Political district lines on a map don’t reflect the reality of how people live. Georgia Rep. Jack Kingston supports the naval mission in Jacksonville, Florida, because some employees at the base live in southeast Georgia. The same statement can be made about Augusta, Savannah and Columbus. suburbanites often work, eat, shop, heal, pray and play in other congressional districts.
Georgia’s cities serve as regional hubs and elected officials know they should work together. Because I grew up Black in the South, the scariest thing to me are groups who want decisions made with little or no input from all involved segments of the community. It’s not rocket science: officials should maintain a line of communication and/or grow a network with everyone. From Rep. Sanford Bishop meeting with sons of the confederacy to Rep. Jack Kingston explaining fiscal conservatism at Savannah State University, decent people respect listeners and reasonable folks understand that others live in the area.
During the last election season, naïve activists constantly complained that swing district congressmen didn’t do what the activists commanded. Hello. What about the majority (albeit thin) that support what the members of congress are doing. We are in the redistricting process in Georgia and there is a strong possibility that my county will move in a GOP district. Will my head explode? No. The Blue Dog Democrats of today are similar, in my opinion, to the traditional GOP establishment of old. Their moderation prepped us for certain conservative elements.
Rep. Austin Scott defeated Blue Dog Jim Marshall but Marshall was so conservative that some Dems can’t tell the difference. If a congressman stays away from the craziest parts of his side and takes care of regional interests, I am fine. Black moderates should be breaking bread with Black conservatives as we team up to explain to the community that it isn’t about elected officials. It’s mostly about personal choices, decisions and consequences.
The worst case scenario would be my community being 100% blue and the next election being a red landside. In big cities, we have real liberals but rural Blacks are moderate to conservative. If a Republican wins an election, you better hope he or she isn’t far, far right. Someone should light a fire under groups Democrats help. Al Gore knows that Democrats help people who don’t bother voting.
To diversify our political portfolio, we should grow a new hybrid southern Black conservative. We need a bro with a goatee who was radical in college and knows all the Public Enemy lyrics or a sista with a natural who knows that we are going cuturally backwards. Oh snap, the new southern Black conservatism could simply be based on people who remember how we once “carried ourselves” and that community once meant something. It’s a shame that smart –sses on the right demonized Black nationalism because those cats’ primary thoughts was self-reliance and don’t depend on the government.
Gladys and the Pips said we got to use our imagination to “keep on keeping on.” Dominique Wilkins played well with the Georgia Bulldogs but the year after his departure for the N.B.A., the Dawgs went to the Final Four. They had spent all of their effort trying to get Wilkins the ball. UGA made the “best of a bad situation” and rural moderates should do the same. Hell, rural Blacks might have more status in districts without big cities and those GOP congressmen should know that a third of the Black electorate could mean they never face opposition and won’t need to dial for dollars–think about it. If they need a model, they can look at Rep. Bishop and Rep. Kingston.
The Pips said, “You’re too strong not to keep on keeping on.”