The Union Recorder


April 16, 2014

BARNES: Local voices displeasure with Kidd

MILLEDGEVILLE — It is disappointing to hear that Rep. Kidd has interjected himself in local politics by forming a consolidation committee. His tactic is right out of the 1970s rural-southern political playbook called “The Classic Good Ol’ Boy Power Play.” This power play tactic has three main elements. First, it must have a name that can expend a great amount of political capacity to quell any public challenge; do so at your own risk! We have that in the Kidd name. Secondly, you must communicate the inevitability of what said name is championing. Rep. Kidd communicated the predetermined outcome when he spoke of the consolidation bill being introduced in 2015 to assure it is on the ballot in 2016. Either Rep. Kidd is a great prognosticator or consolidation being passed in the council and commission is a forgone conclusion. Finally, you must communicate “a sense” of inclusivity: This “Kum ba yah” effect is designed to outwardly display a fake, diversified cooperativeness tempering any public outrage and magnifying community-apathy. Let’s not forget it’s already a forgone conclusion so any committee participation is symbolic at best. Yep, “The Classic Good Ol’ Boy Power Play” is what’s going to allow this consolidation referendum to be placed on the 2016 ballot.

I would be remiss not to speak to Black American leadership who are participating with Rep. Kidd. The opportunity for Black Americans to be elected to local public office has only been realized in my lifetime, so there is still great historical significance. Though you might have little respect for the Black Americans who presently holds the office, you should have great respect for the blood, sweat and tears sacrificed for the office to be held by them. This is why I am grieved that you decided to participate and/or endorse Rep. Kidd’s “Classic Good Ol’ Boy Power Play” and its degradation of duly elected local officials, including Black Americans. It seems you have forgotten this same tactic has been used against Black American locally for generations and is still affecting our socio-economic mobility. Your participation with Rep. Kidd is akin to the oppressed joining forces with the oppressors with the hope of sitting at their table of influence. Have you already forgotten just one decade ago the City Council decided to change its charter; it was without a citizen-vote. This included then Councilman Ken Vance. Now, on a very similar issue he has switched positions, and that does not give you pause?

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