Blacks in Florida must form coalitions to get the vote out in 2014
By Roger Caldwell
Perry Thurston lost to George Sheldon as the Democratic candidate for the position of Attorney General, because his strategy was to not run as a Black candidate. In 2014, it is not politically expedient or politically correct to acknowledge that you are a Black man or a Black woman in a campaign. Since Black folks do not know that a Black candidate is running for office, they don’t educate themselves to vote Black.
Floridians would like to think that they are smart politically, but when only 15 percent of all registered voters vote in a primary, they do not understand the power of voting. There are 2.5 million registered Black voters in Florida and only 3 percent to 5 percent of voters voted in the primary. The reason Perry Thurston lost was because he refused to use a Black strategy, and Black Floridians don’t understand why we must all be in, for every election.
Black Floridians must take a page from our history, and remember our trailblazers died, were water hosed, lynched, and their homes bombed for the right to vote.
Black candidates forget why they are able to get on a ballot, and now to them politics are color-blind. But race still matters in Florida, and the KKK is now the new Tea Party, and Blacks must not forget their history.
In the sixties, there was a movement called Black Power, and we organized and mobilized Black communities to register and vote. Black candidates begin to win offices on a national, state, and local levels, and things begin to change. As Blacks begin to take control of cities, more Blacks received administration positions, and more Black businesses received government contracts and some are now millionaires.
Somewhere in all the hoopla of Black political power, NAACP, Urban League, Black Lawyers Organizations, Black MBA, 100 Black Men, and the Black Churches are now more divided and fragmented than ever before. In 2014, Black politicians want to run a color-blind campaign, and they have forgotten their history.
In 2014, it is time that Black Floridians return to their roots, and practice Black Political Power. It is absolutely terrible that only 3% to 5% of the Black community voted in the Florida primary, and our political leaders must not let this happen in the mid-term election. There are sixty days left before the mid-term elections and Blacks must get engaged.
Thaddeus Hamilton is a Black Democratic candidate running for the position of Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services. This is a powerful position in Florida, because the individual sits and votes in Florida as a cabinet member. Thaddeus Hamilton can win if Blacks in Florida get the vote out in 2014.
Every Black pastor in Florida must educate its congregation each week why they should vote in the 2014 mid-term election. Every Black organization and business must form coalitions and at least 50 percent of Black registered voters must vote in the election. Search out and find credible Black candidates in Florida in 2014, and practice Black power.