So much for the Era of Post-Racialism.
A pair of black professors has admitted authoring a memo outlining how and why black voters should make their mayoral candidate choice based on skin color.
A memo circulating on the Internet and amongst voters in Atlanta is drawing a dividing line in the race for Atlanta’s next mayor.
The letter, asking voters to support Lisa Borders because she is “the best black candidate in the race,” warns that “for the first time in 25 years, African Americans could lose the Mayoral seat in Atlanta, Georgia, especially if there is a run-off.”
It also states “time is of the essence … in order to defeat a Norwood mayoral candidacy.” Mary Norwood, a white candidate, is said to be the front-runner. “We have to get out now and work in a manner to defeat her without a runoff, and the key is a significant Black turnout in the general election,” the letter stated.
The full memo is here. This is the concluding sentence:
At the end of the day, when the morning comes, a black agenda would better enable us to have our interests respected by and our influence realized in any administration.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution spotlights the two professors who co-authored the report and are defending their analysis:
William Boone, one of two Clark Atlanta University professors who claimed authorship of the memo on Monday, will address the media at 10 a.m. at Paschal’s restaurant.
In a statement issued Monday afternoon, Boone and fellow CAU professor Keith Jennings blasted the media for misinterpreting the context of what has become known as the “black mayor first” memo. Boone repeatedly declined to talk to the AJC in advance of his press conference.
“News coverage to date of an analysis presented to the Black Leadership Forum has been incendiary and misleading,” the professors wrote…
…Boone and Jennings shot back Monday calling claims of racism “patently false” and a “red herring,” because they were presenting, “views that have been articulated in various parts of the community.”
“We stand by our belief that ‘a black agenda would enable African American interests to be respected by any administration,’ ” they wrote. “The interests of African American voters are just as legitimate as other Atlanta voters, and the notion that we must apologize for highlighting those interests is absurd.”
And I’m so very sure they’d be the first to defend a pair of white professors who wrote up a memo about the “white agenda” and strategized about how to rally voters behind the strongest white candidate to defeat non-white politicians.