As a lifelong Democrat and activist living in the District of Columbia, I cannot remember a time when I have been so disappointed by the Democratic Party as I was by the acceptance of the deal struck by the leadership regarding the “non-binding primary.” Probably the only people who got the message about D.C.’s being denied voting representation in Congress were the people who voted here and a handful of politicos who paid close attention.
On the other hand, I should not be surprised, since this is the same Democratic Party that has mimicked its national counterpart by rolling over on major legislative issues at the local level such as health care, school vouchers, and even the repeal of the term-limits referendum. The voice of the people just doesn’t seem to matter.
Your reference to the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and its fight to be seated at the convention (Loose Lips, 1/16) will always remain one of the greatest moments in U.S. political history. D.C. has missed a golden opportunity to educate the nation, and perhaps even the world, about the injustice of taxation without representation and how that translates into colonialism at the hands of a country that touts democracy to the world. We were best positioned to bring the issue of voting rights centerstage and before the world just as Fannie Lou Hamer did. But again, the local leadership folded.
The DNC’s move to dictate to the District how and when we should make a statement on behalf of our plight is, to me, just another example of outsiders running our affairs. Have we become so polite as to allow ourselves to be treated as doormats.
Thank you, Loose Lips, for revealing the truth about where our so-called leaders really stood while we were having our rights negotiated away one more time.
How proud I would have been to see our delegation at the convention next August, demanding to be seated and treated with the dignity both political parties continue to deny us here. I dare say, a great victory would have resulted and that 70 percent of the people around the country would have finally been informed that democracy does not live in D.C.