There is a disturbing pattern emerging in the Democratic Party that should concern African-American voters everywhere, who are by far the party’s most loyal base of supporters. And sadly, the messenger of this pattern appears to be none other than former Democratic President Bill Clinton.
The last 24 hours have been interesting as both rumors and denials have been reported by the media suggest that Congressman Kendrick Meek (D-FL) was going to withdraw from the heated Florida Senate race and throw his support behind former Republican turned Independent Gov. Charlie Crist in order to defeat GOP front runner, conservative Marco Rubio.
The trouble with these rumors is twofold: First, Meek won the Democratic Party’s primary outright and is a legitimate nominee. To even suggest that he step aside to help save the political majority for the Democrats in the Senate, or worse – to save the political hide of Gov. Crist – is simply outrageous. Meek has been a faithful soldier for the Democratic party all of his life. And this is how they reward the only (serious) black Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate running in the country this year?
WATCH ‘TODAY SHOW’ COVERAGE OF THE MEEK STORY:
Second, I am a bit put off by former President Clinton’s playing the role of grim reaper of political fortune. Why he is acting as the Democrats own personal Luca Brasi both in Pennsylvania with Rep. Joe Sestak and now with Meek is beyond me. This reminds me of Clinton’s antics during the 2008 primaries when he made snide remarks marginalizing then candidate Obama and likening his bid to Jesse Jackson’s 1980s campaigns. Clinton upped the veiled racial rhetoric by suggesting that Obama could not win with the God, guns and anti -gay crowd in places like Pennsylvania, Kentucky, West Virginia and in the south.
All of this being said, however, my biggest concern remains with us as black voters who continually allow ourselves to be exploited and used election cycle after election cycle. Kendrick Meek has not made any gaffes in this campaign. He has been vigilant, loyal and hardworking and he has gotten very little support in return from his party and from big Democratic fundraisers.
It is, in my opinion, a sad commentary that in the year 2010, when we have a black president in the White House that the United States Senate will likely stay all white yet again. What is sadder still is that Meek could have had a good shot at winning in Florida if he had been given the support and exposure that he has certainly earned as a good foot soldier in the Democratic Party.
Sophia Nelson is a JET Magazine columnist, theGrio contributor and author of the forthcoming book “Black Woman Redefined: Dispelling the Myths and Discovering Love & Fulfillment in the Age of Michelle Obama” (May 2011)