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How Democracy is Supposed to Work

Here’s one of Dave Wilson’s campaign flyers:

Wilson, a white man, was running for the office of Houston Community College Trustee in a predominantly black district.

Here’s local TV station KHOU’s spin:

White guy wins after leading voters to believe he’s black.

My initial reaction, when I saw the KHOU story (which didn’t show detail on the flyers on which the dispute was based) was meh. I think that “low-information” gets tossed around too much as a description of voters—we are all making voting decisions based on partial and false information—but if voters are going to choose their candidate based on race without considering their character, they’re going to get what they deserve.

After seeing the flyer (published by the Chronicle in connection  with Lisa Falkenberg’s article this morning), my reaction is even more meh. Wilson concealed the color of his skin and won because of the content of his character. That’s as it should be. When voters choose a homophobic (from the Greek ????, same, + ?????, fear) “black” candidate over a tolerant black candidate, they deserve what they’re going to get.

To suggest that Wilson won because he led voters to believe he’s black is condescending and demeaning to those bigoted black voters who, even if they had known that Wilson was white, would have chosen a prejudiced white man over a black man tolerant of homosexuality.


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