Reimagining Black Alabama and Doug Jones’ odyssey

alabama black belt poverty

Now that the Alabama Senate election is over …

(Laughing) Well, for most of y’all

I can share some updated thoughts while weaving in Doug Jones’ upset victory over Roy Moore.

My thoughts haven’t changed, mind you.

And Lawd knows I still think the correct candidate won.

I simply did something quite deliberate in my pre-election post that isn’t typical of me: made a contrarian viewpoint without pitching a tent and spending some time to explain it.

Now is the time to dig deeper.

Let’s start with the “Black vote in Alabama put Jones in office” meme.

I’ll always give the head nod to any news about Black folks exercising the same rights the ancestors fought and established.

But all the exit polling I’ve seen for nearly ten years tells me that Black Alabama consistently shows up to vote for Democrats — IN HIGH PERCENTAGES. Here’s a 2008 snapshot example from CNN:

Alabama black voters 2008

During that same near-10-year period, there has been no change in the Black Alabama voting population as a share of the State’s voting electorate.

Black Alabama was a critical part of enabling Jones’ win but they simply did what they’ve always done: show up and vote Democrat in the 90-plus percentage range.

The big change occurred among a sufficient number of White Alabama voters, typically loyal Republicans, who voted for Jones out of an understandable disgust for the Republican Moore.

So why is the mainstream media big-upping the Alabama Black vote — hinting at a unique 2017 behavior — without telling the blatant lie that we’re weren’t just witnessing business as usual?

Not sure. I can only speculate that White Liberals are attempting to gaslight Black voters as a way to encourage the latter’s engagement in the 2018 and 2020 elections.

Mind you that African American voters across the country weren’t as excited about voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and it showed (or not!) in their voting participation.

So a few empty praises from The Wizard to Black Alabama for displaying powers they’ve consistently displayed could encourage broader voter engagement down the road.

I also think we need to sober up a bit more about Jones’ win: he barely beat a Negro-slavery pining, suspected child raping, religious fundamentalist zealot last Tuesday.

Put another way, a Negro-slavery pining, suspected child raping, religious fundamentalist zealot almost beat Jones last Tuesday — and came within two percentage points of doing it.

Or, a large number of White Alabama voters put THEIR GOD before their morals and almost elected a Negro-slavery pining, suspected child raping, religious fundamentalist zealot last Tuesday — and came within two percentage points of doing it.

Emphasis placed on THEIR GOD because I don’t know of any God with a desire for Moore as a statewide official.

Alabama black belt residents

While much of Alabama’s Black Belt looks like an underdeveloped nation thousands of miles away with more than a third of them testing positive for a third-world disease, candidate Doug Jones’ campaign pitch remained generic, and with a dearth of messaging specific to Black Alabama’s challenges.

Jones’ has an interesting assignment for the next two years: figure out a way to help Black and White Alabama while appearing reelectable in 2020 — and without gaslighting either side …

song currently stuck in my head: “love is on the way” – kenny bobien & jose burgos

[Photo credit: Tom Waters Photography.]

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