Blexit or primary dropouts? (Nov. 28)


I’m a registered Democrat, but I loathe the Democratic Party. I hated the poor high school I attended, too, but what was I supposed to do, run with my emotions and Blexit?
Blexit is a term popularized by Turning Point USA’s communications director, Candace Owens, a 29-year-old Black woman. Turning Point USA is a conservative nonprofit organization whose mission is to identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote free market principles, fiscal responsibility, and limited government.
Blexit is a play off the term Brexit—Britain’s exit from the European Union, and Owens is encouraging Black Americans to exit from the Democratic party.
Owens said, “For decades, the Black community has been in an emotionally abusive relationship with the Democratic Party. Our fidelity to leftist politicians coupled with our false belief that larger government might facilitate solutions, has led to the overall collapse of our families, neighborhoods, and incidentally, our futures.
Blexit is for those who have taken an objective look at our decade-long allegiance to the left and asked ourselves, “What do we have to show for it?…We are also more than a voting bloc. We are Americans first…and we will work to piece back together our broken communities—absent overreaching government structures, absent handouts, and alongside our American brothers and sisters.”
Owens has a legitimate complaint, but her generalizations aren’t new.
In 1983, a Black woman named Elizabeth Wright launched a newsletter called Issues & Views. Wright described Issues & Views as “a Black conservatives place for independent thinking and common sense—a little oasis for those who got caught up in the momentum of the civil rights movement, but failed to discern the false from the true.” The newsletter also existed, “To counter notions of victimization and collective entitlement prevalent in the Black community (and) challenge ideologues who misused ‘civil rights’ in order to deny basic rights to others and impose politically correct mandates.”
I started reading Issues & Views after I graduated high school. The same poor high school I said I hated, but I didn’t Blexit. That would have made me a high school dropout, and, as much as I understand Owens’ complaint, I can’t Blexit from the Democratic Party, either.
Let me explain.
Serious voters vote in every primary and general election. Office holders are either going to be Democrats or Republicans. I live in a closed primary state. That means I have to register with one of the major parties to participate in their primary.
I live in a borough that is predominately Black and Democratic, it’s also the same borough I grew up in. That means I happen to know Mrs. So and So running for school board and Mr. So and So running for borough council and so forth. In order to support the people I know I have to be affiliated with the same party as the candidates.
In small borough politics every vote is imperative. I’ve seen borough council seats decided by less than five votes. If I Blexit I can’t help the candidates I know win the primary, and the primary is the de facto election in the borough, because the Democratic primary winners normally go uncontested in the general election, and even if they are contested, the Republicans lack the numbers to mount any serious opposition.
So, if I Blexit and change my party, I would officially be a primary dropout, and that goes against the adage, “all politics is local.”
(J. Pharaoh Doss is a contributor to the New Pittsburgh Courier.)
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