Following the logic of some in Philadelphia’s black political class, it would seem Ed Rendell is in possession of the black political birthright.
How many black political birthrights exist in Philadelphia? Where do they come from?
Does each black person in Philadelphia get one at a certain age, and is it exclusive to a certain class?
More intriguingly, if there is only one black political birthright, as implied in an Op-Ed penned by local businessman, Mr. Bruce Crawley, than how is it that Mr. Jim Kenney, a White former City Councilman turned mayoral candidate, is in possession of it when it seems it was already given to Mr. Ed Rendell in the early 1990’s by the late State Senator, Mr. Hardy Williams, father of current mayoral candidate, State Senator, Mr. Anthony Hardy Williams.
Senator Hardy Williams endorsed Mr. Rendell, though at the time there were three black mayoral candidates running: Mr. Lucien E. Blackwell, Mr. James S. White and George R. Burrell Jr., who said, in response to Mr. Kenney receiving the endorsement of State Representative, Mr. Dwight Evans and other black leaders, that officials were undoing the work of former political leaders such as Bill Gray and David Richardson “who fought to create a place at the table of political power for the African-American community.”
State Rep. Evans said he endorsed Mr. Kenney because of his opposition to stop-and-frisk and his support for decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana, a historic feat that Mr. Crawley doesn’t think was all that impressive.
Senator Williams, when explaining his reasoning for endorsing Mr. Rendell in the 90’s, pointed to his record and plan for fighting drugs in the city, and “making communities safe again.”
The Philadelphia Daily News wrote that Senator Williams’ endorsement of Mr. Rendell was “another indication that the black community, after two decades of struggle for empowerment, is deeply fractured.”
Senator Williams responded by stating that black empowerment had taken place in the city via the election of Mr. W. Wilson Goode, Sr., who was the first black mayor of Philadelphia.
“We sit at the table of power. That chapter started and ended. Now, we have a right – just like anybody else – to pick and choose just like anybody else,” Senator Williams added.
State Rep. Evans seemed to have adopted the same thought process, as he dismissed recent criticism, saying “I don’t believe anybody is giving up any seat at the table. I think we’ll all be at the table.”
Following the logic of the late Senator Williams, hasn’t black empowerment taken place after 16 years of a black man in the Mayor’s Office?
Following the logic of Mr. Crawley, hasn’t the black political birthright already been given away?
And lastly, following my logic, doesn’t all this drama and disagreement among black people show why there’s no singular black agenda?
History has shown time and time again – just look at Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – that there’s no black political agenda, only political agendas put forth by black people; which, more often that not, differ dramatically.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, I’m Flood the Drummer® & I’m Drumming for JUSTICE!™