The Black Politico

Orlando politics and more -- from a black perspective

Why I’m Not With Kamala in 2020

“Kamala Harris is articulate and a Democrat.” That’s the argument I hear from those trying to convince me Kamala Harris should be the Presidential nominee for the Democratic Party in 2020.

Having Kamala Harris on a ticket looks good.

It appeals to the lust we have for choosing candidates of color assuming those candidates will look out for the greater good of our communities because we assume they can identify with us.

But can they? Can they really identify with the 1-2% of America that is fighting to make America best?
My opinion is absolutely not.

To those who voted for Donald Trump because they felt he could identify with them are confused about the gap between the rich and the poor. Their six-figure salary does not put them in the 1%. Many of us don’t even quite know what the 1% really is.

The income inequality is not even half the battle. To dangle a racial and/or feminist carrot in our faces is insulting. In April, the Los Angeles Times wrote, ‘We can’t afford to be purists, Senator Kamala Harris warns Progressives.’

That statement alone is insulting. Progressives are often described as purists and radicals but that is far from the truth. The Civil Rights era was sparked by the injustices Black people endured in America. The dog attacks, the water hoses, the police brutality and excessive force, lynchings and the systemic racism that went along with all the physical abuse is just a glimpse into a description of why Rosa Parks, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King were Progressives, or as some would call them, Democratic Socialists.

When a group of people stand against police brutality and murders of unarmed people, that is not being a purist that’s being a realist. When Progressives fight for single-payer health care, that is not being purist that is being actively involved in the basic human rights of human beings.

Progressives have fought against Wall Street corrupting political campaigns which influence our elections and when those campaigns flop, Progressives are then asked to rev up that energy again but this time the ones calling Progressives purists are asking Progressives to fight against Russia for influencing our election process.

That is purely hypocrisy and undemocratic. Progressives aren’t asking to be pure. They are asking to do exactly what Democrats have preached and put on paper for so long, yet haven’t done.

Progressives fought for a $15 minimum wage while the Democratic Party fought against it and voted it down. Progressives fought for free college while the Democratic Party laughed at the concept. Now, there is a tuition free college in New York. In addition, the Democrats in Congress voted against an amendment establishing protections for pensions, they voted against a carbon tax amendment, against an amendment banning fracking, against an amendment to block the use of eminent domain for fossil fuel extraction, against an amendment to make climate change a test for building pipelines, against an amendment for single payer health care, against an amendment to specify mechanisms on making health care a right, against an amendment to oppose any use of force in the Syrian conflict and against an amendment calling for the end of the America’s exportation of fracking.

If Progressives are called purists, then Democrats should be called Republicans.

It actually bothers me to not stand with politicians of color. It hurts to the core. But, I cannot be with any person that is not with the 99% of us and that goes for Kamala Harris, too.

What Aramis Ayala is missing about the death penalty

Four young men were killed in Philadelphia by a confessed murderer named Cosmo DiNardo and his cousin Sean Kratz. Most Americans watched as law enforcement surrounded the area where the bodies were buried but how they found those bodies is even more intriguing.

DiNardo agreed to cooperate with police if prosecutors would take the death penalty off the table. So, they used the death penalty as a negotiating tool to get a confession and to locate the bodies of the four men. DiNardo even confessed to two other murders he committed when he was 15 years old.

DiNardo lured two of the four men to a 90-acre farm which his parents owned where they met his cousin, Sean Kratz. Two of the men got out of the truck to discuss a marijuana sale and when they turned their backs, DiNardo pulled out a .357 Smith & Wesson handgun and shot them. He added their bodies to an oil tank that had been converted into a cooker where he had dumped another dead body just hours before. He then set the bodies on fire although they did not burn.

Without the death penalty being an option, police and the families of these men may still be wondering what happened to them. The community would still be on alert and  murderers would still be on the loose.

In the Ninth Judicial Circuit in Orange and Osceola counties in Florida, State Attorney Aramis Ayala made a blanket policy that her office will not seek the death penalty in any case during her administration.

In an interview with WFTV Channel 9, Retired Chief Judge Belvin Perry said, the Governor is going to get tired of snatching cases from Ayala “on almost a weekly basis.” Perry is right. While every case involving murder does not warrant the death penalty the death penalty can be used as leverage as well to solve crimes and a seasoned prosecutor would know that.

Unfortunately, the reality we face is a scary one and history shows murders that warrant the death penalty happen all across America, all too often. Reasonable people can agree the death penalty is highly controversial but no one person can make the decision to enforce it or not to enforce it. That is done by our legislators and Ayala took their job away from them by making the announcement in March that she will not seek it on any case, present and future. That is not prosecutorial discretion. That is a policy that supersedes the blueprint, which is the law.

What is also bothersome is the dragging of other professionals for her decision not to pursue the death penalty. Attorney Roy Austin defended her before the Florida Supreme Court and ruined his reputation in the eyes of some, for doing so. Unfortunately, a host of other professionals’ careers are also on life support as a result of her decision.

Top 5 dopest and “wokest” actions white guys have taken to eradicate racism

Before you judge me for writing about white people, do know that I typically write about the experiences and accomplishments of Black people. However, I would be remiss to not acknowledge the good that people who are not Black have lended to the struggle. Therefore, in this commentary, I’ll top off the 5 most “wokest” and “dopest” things white men have done to help put racism on the sidelines in America.

