Thanks for reading the article. You raise a good and important question, namely, how can the black community get behind one black candidate. Actually, I don't think this as difficult an obstacle as it appears, because I think the political sophistication of the black community is underestimated.
I think the black electorate will take a look at all the black candidates, not just on where they stand now and are saying now in running for mayor, the community will look at their history. And even, I would suggest, their lineage, taking into account, for example, the fact that Tishaura's father is a respected black leader.
Living in a racist society has created in black people the instinct to be able to tell who is really in their corner, who is trying to pull the wool over their eyes, and who are the politicians who will say one thing and do another. They know who will fight for them, who will give lip service, and who will cow tie. In other words, black people know those leaders who aren't afraid of white people, and know those who will and have carried the white man's water.
Black people are also sophisticated enough not to bet on candidates they don't think can win, and they know that a black candidate needs some white support to become mayor in this city.
So Ed - if I may call you that - I think the black community will, when all is said and done, settle on one candidate as the consensus candidate, as I think the idea of the split black vote has shown itself to largely be a myth. (When Bosley became mayor, for example, there was a lot of talk that the black vote would be split because Steve Roberts was also in the race).
What concerns me more about having a number of black candidates is that it creates in the mindset of blacks the thought that a black cannot win because of this, and this cynicism then causes many to not vote. And that's a bigger obstacle - low black voter turnout - to a black becoming mayor than several blacks in the race.
So I don't waste a lot of energy getting upset that we can't seem to come together and dictate that only one black person enter the race - as seemingly the other side of town is able to do. My thinking is that if we focus on ramping up the black turnout, then the black community will gravitate towards the one black candidate it thinks can best serve the black community and also win the race. Time will tell.
Thanks for contacting me.
Eric E. Vickers.