MOSS-TRAINED BRUNSWICK, GAProject readers might be interested in an example of how voter suppression and denial of voting rights has allegedly occurred down along the Georgia marshes where I once roamed. The following paragraph is taken from an online source: "Brunswick is a small port city on the Atlantic Ocean of about 17,000 people, some 70 percent African-American, who are mostly poor. Just across the marsh are St. Simon's Island and Sea Island, where the G-8 summit was held in the summer of 2004. Both islands are home to some of the wealthiest people in the U.S., particularly Sea Island, which is a privately owned resort."
However, as I was checking a few facts, I discovered that Brunswick is 59.8% black, 33.1% white non-hispanic, 5.8% hispanic, and nearly 4% other. Median house value was rated at $61, 200, and median household income was $22,272. Outside the county seat of Brunswick proper, Glynn County, which includes the islands mentioned in the article the numbers do change dramatically: population 70,356; whites non-hispanic 68.9%, black 26.5%, all others just over 5%. Median household income came in at $38,765, while median house value did rise to $114,500.
These two sets of figures dramatically alter the perspective the author was trying to urge on readers at Workers World.
True. Elaine Brown, former chair of the Black Panther Party, moved to Brunswick in the fall of 2004 after participating in the protest activities earlier that year at the summit. There has never been a black mayor in Brunswick. Although the port creates enormous wealth, conditions for the majority of the residents are appallinglow wages, deteriorating housing, few social services, polluted water and air, et cetera.
Probably true. Brown decided to run for mayor and conducted a grass-roots, door-to-door campaign, explaining her campaign platform of channeling the resources of the city into raising the standard of living for the majority. She especially opposed a multi-billion-dollar "improvement" plan, backed by Sea Island Corp. and other monied interests, to tear down the entire black community in the downtown area and build expensive condominiums, apartments and houses. Over 400 volunteers canvassed the neighborhoods. Brown spoke at more than 70 churches. Discussions were held in bars, neighborhood centers, and on porches about what the community needed.
Probably true. Just weeks before the Nov. 8 election, two people came forward to challenge her residency in Brunswick: a white businessman, friend of the current mayor, and a poor African-American woman. Neither of them had ever met Elaine Brown and said they didn't know each other, yet both were represented before the Election Commission by the same high-priced lawyer.
True. The Glynn County Board of Elections decided that Brown had not lived in Brunswick for a full year, even though she had registered to vote on Nov. 4, 2004, at her Brunswick address.
True. Brown's name was removed from the ballot. The board ordered that any write-in votes would not be counted. A week later an appeals judge sustained the disqualification without comment.
Partially true. Then on November 7, one day before the election, a federal judge ruled that write-in votes for Brown would be counted. The next day, the election was held in Brunswick, Ga. There was a low voter turnout. Brian Thomas, the Sea Island candidate and proponent of the "redevelopment plan," won. This is what "democracy" looks like in south Georgia.
Perhaps this is what democracy "tends" to look like in south Georgia by those who don't see a larger picture (like most far left liberals today). The fact is other vital details have been left out which may or may not account for the election fraud of the Brunswick "white boy network." Ms. Brown ran as the Green Party candidate, often a stumbling block for "carpetbagging" candidates who rush into a new locale sensing opportunity without having read much of the small print. One suspects the Green Party is not an established route to public office in Brunswick, GA, and therefore Ms. Brown may have faced legal techicalities which her supporters such as Workers World may have simply ignored.
As a DC resident for nearly 25 years, I know that new or fringe political parties here must file signatured and ratified petitions, meeting all deadlines to be considered a viable ballot option, and those same parties must maintain a certain number of votes over a certain number of election cycles in order to remain a viable party in good standing. Is it not possible that this "small print" was the primary snag in her Green Party entrance into Republican turf, instead of the vicious conspiracy of rednecks and confederates that Ms. Brown and her supporters paint.
On her own website Brown posts an open and hopeful letter she wrote for the San Francisco Bay View where she calls on clemency and apotheosizes convicted felon and Crips gang co-founder Stanley Tookie Wiiliams, who nevertheless was executed on December 13, 2005 in the California electric chair despite a mass protest to have Gov. Schwarzenegger spare his life.
And in that same letter she trots out all the usual martyrs from the hey day of the BPP, Bunchy Carter, John Huggins, Fred Hampton, Bobby Hutton and Huey Newton, several of whom were gunned down by rival gangmembers and the usual arguments about local police oppression and CIA complicity in the black communities to shore up her roster of sympathies while adding George Bush to her list of contemporary enemies. I suppose the governator has made her list now.
Okay. Fine. Dandy even. But most of these unfortunate events Ms. Brown embraces with a rather obvious longing took place over forty years ago, a fact that seems lost on a generation that seems to seek perpetual war rather than dedicating new resolve to focus on moving forward. We could start by playing by the rules as we find them and winning by them instead of whining and pleading oppression and bigotry at every turn. Notice that Ms. Brown does not refrain from using race-loaded language in describing her opponents.
Comprehend this. The world is unfair, and a lifelong struggle for most of us, of whatever race or creed we imagine ouselves. Hell, I feel victimized nearly every time I step into the streets to stretch my legs or when my health suddenly takes a strange turn and I can't get doctors to give me the time of day, but to suggest that I am being singled out EVERY time I face a hardship, is radicalized faulty thinking, and bad religion.
While it happens often enough (think Massachusetts native Robert F. Kennedy in NY, Hillary Rodham-Clinton carpetbagging in NY, Chicagoan Jesse Jackson in WDC), it always stuns me that voters would even consider someone who moves into their locale just to make an opportunistic run for public officeanyone but a carpetbagger unworthy of one's support. This is the true scandal in this news story, in my humble opinion. But then again, I'm not black, and I'm not running for public office. As they say, politics makes for strange bedfellows.