By Luther Winn, Jr.
The African American and Hispanic communities have reached an impasse in regards to the Alabama Democratic Party. A metaphorical pitchfork in the road of sorts….with questions before the Democratic Party that must be asked, such as: Where do we go from here? Is this the party for us? Do we stay with this party or do we abandon this party? I am hoping that the latter is not an option.
However, in order for the Alabama Democratic Party to represent communities of color and all Democrats, changes must occur…changes in leadership and changes in strategies on how to become a functioning effective party, once again. The Democratic Party’s inability to produce strong candidates for which to compete for key positions in the state has allowed the Republican Party to dominate Alabama politically. 35 percent of Alabama’s population cannot continue to go unrepresented in the higher courts and in our state elected offices. The Alabama Court of Appeals are made up entirely of Republican judges which includes the criminal and civil courts of appeal, as well as, the Alabama Supreme Court. These offices are decided in the primaries and not during the general elections.
It is my belief that since the Democratic Party’s collapse in 2010, it has failed to adequately recover. However, the party cannot continue to survive in Alabama without courageous leadership and leadership who can bring forth candidates that can win our state back from under this current corrupt leadership of the Republican Party.
And from where I am sitting, the very fact that the Republican Party is currently in leadership, should be an affront to every individual who believes that a candidate should have integrity and that justice and fairness should be the rule of the day.
Every Alabamian, no matter the party, should be embarrassed by the display of political corruption and hypocrisy that is slowly becoming the norm from our Republican leaders: Luther Strange’s sealing indictments of his agents, Bentley and his antics, Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore being removed off of the Alabama Supreme Court, and the burning at the stake of former House Speaker, Mike Hubbard. Law abiding, fair minded people in general should demand more and want more from their leaders. The time has come for the Alabama Democratic Party to step up to the plate and make a difference to all Alabamians. There must be an alternative to what the people are currently getting.
For instance, Luther Strange recently announced that he will be running for the U.S. Senate. The Alabama Democratic Party should be in a position to bring forth a highly qualified candidate that has the ability to run against Strange for this position. Moreover, the Democratic Party must understand that by failing to present a democratic challenger to this particular Republican, it is sending a message specifically to the African American communities in Macon, Greene and other counties that it is not capable of standing up for their interests. For you see, for Strange to go unchallenged would be as if the Democratic Party was rewarding a man who has shown no regard for justice and fairness, whose ethics are very questionable, and who takes it upon himself to decide who should and should not be prosecuted.
Case in point: the perjury case of his agents in Greene County. Strange’s agents were indicted by a grand jury but instead of allowing them to be prosecuted as was called for by the law, he squashed the indictments and sealed the records. Actions that have been endorsed by a silent media. But on the other hand, he commends himself for the indictment and subsequent prosecution of Mike Hubbard and now seeks an indictment against Gov. Bentley. If there was ever a time for the Alabama Democratic Party to show strength and leadership, the time is now because by failing to do so thousands of Democratic voters are displaced. By failing to provide good strong leadership, the Alabama Democrats and especially the 35 percent of the population that are not represented must ask the questions: ……Where do we go from here?
Is this the party for us? Do we stay with this party or do we abandon this party?
Luther Winn, Jr., is CEO of Greenetrack, Inc.