected the change they wished to see and it comes to him naturally to see that he is in a state that no longer values education, state employees, private workforce, our transportation needs, access to voting and healthcare and yet, after all of these issues, you will only find him in predominantly African-American populations, or attacking Cooper for doing his job as mandated by the North Carolina Constitution, mind you Spaulding is a lawyer.
That is not to say that Cooper is my savior of the state party. No, he made grave mistakes and missteps in his judgement regarding the Kerrick trial in Charlotte. Attorneys in the region have stated that a decision like this usually receives scrutiny for months, Cooper’s decision was out within weeks. His most recent barrage against Syrian Refugees is what reduced enthusiasm in young democrats seeking to unseat Governor Pat McCrory. Whoever wrote those lines should be fired but it is also up to us, the people to realize no one made Attorney General, Cooper say it. Cooper needs apologize, meet with our regional activists and young democrats in Charlotte, regroup and focus on the issues that he can actually control; the refugee program is Federal and should remain so.
African, Latino and Asian-Americans feel as though we are put in a stranglehold by established white democrats who run statewide. They know that historically we will fall in line and do what’s best for our party over our interests when the whole point of joining a party was to protect and promote our interests…weird right?
Usually this includes them getting the votes, but not the financial support. What “the establishment” has not realized or felt yet is that we are no longer going to sit by and watch folks within our party spew hatred and misinformation and then continue to vote for you. It is important to realize that in my support of Cooper over Kenneth Spaulding, I am picking the one candidate that I believe can beat Governor McCrory; I am not picking the candidate that I believe aligns most with my issues. To do so after acknowledging potential failure means I have moved to idealism and I am not an idealist. I know that I can follow my heart in my support for the rest of Council of State but when it comes to the gubernatorial election, we cannot afford four more years of McCrory.
In this election education, economy, energy, infrastructure and race have everything to do with the outcome and the social construct of race is unfortunately the most powerful, surely it would be a shame if minority democrats realized that their own brothers and sisters within their party are no different than the racist Republicans they challenge.
There is a swelling of anger within the Democratic Party, essentially minorities are saying enough is enough and without us, you cannot win either. So to those Democrats that do not understand the power and danger of saying too much or remaining silent too long, I say to you, “We are watching you, we are listening and we will vote.” To the Democrats at the top of the ticket, on the SEC, in Goodwin House who are unmoved by this message, know that most elections are won without the dysfunction known as the party anyway so all of you can regroup or go home. Minorities, college students, the elderly, undocumented students and their families, prisoners and the true stakeholders of North Carolina have too much to lose by blindly falling in line behind racist, homophobic, transphobic, misogynistic and intolerable rhetoric. Do better, sit down or go home.