Ain’t the White Man’s…(You know?!)
Politics. Don’t you love it! As ya’ll know former state Representative Polly Williams recently announced she will not seek reelection to her 10th district Assembly seat, which includes parts of Glendale.
Many are running for Polly’s soon-to-be opened seat such as Milwaukee County Supervisor Beth Coggs, Stephanie Finley, Ieshuh Griffin and others.
But it is newcomer Griffin who so far is grabbing all the headlines in the race. Griffin, who is running as an independent candidate, is finding it difficult to get her name on the ballot.
The reason? The way Griffin wants to be listed on the ballot in the September primary elections. You see, an independent can choose how they want to be identified on the ballot sheet, thus helping him or her separate themselves from their more recognizable opponents.
You see, she wants to be listed as: “I Ain’t the White Man’s B@#$%!”
It’s very clear to me what she’s trying to do. She’s trying to identify herself to the voters as a candidate of the people who is receiving no support from special interests groups, nor does she want to be beholding to any of them.
Though Americans have Freedom of speech and the right to place herself on the ballot with her slogan she wants placed on the ballot to identify herself.
But the state Election Commission doesn’t see it as a freedom of speech issue, rejecting her ballot-listing request.
I am not sure I would use Griffin’s choice of words as part of my campaign statement. But I support Griffin’s right to use and express herself in a manner of her choosing, because her speech is governed by the U.S. Constitution.
The state Election Commission and its director, Kevin Kennedy, is—in my opinion—out of order in denying Griffin the freedom of expression she wants to exercise as an American citizen.
It has always been my understanding that it is up to the voter to decide if they agree with a candidate’s platform, not the Election Commission. So why is the commission involved in this matter?
Griffin followed the process and she hasn’t murdered anyone. So why are they attacking her freedom of speech?
I’m sure many young people understand what she is saying. Every generation has its unique way of communicating that does not fit the standards of society. In the 60’s hippies had their own form of communication. Many burned the American flag and their bras as a free speech exercise in protesting the war. Isn’t this the same kind of expression?
Many of the pundits are shaking their heads at the whole issue while at the same time recognizing her right to express herself.
I-Witness’s concern here is that Griffin is being denied her right to free speech. It is not up to the Election Commission to make the decision as to whether her political statement can appear on the ballot or not. It is up to voters of that district as to whether they would want someone to represent them with a campaign slogan: “I Ain’t the White Man’s B@#$%.”
If we don’t stand-up and defend Griffin’s free speech rights today, you and I could find our selves in the same boat as the candidate, whose only “issue” is her right of free speech being denied by politics. It can start with being denied freedom of speech, than it moves to denying freedom of movement.
The remedy to the whole situation: Allow Griffin to be placed on the ballot using the as she selected and let the voters decide. It’s the way the constitution was intended.