Right now, I'm talking about a guy trying to go to Washington, DC next year. This former mayor of a Southern city thinks he can get elected to Congress because "this seat was set aside for people who look like me". Those are the words of his campaign manager. The candidate himself goes on to say that "[this campaign] is going to be about race, representation and power." (Emphasis mine, these statements have to be read in italics and bold.)
Not only is the challenger making race the most important issue in this campaign, he's reminding everyone about the real motivations behind the way we draw our representative districts. Gerrymander, indeed.
This election will be difficult for the incumbent, due to his being a:
"liberal who considered joining the Congressional Black Caucus, wrote a national apology for slavery and the Jim Crow laws, and received an “A” rating from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People."
How much of a chance does an incumbent like that have in the South, hunh? It doesn't even seem to matter that the challenger, like so many mayors of Southern cities, is facing a grand jury investigation over some questionable real-estate deals.
It just proves that far too much still rides on the color of your skin in Southern politics. Content of your character? Forget it.
Do you look like me? That's the question in Memphis, Tennessee.
(HT: Jay Bookman at the AJC)