The aftermath of the Denver Mayoral election runoff race between Mayor Michael B. Hancock and candidate Jamie Giellis is still brewing with opinions, narratives and analysis. And let’s be clear, this is not to offend anyone, this is just my observations and perspective.
Early on in her campaign, the domino effect began when Giellis appeared on a Face Book Live talk show revealing she did not know the acronym for the NAACP, and then laughing about it. That was then followed with her not knowing what the mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was, which is to secure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights in order to eliminate race-based discrimination and ensure the health and well-being of all persons.
The dominos continued to fall with her scrubbing her culturally insensitive Instagram account posts, advertising a “meet and greet” fundraiser (at a Mexican restaurant) for a nacho/taco bar and lowriders conversation; and also a 10 year old tweet wondering why so many cities felt it was necessary to have a ‘Chinatown.’
Her slip-ups, reminded me of the first blunder by Donald Trump who bragged in vulgar terms about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women during a 2005 conversation. Since then, he has assembled a long record of comments on issues involving African Americans as well as Mexicans, Hispanics more broadly, Native Americans, Muslims, Jews, immigrants, women, people with disabilities, and also President Barack Obama. And he was still elected to preside at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington, D.C.
Although her “ride or die” small group of social media black male cohorts were in her corner, her dominos continued to fall with her denial of mayoral debates with communities of color, a disgruntled dis-unity team, a poorly run campaign, acknowledging that she comes from white privilege and last minute press conferences to discredit Mayor Hancock, confirming she was totally unqualifiedto run the city of Denver.
However, it does not remove my uneasiness about the campaign which was immersed with total disrespect by malicious, despicable and hateful words verbalized, interchangeably, on social media. But we soon learned that social media post does not warrant votes as many of the endorsed candidates on that FB live talk show did not win except (I think) one highly publicized race. Congratulations to Candi CdeBaca.
As a businesswoman, and publisher of an award-winning 32 year old publication, we have had our challenges. With the onset of the internet and digital advertisers, we have lost major advertisers who are also changing advertising strategies. In spite of those challenges, we have stood the test of time and kept it moving. We can’t blame them, we refuse to hold a grudge and we will not be angry. There is no room for revenge.
But, everyone has a right to their opinions, freedom of speech, and to vote. Since May 7th, we have seen us, and how they see us, from whom I refer to as the Dubious Seven (D7). However, as one who appreciates and respects the full spectrum of the human race, and one who has a Black father, sons, and grandsons, it was troubling to witness what I have recently seen and heard. We have seen a Black man vacationing in Ethiopia teaching about rich African history and culture while vilifying a Black man and encouraging his white allies to vote for an unqualifiedwhite woman running against him. We have seen two 2019 African Americans Who Make A Difference honorees trying to make a difference by endorsing an unqualifiedwhite woman mayoral candidate. We have seen a pastor standing in front of the Blair Caldwell African American Research Library talking about the importance of voting and how our ancestors died for us to have the right to vote while endorsing an unqualifiedwhite woman over a Black man running for mayor. We have a seen a pastor jeopardizing the nonprofit status of a well-respected church for standing up in support of an unqualifiedwhite woman running to unseat a two-term Black mayor. We have seen a former Black state representative, who was supported by Mayor Michael Hancock with his campaign, stand by an unqualifiedwhite woman as part of her unity team in support of her candidacy against Michael Hancock. We also have seen a Black community activist, who by the way contributed to the award-winning Denver Urban Spectrum, refer to it as a rag.
Talking Black and walking white does not sit well with me. And deep in my heart, I believe the D7 and many others knew that Mayor Michael B. Hancock was still the best candidate and most qualified to run the city. How and why did this form of “Black on Black Crime” surface?
So when they see us, how do they see us? How did they see Mayor Michael B. Hancock and why?
Twenty four years ago on June 5, 1995, my friend and fellow publisher Chris Fresquez with the Weekly Issue El Semanario, felt it was a critical time to bring the communities of color together by endorsing Denver Mayor Wellington E. Webb over his challenger Mary DeGroot.
The June 4, 2019 Mayoral runoff race was a critical election, and once again we joined forces to help unite the community and publicly endorsed Mayor Hancock. While her last domino was falling, they were being uplifted at the other end with Team Hancock, the Webb Machine, the many committed volunteers, canvassers, and the ground troops as Mayor Michael B. Hancock prevailed with winning his third term as mayor.
We have more upcoming elections, and a critical one in 2020. I hope the D7 (and the others who were quietly outspoken) revisit their values, integrity and ancestral heritage and see us through a new set of ethically-spirited eyes.
In her highly acclaimed Netflix movie, When They See Us, Ava DuVernay reveals we have historically been falsely accused and convicted by white people and a very flawed justice system for years. There is no way today, in this Black America, we should be witnessing this form of castration of a Black man from Black men.