Who is Alabama Senate candidate Doug Jones?
Not sure if his supporters care to know much beyond the two most obvious things.
He’s not his Republican opponent, Roy Moore.
And there’s that ridiculous campaign piece designed to convince readers how Jones is sharp on the issues most important to Black folks, and is ready to lead. Or something.
People of color seem to often find themselves caught in this kind of game.
One where your team is playing a prevent defense while losing — and it’s not even halftime — prompting your field optics to forge an alternative vision for victory: limit the amount of future damage and keep the other team’s scoring to respectable blowout margins.
I don’t fail to see this as a remix of the 2016 presidential elections where Democrats’ messaging was built on the “Clinton isn’t Trump” premise.
But in fairness, Democrats haven’t been this close to winning an Alabama Senate seat in years, and no one has yet accused Jones of preying on teenage girls.
My problem is what I don’t see when I visit Doug Jones’ campaign website: ANYTHING.
There is a disturbingly scarce amount of specific mention regarding issues unique to Alabama. I saw one, perhaps, which dealt with healthcare.
His priorities, as he calls them, could have been lifted from any Senate campaign in the country.
It’s as if Jones never walked around his own state, or his handlers presented him with a tunnel for creative freedom when crafting a message.
So, I’m going to help this discussion along by presenting two specific Alabama problems.
Philip Alston, the UN’s Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, toured cities in Alabama last week and declared the living conditions in parts of the state’s Black Belt “very uncommon in the First World.”
Alabama’s majority-Black Lowndes County has been so severely relegated to developing-world poverty status that more than a third of its residents have been tested positive for the hookworm parasite.
Meanwhile, Doug Jones reaches out to Black Alabama with this campaign ad:
But it’s not like the evangelicals and poor White people of Alabama — the state that ranks number four among its peers in household poverty and hovers around the bottom decile in national education attainment — enjoy the luxury of choice in this Tuesday’s election. They’ve made accused child predator, Roy Moore, their choice for Senate.
I can’t even fake a surprised expression about Moore being mute on hookworms in Lowndes County, or not proposing a micro-Marshall Plan for Alabama’s Black Belt as a component to his broader Make America Great Again vision.
But Moore’s supporters have been coached to know that he isn’t Doug Jones and that the fate of the Republic rests on how many abortions can be limited, how many people can carry guns and how many times a metaphorical slave-chasing, suspected pedophile can publicly praise God before he can seem more credible than all of his accusers.
I can only hope that a higher moral force will guide the victor after Tuesday.
Otherwise, Alabama will continue to lose …
song currently stuck in my head: “dark” – nicole miglis