Some folks have been up in arms that a white guy filed objections to the nominating petitions of two Black men for village trustee.
I’m far more concerned over the information objector Kevin Peppard uncovered on Anthony Clark and Chibuike Enyia, regardless of whether or not it disqualified them from the ballot. The information Peppard uncovered should disqualify both men from getting the vote of any citizen who cares about character and competence.
Chibuike Enyia’s attorney publicly acknowledged Enyia entered into a “deferred judgment plea” in which he was ordered to pay a $2,000 fine and sentenced to three years of probation for delivery of a controlled substance. Because of that, “a felony judgment [wa]s never entered.”
Enyia actually had the gall to label Peppard’s objection “false and defamatory.” Effectively saying, yeah, it quacks, and sure, it waddles, but don’t you dare call it a duck. The electoral board didn’t, and allowed him on the ballot.
Clark, who I understand has two master’s degrees, testified to his misunderstanding of the rather simple concept of “residence.” As in where one resides. He was also confused by the question “Where do you live?”
It was all a misunderstanding, Clark told the electoral board. If he was being truthful, what does that say about his basic reading comprehension and language skills? We already know he has poor financial management skills.
I’ve voted for many Black politicians, so I don’t give a hoot about people thinking I’m a racist or not “woke” enough because I engage in legitimate discrimination based on candidates’ character, requisite experience and past behavior.
There’s not that much difference between those who would never vote, no matter what, for a candidate who is Black and those who will vote for a candidate, no matter what, because he is Black. While the first case is flat out racist, the second isn’t any more commendable than Irish candidates winning races for decades because they were Irish and connected to the political machine.
Apparently some people need to be reminded that Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream was of a day that his children would be judged by the content of their character, not that society would bend over backwards to make excuses for their bad behavior and mistakes.
Some people confuse civil rights with civil privilege, and elective office is just that, a privilege, not a right. This isn’t about denying the rehabilitation of people with criminal pasts or shaming people who have mishandled their finances. It’s about choosing the best people possible to oversee our public treasury and governance.
Those who believe that social justice and the long, frustrating march toward genuine civil rights somehow involves overlooking past criminal behavior or obvious financial irresponsibility and false statements, are mistaken.
People of any race or gender who aspire to public office should be capable of conducting their own affairs properly and effectively before they presume to be ready to represent others. If some folks see that as racially motivated, that says far more about them than it does about those who rightly demand a modicum of demonstrated accomplishment, competence and good judgment in our elected officials.