by G. Brown
In Charlotte N.C., the mayoral race has reached the TMI stage—not ‘too much information’ but ‘too much ignorance’. Candidate Kimberly Paige Barnette lists among her qualifications she is ‘Republican’, ‘Smart‘, ‘Traditional‘…and oh yeah, ‘White‘. Now given the fact that she added ‘White’ as one of the reasons to vote for her, it calls her second qualification of ‘Smart‘ into question.
Barnette listed these reasons to vote for her on her Facebook page, but later took it down. She didn’t scrub the post before someone managed to grab a screen save of it…
The post brought the candidate a lot of attention, but not the kind she was expecting. So when fellow party members openly criticized and denounced Barnette’s “vote for me I’m White” platform, she doubled down on dumb and offered up this defense–“I’m not prejudice. I do not judge other people. Other people judge me. What is the difference? I say I’m white. Others describe themselves as example transgenders. Are they labeling themselves?”
Barnette’s “I’m White, I should win” platform has lessons for us all—especially future politicians. Lesson #1 when trying to prove that you’re not a racist, a bigot or prejudice don’t start off your defense with “I’m not prejudice.” That sounds a lot like ‘Some of my best friends are Black people.’
Lesson #2 Don’t lapse into the ‘poor me, I’m White and people don’t like me’ pity party. Maybe Barnette should open a paper, read a paper or watch any news that is not FOX to see what’s really happening in the world.
Barnette did apologize she was sorry if she offended anyone….IF? Barnette apologized because she was called out on her post. She knew it was offensive or she wouldn’t have deleted it. The “If” inserted in her apology has a subtle undercurrent that says ‘I’m not really sorry, but I’m being forced by public outcry to offer this insincere apology to make me look like a fair person who cares.’
Lesson #3 Banrette’s third lesson is this–an unfortunate choice of words doesn’t make you racist. A slip of the tongue, a freeze of the brain happens to us all. But Barnette has managed to have a few slips of the tongues which now establishes a pattern of thought and a foundation of behavior and beliefs. For instance, Barnette said in a recent debate, “I don’t think we should encourage more lower-income people to [move to] Charlotte. We should attract higher-income people.” Oy…no a slip of the tongue doesn’t make you a racist. Being a racist makes you racist. Thinking that the color of your skin makes you better than someone makes you racist. Thinking that being White qualifies you for political office, or a better job, a better home, a better life is the same as thinking being Black, Latino or Asian disqualifies others.
Barnette seems to walking in that same misguided path as White supremacists, Alt-righters and others emboldened by the Trump victory. They confuse standing up for themselves with putting others down. They falsely see this as a season to ‘take back their country’ when they forgot where they got it and that we all live here and its our country.
Lesson #4 And here’s Barnette’s final lesson…pandering to White supremacists and racists may have worked for Trump, but don’t count on it working for you. How could I possibly know this? Because Barnette is polling far behind the other two contenders in the race and doesn’t really stand a chance of winning. Voters cast ballots next week.