Thursday, January 17, 2008

Austin politics. If I may.

I started blogging in late 2007 after months of being cajoled into being the designated chismosa in our political family. I received lots of encouragement from some of the best in the biz, and even from some of our favorite elected officials. There are lots of blogs out there that mirror the isolated worlds of so-called progressive bloggers. I prefer to identify them as boys, the boys who think they know it all and who are devious enough to censor opposing viewpoints instead of addressing them on their little bitch-ass blog.

But because they are boys, they are given instant credibility. They are linked to the major market newspapers and some even staff legislators in their spare time. Of course, I'm talking about a certain little shit-colored blog based out of Austin and the boys on that blog who think it's okay to target Democratic women of color to further their ambitious political aspirations.

Let's back up for a moment and remember that Interstate 35 has historically been the boundary segregating African Americans and Latinos in East Austin from the rest of the city. Austin likes to pretend that it is some type of liberal utopia, but in reality, Austin is very much a white city that resists the creation of public policy that would, in theory, increase the numbers of African Americans and Latinos in local government. Austin City Council Member Mike Martinez has led the recent push for the creation of single-member council districts that would mirror the various communities in Austin.

Sounds like a great idea, right? Not so fast. The Austin political establishment, i.e., the white folks, don't particularly like this idea because "Austin is diverse and we all get along and what's the big deal, anyway?" Translation: It's past dark and you're on the wrong side of 35.

There have been incidents of racial violence in the past couple of years, calling attention to the underlying tensions between communities in Austin who all seek to hold onto and expand on whatever political clout they've gathered.

And now, two Democratic women of color are being targeted this primary season in the most cynical of campaigns. Nelda Wells Spears is the veteran Tax Assessor - Collector being pestered by Glen Maxey, and Rep. Dawnna Dukes is being challenged by some guy named Brian Thompson. Yeah, she's a Craddick D, but hey dumbass, Craddick loyalists are dropping like flies, and you better have something else up your sleeve because you're an outsider.

You are part of the problem, buddy, not the solution.

What's the problem? Dawnna Dukes was born in that District, has represented it for much of her adult life and delivers for her constituents. The people of East Austin are being encroached upon through gentrification and higher property taxes. They have little political clout to exercise and yet, two gay white men are seeking to eliminate two African American Democratic women from their communities.

I understand all's fair in love, war & politics, and anyone eligible has the right to file for elected office - and primaries are how we pick our standard bearers in the Party. But let's put it all on the table and call it what it is. Austin is not as liberal or as inclusive as its "progressive" residents want to believe. Glen Maxey and Brian Thompson are not seeking to increase the participation of people of color in the electoral process. If they did, then neither would be successful in his primary bid for office.

Oh. Wait...

1 comment:

Sal Costello said...

Dukes is a crook, who ignores her constituants, while she gets NO BID toll road contracts for her family.