Let me go on the record to say I have no first-hand knowledge of Ben Chavis. For all I know, he could have been the guy Democrats in North Carolina need to save the day. Whether he is that guy or not, however, has become moot. His nomination fatally tarnished by the lack of a transparent process.
It will be tempting for some to see this as a conspiracy against a long-standing black leader. That's certainly the view of Cash Michaels, who wonders out loud whether this episode should give black voters pause.
But the behind-the-scenes movement among Democratic rank-and-file members to ensure that Dr. Chavis, a veteran civil rights leader and member of the Wilmington Ten, was stopped, is something that may give African-American voters pause come the critical 2014 mid-term elections.
Mr. Michaels singled out BlueNC for contributing to the feeding frenzy. I hope he will reconsider his conclusions.
On the liberal “Blue NC” blogsite, reader comments after a story where Chairman Voller denied media reports that he and Chavis were old friends, and dismissed charges that past allegations and associations were primarily material to Chavis’ qualifications for the post, were negative.
“What really got under my skin were Chavis' attitudes toward my fellow Jews,” posted Mike Radionchecnko under the title, “An Anti-Semite Running the NCDP.” “When he was fired by the NAACP, he claimed that a Jewish conspiracy brought him down.”
Two posts down, under the title “This Would Be Wrong for the Party,” someone identified as “chambers1” wrote, “If Chavis is no longer a member of NOI, this would be the first time that has ever been stated in the media. Frankly, I want to hear him say it. The NOI has done a lot of good work for the black community but nothing can excuse the fact that the NOI is a virulently anti-Semitic organization ... "
Without commenting on the substance of their claims, something about which I know nothing, I'll point out that I have no knowledge of either Radionchencko or Chambers1. And like any other of our community members, they in no way speak for BlueNC.
Our community thrives on transparency. We engage in full-throttled debates. We discover the messy truth by digging in until we get to the bottom of things. BlueNC is not part of any conspiracy, and certainly don't represent any wing, moderate or otherwise, of the dysfunctional Democratic party.
I was arrested on June 3 for participating in a Moral Monday protest. I fully support the NAACP and the fusion politics that is taking hold in North Carolina right now. I am happy to stand beside Cash Michaels. I hope the same is true for him.