I was told by white women on several occasions that white people, particularly white women, would not vote for me in a race with a white woman and last night proved them right. Taken aback by such comments, I pondered what about me, in 2018, would cause white women not to vote for me a third time when they have voted for me twice already, in 2014 and 2016?
Is it the misconceived stereotype that black women are angry? Not as friendly as I am and as much as I smile.
Is it the implied notion that I should run my race like a "good candidate" and "maybe" white women will choose me over a white woman? This is not the 1800's.
Is it because I speak openly about race, racism and race relations and I may offend white people when I do? Yes.
Does this mean that I should not tell the truth about why my opponent ran against me in a Primary Election when she more than likely voted for me twice herself? No.
In Georgia's Primary Election last night there were major victories by minority candidates, particularly, Stacy Abrams, Democratic Nominee for Governor. However, many minorities faced defeat. Why did I face defeat in Georgia's 40th State Senate District? For two reasons: a "white backlash" to my open discussions on race, racism and race relations and the exploitation of my labor.
My race last night was the result of a "white backlash". A negative response of white people to racial progress. I was a black candidate that spoke openly about race, racism and race relations and that unnerved White Democrats and Republicans. I was no stranger to having candid conversations on social media with my white co-host, David. David spent several decades studying the concept of "thinking and acting white" and its affect on American systems and American society and we used these conversations to "acknowledge the divide" and call for racial"solidarity".
My race was also the exploitation of my labor. My opponent seized the opportunity to run against me knowing that my black skin would be used against me in a race against her. My opponent had no regard that I challenged the incumbent twice, garnering 37% in 2014, 43% in 2016 and was only 7% away from winning the General Election. My opponent, who probably voted for me twice herself, used her privilege and the historical hierarchy of white women over black women.
My opponent also leveraged her support inside of the Democratic Party. How do I know: In 2017, I received a personal phone call from a Legislator. In this phone call, the Legislator shared with me that my opponent was asked to run in Georgia's 6th Congressional District race, a seat vacated by Rep. Tom Price. However, when Democratic Candidate, Jon Ossoff, entered the race, my opponent was asked to get out of the 6th Congressional District race and was promised support in whatever race she ran.
Even though I lost my race last night, I am proud of my efforts. There is a lot of work to be done in Senate District 40 and my campaign shed light on that. Last night was a disappointment in the progress that we needed to make in Senate District 40 but I will continue to work to build bridges.... And of course, I will continue to speak truth to power!