Let the games begin!
Longtime readers know that I rarely write about city politics. I’m making an exception because my last nerve is already being worked.
I caught the news coverage of candidates filing to run for Mayor and was struck by a comment made by the incumbent, Mayor Slay.
"I am concerned that my opponent will play the race card and otherwise be divisive in this campaign," Slay said. "I never have and I won't be involved in that kind of effort."
Mayor Slay is white.
Alderman Reed is black.
And yes, water is still wet.
Nothing works my nerve like someone injecting race into politics through use of the term “race card”.
I can’t stand it…hate it…wish it go away and take the foundation of dismissing racism it rests on with it.
St. Louis is a city with a long history of racial tension. I love this city, but it is what it is…and trying to ignore reality is a big part of why that reality hasn’t changed.
Now, you know and I know that you know that I know there isn’t any way in hell this campaign is going to go forth without race being an issue. Mayor Slay basically guaranteed that race would be front and center with his nifty little passive aggressive “race card” comment.
The goal of most “race card” comments is to box a person of color into a corner…get them to either not address race at all or to address it defensively which tends to turn off white voters who fear black politicians are incapable of representing anyone other than black people.
I’m betting some minion weighed the risk of turning off black voters by implying that we respond like dogs to a whistle when any candidate of color throws down the mythical “race card” and decided Slay’s campaign could take the percentage hit.
Mayor Slay might as well have announced “in case you missed it, Lewis Reed is black…blackety, black, BLACK!” dropped the mic and then skipped back to his office.
And that takes me back to St. Louis city and our long history of racial tension.
Slay’s comment actually acknowledges that history…his bait about the “race card” requires the existence of racial tension or it wouldn’t make a lick of sense.
I suppose manipulating the electorate based on racial tension is far easier than being a catalyst for change.
Anyhoo, I seriously doubt Slay is going to hold office by trying to define the President of the St. Louis Board of Alderman as a mere race candidate.
That dawg ain’t gonna hunt!
Or maybe Mayor Slay misspoke.
Could this have been a verbal malfunction?
Maybe he was trying to say that he was concerned his opponent is going to play the “Rex card”!
***rubs hands together***
I’m totally down with a nice multi-month discussion of why so many St. Louis city politicians are BFFs with a fabillionare who wields more power than any one man should and who thinks public schools were designed by the KKK to hold black students back!
Oh wait…my bad…that discussion would require acknowledging and talking about the “money card”.
I do love this city…I do!
Tis out of love that I call bullshit on the “race card” comment and suggest all candidates for Mayor talk about the serious issues on the table and in need of discussing.
We can’t let Kansas City’s most recent mayoral race show us up, now can we?