November 12, 2013, - 5:22 pm
Several years ago, an Orthodox Jewish White friend of mine ran for office in the majority Black suburb in which we both live, and she sought my advice since I’d run for the Michigan House and lost by just one vote. Because she had an ambiguously-Black-sounding name, I told her that she should just put photos of assorted Black people–and no photos of herself at all–on her campaign brochures. To me, that was the way to get elected: pretend you’re Black. We know that Black voters almost automatically vote for Black candidates, especially against White ones (unless the Black is a Republican). Check out how they voted in each of the Obama Presidential elections. And they voted almost universally for Obama for two reasons: he’s Black, and they’re racists. My friend didn’t listen to me, and she lost. Angie Rogers, I told ya so.
Yesterday, I watched, listened, and read as everyone weighed in on the “racism” of a White candidate down South who used photos of Black people all over his campaign literature and no photo of himself, just like I told Angie to do. He got himself elected that way. Jimmy Kimmel and Whoopi Goldberg commented and were aghast at this development. Whoopi lamented that all these Black voters were fooled into voting for Doug Wilson because they thought he was Black. Huh? They weren’t “fooled.” They were predictable . . . predictably racist. And Dave Wilson astutely took advantage of their racism. They are the ones who should be ashamed, not him. There is nothing dishonest about manipulating minorities’ own staunch racism and bigotry against themselves. It’s refreshing and hilarious, actually. If you vote for someone merely because of the skin complexion or ethnicity you perceive them to have, you deserve what you get (unfortunately, as with Obama, I don’t deserve what you made me get).
HOUSTON — Dave Wilson chuckles as he talks about his unorthodox political campaign. “I’d always said it was a long shot,” Wilson says. “No, I didn’t expect to win.” Still, he figured he’d have fun running, because he was fed up with what he called “all the shenanigans” at the Houston Community College System. As a conservative white Republican running in a district whose voters are overwhelmingly black Democrats, the odds seemed overwhelmingly against him. Then he came up with an idea, an advertising strategy that his opponent found “disgusting.” If a white guy didn’t have a chance in a mostly African-American district, Wilson would lead voters to think he’s black.
And it apparently worked. In one of the biggest political upsets in Houston politics this election season, Wilson — an anti-gay activist and former fringe candidate for mayor — emerged as the surprise winner over 24-year incumbent Bruce Austin. His razor thin margin of victory, only 26 votes, was almost certainly influenced by his racially tinged campaign. “Every time a politician talks, he’s out there deceiving voters,” he says.
Wilson, a gleeful political troublemaker, printed direct mail pieces strongly implying that he’s black. His fliers were decorated with photographs of smiling African-American faces — which he readily admits he just lifted off websites — and captioned with the words “Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson.”
One of his mailers said he was “Endorsed by Ron Wilson,” which longtime Houston voters might easily interpret as a statement of support from a former state representative of the same name who’s also African-American. Fine print beneath the headline says “Ron Wilson and Dave Wilson are cousins,” a reference to one of Wilson’s relatives living in Iowa. “He’s a nice cousin,” Wilson says, suppressing a laugh. “We played baseball in high school together. And he’s endorsed me.”
Austin tried to answer the mailer with his own fliers showing Wilson’s face, calling him a “right-wing hate monger” and saying he “advocated bringing back chain gangs to clean highways.” But the campaign clearly caught him off guard. “I don’t think it’s good,” he said. “I don’t think it’s good for both democracy and the whole concept of fair play. But that was not his intent, apparently.”
So sad, too bad. When you run in a district filled with racist minority constituents, you gotta fight fire with water. The people who voted for Dave Wilson are racists, and their racism was thrown in their faces.
The National Association for the Advancement of No You Di’in’t got a taste of its own medicine. How do you like the flavor . . . or is that, “flava”?