Thursday, May 15, 2014

I have to say it...

The public endorsement of former US Congressman Travis Childers over Bill Marcy by Mississippi Democratc Party Chairman/Executive Director Rickey Cole before the June 3rd Democratic Primary was wrong.

I have known all three gentlemen for a number of years, having known Chairman Cole the longest. So what I am writing is not a personal attack on any of them, it is just my opinion of where this Democratic Primary stands. 

Travis Childers served one term in Congress representing Mississippi's 1st congressional district. He was elected in 2008 and defeated in 2010. When Travis campaigned with me and former Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, he boldly showed his support of Barack Obama. He also promised to open a congressional office in Holly Springs. Once elected, Travis voted against the Affordable Health Care Act and failed to open that Holly Springs office. Two years later, despite the appeals of the Congressional Black Caucus, the black electorate in the 1st District abstained from voting, contributing to Childers' defeat.

Bill Marcy is a retired law enforcement officer, and an African-American. Bill ran for Congress twice, against US Congressman Bennie Thompson, as a Republican. Bill called me before he made his decision to run, primarily to make sure I wasn't running, and I told him that it is a tough battle for African-American to win without TOTAL Democratic Party support, not to mention that he will have to overcome the fact that you ran against the most powerful Democrat in the state twice, as a member of the opposition party. Bill decided to run anyway, fully aware of how the deck was stacked.

So now, here we are. Rickey subtly endorses Travis, Bill cries racism. Mr. Chairman, did we really need that scenario to play out? 

For those who follow college football and understood the old BCS system, the Mississippi Democratic Party is the old Big East Conference and the Mississippi Republican Party is the SEC. The Big East champion had an automatic bid to be considered for the national championship, but it was clearly expected that the SEC champion would win it. Underdogs don't need to be mired in perceived racism. Underdogs don't need to convey the message that somebody from the African-American demographic can't win a statewide election in Mississippi. Underdogs can't be passive if they want to beat the champion.

Democrats have to do better than this. This state is too poor to be totally dominated by one political party, because neither party single handedly has changed that demographic. So when opportunity knocks, you cannot squander it with small minded, non-visionary thinking. You have a candidate who is African-American, but was a member of a political party that, whether fairly or not, the majority of African-Americans do not trust, file to run. The party accepted his paperwork and filing fee. Then the party recruits a white man who when elected to office, fairly or not, lost the trust of his African-American constituents, to counter the African-American former Republican.

And some wonder why more people are focused on the race between the "Old Man and the Tea Party".

If you didn't want Marcy to run, Mr. Chairman, you should not have taken his money. Is Childers the best Democrat to publicly endorse considering his perception in the black electorate? Probably not, but the challenge of finding a candidate that 90 percent of blacks and 25 of whites in Mississippi trust is daunting. So since Childers will get traction with white voters for voting against Obamacare, and it figures that blacks have no choice but to vote for the Democratic nominee if he is chosen, then that is the best possible Democratic scenario to re-capture that Senate seat.

Question: How did that work in 2010?

I have been the Democratic nominee for the United States Senate in Mississippi twice. I know what that lonely feeling is like to be twisting in the wind or to be treated as the sacrificial lamb for "the greater good". For once, I just wish the Democratic Party in Mississippi would just give a damn about winning. And you can't win playing the game in fear. 

Ok, I'm done venting. It is what it is. I'll get over it. Rickey you shouldn't have publicly endorsed Travis over Bill, because either way, we have put lipstick on the pig. Good luck and if I have offended those involved I apologize. I respect each of you and I wish you well.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Michael Sam

Memo to all NFL players: Michael Sam is gay. Get over it.

Michael Sam is a helluva football player. He was the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. The St. Louis Rams got a steal in being able to pick such a talented player so late in the draft. If the Rams had passed on him, the Chicago Bears management said they would have gotten him because it would have allowed the franchise to have drafted back to back SEC Defensive Players of the Year. That is how good he is.

Whether he will be a defensive end or a linebacker remains to be seen, but I guarantee you he will make an impact on Sunday afternoons for years to come.

All of this has nothing to do with his sexual orientation. His teammates at the University of Missouri knew before the world did. They played with him, interacted with him and looked to him for leadership on and off the field. They didn't care about his personal life, neither should his future colleagues in the National Football League.

A person should be judged on what they bring to the table. Not their skin color, gender, or sexual orientation. The fact that an African-American player was the one who sent a message on Twitter expressing his dissatisfaction with Sam being drafted ( and I suppose his public display of affection as well ) makes it even more disturbing.

At one time in American history, Blacks, women and homosexuals were discouraged to fight for their country, fortunately many did despite this. Now the military has had the foresight to realize the error of their ways. It is time for the rest of society, including professional sports, to do the same.

Many of us know a family member or a friend or a co-worker or a classmate that is a member of the LGBT community. Regardless of your personal convictions, you have developed some kind of relationship with that person to peacefully co-exist. That is what is expected in a tolerant society.

It is my hope that the next discussion about Michael Sam will be about that hit he put on a running back or how explosive he is getting to the quarterback. Of course, when he plays against the Bears, I want to root for my guys to block him. Jay Cutler has had enough sacks as it is.