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Monday, June 3, 2013

Wanted: Alabama Democrats: I Do Not Want to Hear One Word of Complaint About Dr. Joe Reed. Not One.

Wanted: Alabama Democrats: I Do Not Want to Hear One Word of Complaint About Dr. Joe Reed. Not One.
 Reed has one thing in common with Justin Bieber: everyone seems either to hate him, or to love him.
I would like to thank fellow Blogger Publiux X for this succinct summary of what the situation is at present and for the factual information about the inner workings of the Alabama State Democratic Executive Committee.  Speaking as someone on the outside looking in, it separated fact from fiction, and cleared up a lot of preconceived notions/ misconceptions.

I don't hate Reed, or anyone else for that matter.  Hate was a "bad word" in my house growing up.  I couldn't even say I  hate spinach, much less someone.  Growing up during the turbulent Civil Rights era my parents embraced the non- violent philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who preached that hate was just a cancer.  They taught me there is a difference between hating someone, and strongly disagreeing with their point of view or their actions.  In other words, they taught me to hate the action(s) not the person doing the action(s).

I don't love Reed.   What I love is the body of work that represents his advocacy for minority representation, i.e black folks, in Alabama. 
In 1975, Joe Reed led the efforts to get equitable representation for blacks on the Montgomery City Council. His efforts resulted in four blacks of nine being elected. He served on the Montgomery City Council for 24 years. In the Democratic Party today, Alabama’s black representation exceeds all other states in the nation. For over 40 years he has led the effort to get more blacks elected and appointed to public office, including federal marshals, federal and state judges, members of the boards of registrars, legislators, county commissioners, city councils, and school boards. He drafted two plans that increased black representation in the Alabama House of Representatives from 13 to 27; and in the Senate from 3 to 8 in 1982, and 1992, respectively. He also drew a reapportionment plan that provided for 25% (two of eight) majority black districts on the State Board of Education. Alabama is the only state in the nation where the Legislature reflects the state’s population of blacks and whites.
Prior to reading this post I was under the impression Joe Reed stacked the decks and controlled the SDEC and manipulated and intimidated his cheerleaders  but that's not exactly true.  Joe Reed is the effective leader of a strong, unified, voting block.   Looking at the current roster of the SDEC there are no blind followers or cheerleaders  in that bunch.  If they didn't agree with Dr. Reed and what he was doing they wouldn't vote support him.
Reed had almost all of his troops present Saturday, and still only produced 90-95 votes on the typical issue. There is every chance that he can be outvoted if 200 or more members (including the Reed group) grace us with their presence, and engage in the slightest degree of organization and planning.
To Joe Reed's credit he's a good Cat Herder.   And therein lies the problem for those who want to dilute the power of Reed's coalition.  My question is why would they want to dilute the black representation within the ADP?  Ain't we a democrat too?  Don't we all support the same agenda?  Aren't we all working towards the same goal?
I will tell both sides of that fight, that we cannot beat the Republicans without the votes Joe Reed and his supporters represent.
One thing I give republicans credit for, they don't eat their own.  They stand by their guy or gal no matter what .  They are unified. They keep their eyes on the prize.   Much like Reed and his bunch.
In a touchy-feely sense, the SDEC is not “the Party.” The Party consists of the hundreds of thousands of working Alabamians who share our belief in public education, equality, and the value of human dignity over corporate profits. But in the eyes of the Democratic National Committee, and in the view of the Code of Alabama, the SDEC is “the Party.” 
 I will close by offering a sincere apology to someone I consider a friend for something I wrote  which they took extreme offense with to the degree they have severed our friendship, or what I thought was our friendship. This is what I wrote:
According to some democrats (and I use that term loosely) If Joe Reed would step down and take all of his cheerleaders with him eventually others would step up to lead the Alabama Democratic Party   and the ADP will have awesome, qualified, dedicated people coming out of the woodwork to step up to leadership positions including Chair & Vice chair of the ADP as well as candidates for office.
We all say things in the heat of moment, and I admit I can give as good as I get, but this is one of those times  when I didn't consider the impact of my words.  This person is a big D Democrat in every sense of the word, and I shouldn't have implied, or questioned their loyalty and dedication to the party.  What I was trying to say in my own clumsy way was  let's test the theory that Joe Reed is what is wrong with the ADP.  It was never my intent or my desire to hurt or do harm.   Although they have told me to never contact them again, I want them to know my door and my heart are always open.  It is my firm belief that tolerant people can agree to disagree. 

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