GOLDMAN: Will Virginia Democrats speak truth to Gov. McAuliffe?

Posted at 12:21 PM, Mar 04, 2014
and last updated 2014-03-04 12:52:25-05

RICHMOND, Va. – Dr. King said those of us who had made history had an obligation to always speak truth to power.

Twenty-nine years ago, a Democratic Governor and his allies did not want an African-American on the statewide ticket. They believed it would sink the party in 1985. I knew it to be a phony excuse hiding the self-evident other reason.

But when no other white person with the necessary skill set would help Doug Wilder get his inalienable rights as a Virginian, I agreed to run his campaign at considerable financial cost.

The Democratic establishment did not much like it, but we beat them for the nomination fair and square. The book “When Hell Froze Over” tells some of the tale.

Today, Governor McAuliffe wants Dwight Jones as the new Democratic Party chair.

For years I have heard criticism from Democrats about my strategy to overcome racial discrimination in statewide politics. They said I could have done it an easier way.

Twenty-nine years later, these folks get to put up or shut up.

The majority of Democrats in the state – allegedly – support marriage equality.

As I wrote for the Washington Post recently, I don’t see where our laws, much less historical religious and family tradition, should force us to get a government-issued marriage license in the first place.

When the first British citizens arrived in this country, they did not need a government marriage license. Those Native American already here did not use marriage licenses either. It never occurred to people.

The government marriage license originated as revenue raiser.

Mayor Jones does not support gay marriage, thus he is against the government recognizing such marriages.

Or put another way, apparently Mayor Jones believes only heterosexuals should pay the marriage tax/fee necessary to get the required government marriage license. He is apparently polishing those “anti-tax” credentials to run statewide in 2017.

This has Democrats around the state upset.

Personally, I would be more impressed if these Democrats objected to Mr. Jones for the new Party Chairman due to his failure to properly address the educational and other problems faced by poor African-American children in our city and their parents.

But that is too much to ask these days.

The Democratic Party Central Committee not long ago elected a chair actively opposing President Obama’s efforts to stop certain educational practices “destroying black neighborhoods” according to the NAACP.

I wrote about it, so did Lowell for Blue Virginia.

Jim Webb agreed with us, he said these same practices ripped-off veterans. National groups did also, as the data produced by Democrats in the U.S. Senate showed how these educational practices additionally hurt single moms, Latino teenagers, and working families struggling to make ends meet.

We got no support from the Virginia gay community, civil rights community, need I go on?

So, why this furor over Mayor Jones and gay marriage?

Mayor Jones said he will support gay marriage when a court said it was lawful.

I did not need anyone to give me permission to buck a Democratic Governor and the Democratic State Central Committee to get African-Americans equal rights to be on the statewide Democratic ticket. I had to manage the effort to make history not once but twice, so I know something about bucking the establishment.

Truth is, the McAuliffe-Jones-Gay Marriage furor is easily fixable and I will be shocked if it is not fixed.

But this will still leave the poor children in Richmond no better off.

Hopefully someday this situation starts equally bothering Democrats, and gets them to follow Dr. King’s wise advice.

Paul Goldman is in no way affiliated with WTVR. His comments are his own, and do not reflect the views of WTVR or any related entity. Neither WTVR nor any of its employees or agents participated in any way with the preparation of Mr. Goldman’s comments.