Friday, September 11, 2015

Observations and whatnot.

Nashville took my advice and voted heavily yesterday, doing what Knoxville did four years ago and Memphis and Shelby County have so far refused to do and elected a female Mayor for the first time.  And, no, I don't see this as leading to a groundswell for Sharon Webb, either.

Congratulations to Mayor-Elect Barry, who was also the first sitting Metro Councilor to be elected Mayor.  She beat David Fox, who seemed to be doing well until he started campaigning like a Tea Partier, which turned off the city in short order.  Congrats as well to Colby Sledge, who won his runoff in District 17.

So then, why hasn't this happened here?  The largest voting bloc in the City of Memphis, and Shelby County for that matter, is African-American women.  These women have gladly supported their sisters of ALL colors for legislative position, giving us great fighters like the late Lois DeBerry and Kathryn Bowers, as well as current leaders like Karen Camper, Raumesh Akbari, Barbara Cooper, and Senator Sara Kyle.

However, when it comes to electing women to Executive positions such as Mayor or County Mayor, not so much.  While it is easy to see how Carol Chumney's 2002 loss to AC Wharton in the Democratic County Mayor primary can be attributed to the excitement that Wharton would be the first African-American elected to that office,  she didn't get much help from African-American women when she challenged W.W. Herenton in his final run for City Mayor in 2007.

And if you wish to suggest that race was a factor in those elections, then what of Deidre Malone, who lost a Democratic primary to Joe Ford for County Mayor in 2010, and who lost the general election for that office to Republican incumbent Mark Luttrell in 2014?   Why can't a woman be elected Mayor in this town or county?

I am going to suggest that our African-American sisters, who vote in larger numbers, refuse to vote for women for executive positions for religious reasons.   There are black churches in this town, LOTS of them, that are to the right of Bellevue Baptist on social issues, and these godly women are simply unwilling to elect a woman to an office that they believe should remain only in the hands of a man.

Yes, I know it's 2015, and I can't go with that, but I'm not a member of those faiths.  It does suggest to me, however, why it is so difficult for a woman to achieve that office in this city or county.  Our suburban neighbors, Germantown (Sharon Goldsworthy) and Collierville (Linda Kerley) have done so, but those are mostly white, affluent cities with more liberal churches.

No, because I am NOT a major media outlet with the resources to run a poll and use that as a question (coughCAcough), I have no data to substantiate or disprove my theory, but it's the best one I have at the moment.

If you think I am full of crap, tell me so in the comments, but you have to tell me WHY.

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