Good Morning Everybody!
This is one of those days where I have more to say than I have time to say it so let me jump right in. In just a moment I wanna tell you about some brilliant Black candidates for Governor & Lt. Governor across the country, but first I need to give you some updates on a few new stories.
I’m very proud to announce that New York’s Governor just signed a new bill creating the first commission in the nation holding prosecutors and district attorneys accountable for their misconduct. When we think about the thousands of men and women who’ve been wrongly convicted for crimes they didn’t commit, most of us think about corrupt cops, but The Innocence Project determined that the #1 cause is not corrupt cops, but corrupt prosecutors. Cops are a close second. This new bill is revolutionary and we hope it will be a model for the rest of the country.
Switching gears just a bit – late last night the courageous students of the University of North Carolina toppled a disgusting Confederate statue on their campus known as “Silent Sam.” This statue was erected during the height of lynching by friends of the KKK as an act of power and intimidation. It should’ve been removed generations ago. It’s shameful that it took students to do this. Today is the first day of class at UNC and students determined that this needed to be done before classes began. Two quick thoughts. First, I hope it stays down. Second, students need to be given a pass for this and should not be expelled or arrested. They did the campus a major service. I’ll be watching closely.
Something truly amazing is happening across the country right now that I want to talk about for the few minutes we have left.
As it stands right now, we don’t have a single Black Governor in the entire country. Not one. And we wonder why we aren’t seeing the policies we want, the reforms we demand – it’s because we aren’t in power, but this year can truly change that.
If you have not heard, the State of Georgia has a chance to make Stacey Abrams the first Black woman to ever be elected Governor in the entire history of this country. And right now she’s actually tied in the polls against a corrupt, Trump-supporting Republican named Brian Kemp. He’s disgusting. Stacey is a world-class leader. I’ve known her since she was a student leader at Spelman College and truly believe that she can win. She’s special. I truly believe that she could be President someday, but first, we must help her win in Georgia.
But it’s not just Stacey… my friend and brother Andrew Gillum is running for the Democratic nomination for Governor in Florida. Andrew is the great mayor of Tallahassee and is just a wonderful leader and person. Early voting is starting now in Florida and the primary there is in just a few weeks. He’s neck and neck with several other Democrats, but we need folk all over Florida to show up for Andrew!
One of the reasons we don’t have any Black governors, is that until earlier this year, we didn’t have any Black Lt. Governors – and now because of the elections Sheila Oliver in New Jersey and Justin Fairfax in Virginia – we have several. And that position is a launching pad for people to eventually become Governor. It’s no guarantee, but it’s generally important for a person to have won a statewide election before they become Governor – so the fact that we’re winning races for Lt. Governor is essential.
And in Wisconsin, a 31 year old Black man named Mandela Barnes, yes he was named after Nelson Mandela, won the Democratic primary for Lt. Governor last week and is now the Democratic nominee for the position. The brother is brilliant. He was one of the youngest people ever elected to the state legislature in Wisconsin and he decided like Stacey Abrams decided in Georgia and like Andrew Gillums decided in Florida that they weren’t going to wait until someone gave them permission – they were going to run right now.
These upcoming elections, as well as elections for hundreds of Congressional seats and other positions, I think make 2018 the most important election year in a very long time – not just because it will give us a chance to stop Trump in Congress, but because it will give us a chance to truly have some political power on the local, state and national level. Because right now, we’re struggling and need to see some change.
I’ll close with this thought – are you registered to vote? Are you sure? I’d advise that you check your status today. You can go to Vote.org and check your status in 30 seconds. Go ahead and do that now so that you aren’t surprised later.
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Shaun King: Here Are Your Black Candidates For Governor was originally published on blackamericaweb.com