In what may be the most disturbing, but also the most telling election that happened last week, a white candidate won his district by pretending he was black. No, this is not an attempt at farce.
David Wilson won an election to the Houston Community College system in a predominantly black district by pretending to be black. He sent out a couple of misleading mailers that never claimed that he was African-American, but they did feature black actors. One of the mailers also claimed an endorsement by Ron Wilson, who happens to be a famous local politician. However, the Ron Wilson endorsement was not the famed local leader, but the cousin of David Wilson.
Some are crying foul because of these uses of misleading advertising, like Mr. Wilson’s opponent who called the campaign “disgusting” and “tried to answer the mailer with his own fliers showing Wilson’s face, calling him a “right-wing hate monger” and saying he “advocated bringing back chain gangs to clean highways.” But the campaign clearly caught him off guard. “I don’t think it’s good,” he said. “I don’t think it’s good for both democracy and the whole concept of fair play. But that was not his intent, apparently.”
Have we really come to this? A candidate’s skin color playing a part in their election? Perhaps just as maddening the very idea that an entire district of people may vote with so little information as to elect a candidate without knowing anything about them? Have we become so polarized that people walk into the voting booth and blindly cast their ballots for the person who sent them the best flyer?
I don’t know if this story should make me laugh or cry.
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