This weekend the Cuyahoga County (Ohio) Democratic Party held its annual dinner in Cleveland, a $200-per-plate event. This dinner is a big deal for the Cuyahoga Dems. They give out one of the organization’s most prestigious awards, named for US Representative Louis Stokes, the first Black Congressman elected in the state of Ohio. The accolade is divided into two parts. One award is for Leadership and the other for Courage.
Louis and his brother Carl played a significant role in uniting the Democratic Party in Ohio. During this period, the party was divided largely by race and ethnicity. Voters supported candidates based on kinship in immigrant-rich Cleveland – Irish, Italian, Jewish, Black Descendants of Slaves, etc. Mr. Stokes crossed these lines to strengthen the party. It was not pretty or clean. However, in the end, the Democratic Party followed his lead and came together as a much stronger party. Every Ohio Democrat owes Representative Stokes a debt of gratitude. Especially, the White Dems that can count on Black votes whether they deliver on policy or not.
At the dinner, the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party neglected to mention the history of the Stokes brothers. No mention of their contributions to the event programs. This affront was beyond disrespectful.
Insult to Injury
Enter Former State Senator and Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Executive Committee Member, Nina Turner. She and her husband Jeffrey attended the event though the Senator was very sick with the flu. Additionally, her support for Bernie Sanders has not earned her many friends in the Democratic Party, in and outside of Ohio. She may not have felt as welcome as she should.
This night Senator Turner was being honored with the Courage half of the Rep Louis Stokes Award- entirely appropriate. Senator Turner is a History Professor and is well aware of Representative Stokes and his contributions. Eric Jonathan Brewer, a friend, and supporter of the Turners reported that the award ceremony was lackluster, to say the least – another intentional sleight. They did not even mention her as a potential candidate for office in 2018 and beyond.
The manner in which the entire affair was handled became the final straw for Senator Turner and the Cuyahoga County Dems. She decided to resign her membership in the organization. However, she remains a member of the Democratic Party.
I have reported the facts as I know them. I am an opinion writer. I’m now moving on to my opinion. The rest of this article is in no way representative of Senator Nina Turner or her feelings concerning this issue, to the best of my knowledge.
The Democratic Party is imploding. They have no plan to help the average American. Dems are shunning young people (future), marginalizing their most beloved members/allies (popularity), and not supporting progressive legislation in any convincing manner (policy). They have been getting slaughtered electorally by the GOP for nearly a decade (politics). A party that is failing in policy, politics, and popularity while shunning the youth is no longer concerned with their constituents or the country, at large. They are like some of the citizens of Pompeii that were unearthed clutching their personal riches instead of family members as Vesuvius erupted. They have become entirely bankrupt, unaware, and self-serving.
Nina Turner is a progressive Superstar, and she has the ear of Millenials. The Dems have pushed away one of the few bonafide progressives that still had faith that the party could turn around. In fact, several high-profile Dems have decided to be her enemy. Some are declared, and some are behind the scenes. Nina is a brilliant, persuasive, and compelling orator. One of the very best in American political discourse. That threatens the status quo. Her genuineness and compassion are reflected in her every word and deed. She openly supports uber-popular, bold progressive policy – a no-no in the current Democratic Party.
What’s at Stake
Donald Trump is occupying the White House with a Republican Congress, and Neil Gorsuch is headed for the Supreme Court, mostly unscathed. What are the Dems doing? They are going over the cliff like lemmings. Russia hysteria has lost its luster. No matter what the FBI finds, Trump will not be impeached. That will take Congress to act.
The Middle Class is disintegrating. My community, the Black community is in economic and social collapse. This collapse is the result of deprivation and predation from American policy and practice throughout our history on this continent. I openly blame the Clintons for the role they played in post-Civil Rights Era America. Denying this means you are living in a fantasy world and I have no time for you.
Nina Turner is the best of us. She deserves the utmost respect. She has earned every bit of it. My support for her is unwavering because she is dedicated to making American lives better.
This moment has further galvanized me. I will make an announcement on Friday.