How Democracy is Supposed to Work

Here’s one of Dave Wilson’s campaign flyers:

Dave Wilson Campaign Flyer

Wilson, a white man, was running for the office of Houston Community College Trustee in a predominantly black district.

Here’s local TV station KHOU’s spin:

White guy wins after leading voters to believe he’s black.

My initial reaction, when I saw the KHOU story (which didn’t show detail on the flyers on which the dispute was based) was meh. I think that “low-information” gets tossed around too much as a description of voters—we are all making voting decisions based on partial and false information—but if voters are going to choose their candidate based on race without considering their character, they’re going to get what they deserve.

After seeing the flyer (published by the Chronicle in connection  with Lisa Falkenberg’s article this morning), my reaction is even more meh. Wilson concealed the color of his skin and won because of the content of his character. That’s as it should be. When voters choose a homophobic (from the Greek ????, same, + ?????, fear) “black” candidate over a tolerant black candidate, they deserve what they’re going to get.

To suggest that Wilson won because he led voters to believe he’s black is condescending and demeaning to those bigoted black voters who, even if they had known that Wilson was white, would have chosen a prejudiced white man over a black man tolerant of homosexuality.

One response to “How Democracy is Supposed to Work”

  1. Reminds me of the candidate for judge here a few years ago. She blamed her loss in the election on having a black-sounding first name. She claimed also that her name had kept her from receiving job offers and even prevented her legal practice from thriving. Alas, she decided enough was enough and legally changed her name to Jane. Haven’t seen an update so I don’t know if the name change succeeded in helping her achieve what she felt was hindering the climb to the top. Maybe if Dave chooses to run again he would benefit more by changing his name to even better hide his race:

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