  1. Matthew Cooke’s documentaries and his film shorts – Cooke took America by surprise when he launched his documentary, How to make money selling drugs in America which highly criticized the war on drugs. He further helped some Black people understand their rights under the law by releasing short films that explained what to do when stopped by police. Among other shorts, he introduced, Survivors guide to prison, Racebaiting 101 and How to get a bad cop fired. Cooke helped many realize, just because we believe something is immoral or unethical doesn’t mean it’s not lawful.
  2. Royce Mann’s poem – Last year, this 14-year old white boy took to the stage in a poetry slam to recite a poem he and his friend wrote titled, White boy privilege. In his poem, he shamed America by apologizing to Black people, Native Americans and more. Near the beginning of the poem, Mann said he loves his white privilege because when he sees a police officer he sees someone that is on his side. He says, it is embarrassing that we claim to live in an equal country but we don’t give anyone that is not a white man a chance to be equal.
  3. Senator Bernie Sanders – Not only was Senator Sanders arrested fighting for equality for Black people but his life’s work has been a consistent struggle for equality for people of color and the poor. He was chained to a Black woman in the 1960’s, fighting against segregation. He fights for health care, civil rights, economic equality and so much more. The fire in Bernie Sanders was felt by so many people during his campaign for President that he packed arenas and streets with people who wanted to hear and agreed with, his plan for America. In this America, some wanted to feel what democratic socialism is like. They called it, “The Bern.” Now, Sanders has truly started a Revolution that is inclusive of all who want to fight against the injustices we see in our everyday lives.
  4. Mark Ruffalo – This white man does not back down. He is an actor, an activist and a filmmaker and uses his voice to fight for the voiceless. Some criticized Ruffalo for referring to Blacks as “these people” during the Oscar’s. Others think that misstep was a teachable moment. However, Ruffalo threatened to not attend the Academy Awards because of their lack of diversity in their awards. He continues to fight against racism and criminal justice reform and said, “The entire American system is rife with a kind of white privileged racism that goes into our justice system.”
  5. Tim Wise – A wise man, indeed. Tim Wise has given over 600 speeches speaking out against racial injustice. An anti-racism activist and author, Wise put pressure on companies to stop doing business with the South African government during apartheid. Among others, Wise is the author of, Colorblind: The Rise of Post-Racial Politics and the Retreat from Racial Equity, White like me and The Pathology of Privilege: Racism.

Open letter to Governor Rick Scott about State Attorney Aramis Ayala

There’s a letter floating around that is drafted to the Governor of Florida from some who say they are sick and tired of the politics of Aramis Ayala. The recent traffic stop by The Orlando Police Department that she calls racially motivated is making it’s rounds on social media, with the help of Orange and Osceola county taxpayers, and has actually been posted and supported by activist and Journalist Shaun King.

Below is a copy of the letter. Tell us your thoughts.

Dear Governor Rick Scott:

As a registered voter of the Ninth Judicial Circuit of Florida, I ask that you suspend Aramis Ayala from office and request the Senate review that suspension for impeachment.

While reasonable people can disagree on the death penalty as a policy issue, an elected official who swore to uphold the laws of the State of Florida should not be allowed to unilaterally cherry-pick which laws she will or will not follow. We ask that you remove her immediately and appoint someone of high legal stature, like the former Ninth Circuit Chief Judge Belvin Perry to take her place.

Aramis Ayala helped to disenfranchise over 500,000 voters that reside in Orange and Osceola counties during her election and she did not run on the platform of not enforcing the death penalty therefore she is not a duly elected officer of the court.

Helpful Source:

Ayala has spent over $1.4 million of money from George Soros to unfairly call her opponent, Jeff Ashton, a racist. Now, she has taken $17,000 of our money and paid a Public Relations firm to unfairly do the same to you for rightfully taking 24 death penalty cases from her. As aware and active voters, we take this kind of deception very seriously.

Helpful Source:

We also ask that you investigate her husband, David Ayala, and the money from George Soros, that was filtered into his non-profit organization which is supposed to help restore the rights of violent offenders.

Helpful Sources:

Finally, if the Supreme Court sides with you in the lawsuit she filed against you, her position will likely be to say she’ll look at each case on a case by case basis and decide if it is worthy of the death penalty. After her press conference in March and as a result of her own words, we do not believe she would have an epiphany and somehow now enforce the law.

Please do not let us down. We look forward to your action on this matter.


One of the 500,000 disenfranchised voters of Aramis Ayala

Sheriff Jerry Demings announces his candidacy for Orange County Mayor

Last Friday, Orange county Sheriff Jerry Demings announced his candidacy for the seat of Orange county mayor. Amongst a crowd of supporters and elected officials, Demings said, “I am overwhelmed by the tremendous show of support.” Demings continued, “after much prayer and deliberation and with the support of my family, I’m excited to announce my candidacy for Orange county mayor for the 2018 election cycle.”

U.S. Congresswoman Val Demings, introduced her husband putting her support behind him saying, “you all saw him during the time when four hurricanes, four, came through Orange county and he really led the response effort and recovery effort.” Demings was Sheriff not only when Orange county faced hurricanes but also when the Pulse tragedy happened last year.

Demings was first elected Sheriff in 2008 and was re-elected in 2012 and 2016. He was also the first African American Chief of Police in Orlando.

Current Mayor Theresa Jacobs will term out next year leaving the seat open for Orange county’s next new Mayor.

Many speculate who will run for Demings’ seat as Sheriff. Demings said he’s talked to some potential candidates for his seat but he declined name or to endorse anyone. There was some talk among the crowd that Orlando Police Chief John Mina is seriously considering a run for Sheriff.

Campaign rules require candidates to step down from seats such as Sheriff in order to campaign for another elected position. Demings said he will step down from his seat as Sheriff at the end of the year. However, the announcement formally put any other candidates thinking about running for the seat on notice and confirmed rumors claiming Demings would run.

Demings has spent 36 years in public service and tops the chart currently as the most experienced and recognizable candidate in the race to date. The primary election is scheduled for August 28, 2018 and the general election is set for November 6, 2018.