Discover more from Shelby's Campaign Diary
There are racists in the Democratic Party, too.
Let's talk about it, instead of pretending this is still the party that cares about civil rights
Benji and I are currently on vacation right now. We flew up to New York for the weekend to celebrate Benji’s 27th birthday. We have been filling our time with family and sightseeing.
I try to stay off social media while I’m traveling, but the conversation happening around race and slavery is just too important to pass without adding my two cents.
In case you missed it (ICYMI): There’s a national debate happening on race and slavery, sparked by Florida’s revised curriculum for Black History classes. The new standards require curriculum for middle school students to include “how slaves developed skills which, in some instances, could be applied for their personal benefit”. The new curriculum distorts American history and encourages children to look for the bright side of slavery, which doesn’t exist. Black Conservatives, like Florida Congressman Byron Donalds, are echoing similar sentiments and a distaste for the new curriculum. Texas Congressman Wesley Hunt even said “if Ron DeSantis spent more time doing the job the people of Florida elected him to do and less time on his failing Presidential campaign, perhaps Florida’s curriculum on slavery would more accurately reflect the pain and heartbreak experienced by millions who suffered through the original sin.”
While it’s fun observing the chaotic discourse happening in the Republican Party right now, it’s making me think — why aren’t Democrats engaging in the same discussion? Are we too good to talk about racism?
While the Republican Party has their fair share of racists, we cannot pretend racism doesn’t exist in the Democratic Party as well. We may be the party that knows better, but we certainly don’t always do better.
During my almost 10 year tenure in Tallahassee politics, I’ve seen Democratic party leaders exploit the Black community for votes and yet to deliver on a single promise. Those same leaders have also exploited my labor and talents for their own benefit and then refused to acknowledge my contributions when I was running for office, in part to fix problems caused by their own incompetence and greed. The racism that exists in the Democratic Party is more covert and has a way of conveniently going unchecked.
While Ron DeSantis may seem like the poster boy for racism, please don’t forget the many forms of racism that exist. You don’t have to be as obtuse as DeSantis to be a racist or exhibit white supremacist ideals. I’ve interacted with plenty of “normal” people that still carry racist beliefs, like thinking Black people are inherently inferior and unable to lead.
Not that I need to, but let me add a disclaimer: Not all (white) people are racist, but TOO MANY stand quiet in the face of racism. And your inaction and complicity further contributes to the problem and maintains racist systems that perpetuate harm and oppression.
Ask yourself, honestly: why am I quiet about the everyday racism I see on the job or in politics? Why am I silent in-person but believe in anti-racist principles in my head? Why am I not confronting discrimination where and when it matters most?
As Fannie Lou Hammer said, nobody’s free until everybody’s free. So let’s talk about the racists — from all parties — that are blocking our blessings and standing in the way of true, genuine progress.
This was just a quick note to share my thoughts! If you’d like to add your perspective, talk about it here on my Facebook page! I realize Substack isn’t the best place for mutual discourse.
Thanks for reading! Subscribe to get more thoughts & commentary about politics and my American life.