Out With the Old, In With the Progressive

In politics there is the truth and then there is what people want you to believe. The race for the only minority seat from Louisiana to Congress is heating up and so is the manipulation. The gerrymandering of our state lines have left us with very little opportunity to be truly represented nationally, but that is a discussion for another day. The issue today is the manipulation of voters within our only minority congressional district.

Black people in Louisiana have some of the worst statistics in almost every category. We are almost last in education, healthcare, equity, pay, and the list goes on. Quite honestly politics as usual are to blame. We see the same stale set of names crossing ballots year after year. These individuals hop from position to position utilizing money from people that would leave us in the circumstances that we have always been left in. They have learned the game of manipulation well and utilize it insidiously to secure the Black vote. It is a sickening game of how can I be a career politician and get away with doing the bare minimum while living my best life on the overwhelmed shoulders of the Black voter.

I have watched politicians smile for cameras, hand out turkeys for Thanksgiving, give impassioned speeches for optics all while selling out Black voters in closed door meetings. The truth is that it means more for these politicians to stay in power and the good graces of those with money than to operate with the integrity of their voters in mind. This vicious practice has left our community without real leadership committed to the issues facing Black Louisianians. Much like Judas Iscariot they have specialized in the kiss of betrayal and use it to keep their grip on power. They even offer a discount on selling out others as long as they can cling desperately to power. People of color are then relegated to live on the scraps of the deals they cut, and the lies they have told to secure the vote.

This cannot continue to be our circumstance if we are to see real change in this state. I know for a fact that in the face of police brutality, the murder of our people by police, the disenfranchisement of the Black vote, the lack of resources making it to the Black community, and the lack of representation across government jobs these career politicians have said nothing. They have not lifted a finger to lift our collective voices. Instead they have doubled down on their silence in the hopes that they can continue to benefit off of the dollars that line their pockets and fund their campaigns. More importantly, I have seen the Louisiana State Democratic Party ruined by the political calculations of one of these individuals running for congress. No offense, but I don’t want the person that left our state party broke representing me in congress.

As I look at the slate of candidates I cannot in good faith support business as usual. If we always do what we have always done, we will always get what we have always gotten. In this case we will continue to get the leftovers from these career politicians.  As I look at these candidates the only person that has consistently stood up for issues impacting Black and Brown people is Gary Chambers. I have seen him on the ground fighting for our schools, fighting for our community, and fighting for our future. He has stood for us while the others have sat at the table and cut deals that left us out in the cold. We get one voice to lead us out of the darkness we find ourselves in. Quite honestly we need someone who is not business as usual. I am done being sold out, stood up, and left out. We must ask ourselves do we want 20 more years of the same old excuses about why change has not been made. Do we want a lion or the same old lambs?

Jamal A. Taylor, Ed.M.

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