Trevor Otts, chair of the Fannie Lou Hamer Poltical Action Committee, released the following statement today whacking the Washington Post for an editorial on June 11th that called for a return to the white political bosses of the past in order to stem corruption in Prince George’s County.
An Open Letter in Response to Editorial entitled “To Restrain Corruption, Bring Back the Honest Political Boss”
“You’ve been had, you’ve been took,” a quote from Malcom X in 1964 that describes the actions of the White power structure in America with regard to the plight of the Black community. The Washington Post editorial by Robert McCartney on June 11, 2011 entitled “To Restrain Corruption, Bring Back the Honest Political Boss,” seems to resurrect fantasies regarding how best to govern Black communities in 2011 in the state of Maryland.
Why do we need a White overseer to provide direction on how Black people should govern themselves or who should be in the position to govern? Does McCartney think that Prince George’s County is a plantation and that productive legal and responsible government comes from stern, harsh treatment? The concept of a “Political Boss” is tantamount to 21st Century slavery and a hybrid of the South African apartheid system.
If you think I am using hyperbole or that I see racism in McCartney’s editorial, then I quote Malcom X further. Malcom X states, “They got this thing called gerrymandering where the White power structure fixes it so that you’re voting for nobody.” The reason this quote is relevant today is because I believe the White power structure in Maryland, through its slate system, does not support one person one vote and therefore when you vote, you are limited in your choices.
The Fannie Lou Hamer – Political Action Committee supports 141 single member house delegate districts independent of the 47 Senators in Maryland. Under this structure, every citizen in Maryland will have one vote for one delegate and be free from the “political operation” of the State Senators who rule as “Political Bosses.”
There is fear that Maryland, now being 45% minority, that single member house of delegate districts will translate into 69 delegates representing communities of color. Why is it okay in the state of Virginia to have single member state representative districts, but in Maryland, state house representatives need to be under the control of a “political operation,” which translates into the State Senatorial Slates. These State Senatorial slates are similar to 21st Century Jim Crow in promoting a White Agenda for the White communities in Maryland. If you think I am being to harsh or you think I am being unfair, why did a Montgomery County Police Union official threaten a Black Women County Council member, by implying that Police officers with guns and picket signs are a dangerous combination (Washington Post, June 2, 2011 – Montgomery Council President Alleges Threatening Comments by Police Union Chief). Is this action by the police union an example of “Political Bossism?”
Further, watch the racial battle that is going to go on in Montgomery County regarding the creation of three to four majority minority legislative districts. Montgomery County is majority minority. The eight senators in Montgomery County are White. Will McCartney’s next criticism of a Black community be Montgomery County because they seek one person one vote and greater minority representation? Will McCartney suggest that Montgomery County will travel down the same road that Prince George’s County did with a fair and responsive political system that reflects the majority minority community in Montgomery County?
Mr. McCartney, Are you part of the problem or are you part of the solution with regards to Black and Brown Political empowerment in Prince George’s and Montgomery County? I close again by quoting Malcom X, “We’re being hood winked, we’re being bamboozled, and we’re asked to be subservient to a White Political structure that does not have our communities’ interest and needs as their primary objective.”
Trevor Otts, Chair
Fannie Lou Hamer – Political Action Committee