Black candidates disprove stereotypes

On Tuesday, mayoral elections took place all over the United States. Emphasis was put on particular elections because several large cities had black candidates.

Houston, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Cleveland, Detroit, Austin and Minneapolis all had black candidates.

Though they did not all win, the fact that they’re strong candidates in these large cities is an accomplishment for all blacks.

Once upon a time, there were only one or two black candidates in well-known cities running for a political office.

Those “few and proud” blacks were put on display throughout the news media as unlikely political candidates.

If they won, it was a surprise. If they didn’t, it was no big deal.

Times have changed, though, slowly.

Atlanta was guaranteed to elect a black mayor. Mayor Bill Campbell stepped aside. Two of the three candidates expected to take Campbell’s place were former city chief administrator Shirley Franklin and candidate Council President Robb Pitts. Shirley Franklin ended up winning the race and avoiding a run off by fewer than 200 votes to become the first female mayor of Atlanta.

With Atlanta’s population being almost 70 percent African-American, there was no doubt that a black would be in office.

Detroit and Cleveland have a strong black population also, Detroit, 63 percent and Cleveland 44 percent, respectively. State Rep. Kwame Kilpatrick, an alumnus won the mayoral race in Detroit making history by being the youngest mayor in Detroit history. He’s 31.

Cleveland tried to have back-to-back black mayors, but Raymond Pierce could not defeat Jane Campbell who is now the first female mayor in Cleveland history.

Exploitation of blacks through the media has occurred time and again, especially when it comes to politics. It’s good to know that there is less, but it’s not going to stop. These black candidates are qualified, which makes them less likely to be the butt of any jokes by the media.

Because of the qualifications of these candidates, CNN and MSNBC have had nothing to say about the blacks running for mayor in these cities.

But wait.

Al Sharpton announced on the Tom Joyner Morning Show that he does plan to run for the United States Presidency in 2004.

No doubt the media will find plenty to say by then.

-Antione Davis for the Editorial Board