September 16, 2010

DC voters: Adrian Fenty: Not black enough; Michelle Rhee: Extremely not black enough

From the Washington Examiner, on the Democratic mayoral primary in D.C. between the two cafe-au-lait candidates, young Obama-like incumbent Adrian Fenty and aging hack challenger Vince Gray, which turned out much like Obama's loss to Bobby Rush in the 2000 Democratic House of Representative primary.
The Democratic primary results were clear: Mayor Adrian Fenty lost because black voters didn't like him.

Granted, Fenty's campaign was troubled from start to finish. His closest advisers say he didn't listen to their calls to apologize to the public for running a brash, and closed administration months before he dropped his first apology in early August. The apology tour that ensued was far too late.

But at the end of the day, with campaign failings aside, Fenty won't have a second term because he lost a big part of his base by running a four-year race for results with blinders on that left black voters feeling as though they were being left behind. The sagging economy only served to worsen the effect.

Fenty's "lack of communication exacerbated fears of gentrification in the black community," the mayor's campaign Chairman Bill Lightfoot told The Washington Examiner.

The city's black majority wards on the east side of the Anacostia Rive helped push Fenty into office in 2006, but in 2010 they combined to give 82 percent of their vote to challenger D.C. Council Chairman Vince Gray. Fenty picked up just 16 percent of the vote in Wards 7 and 8.

In the city's two whitest wards in Northwest, Fenty took in 76 percent of the vote to Gray's 23 percent.

Gray also dominated in predominantly black, yet rapidly gentrifying Ward 5, picking up nearly 76 percent of the vote. The race was closer in more racially and economically mixed Wards 4, 6 and 1.

The 2010 Democratic primary could go down as the last in which the city has a black majority. By 2014, population trends show, the District will likely have a white majority for the first time since the 1950s. In Tuesday's vote, the rapid demographic change pitted old residents, who are mostly black, against new residents, who are mostly white.

Also, Fenty's decision to make Korean-American Dragon Princess Michelle Rhee boss of the schools and the face of his administration struck the white guy national reporters as smart and sexy. But Korean-black relations aren't always so hot, as this video from LA's Koreatown in April 1992 recalls.

43 comments:

Geoff Matthews said...

Isn't Rhee shacking up with former NBA wunder-guard Kevin Johnson (yeah, he was good)? I'm sure I read it somewhere.
If so, would black women hate her more for that?

asdfasdfasdf said...

I visited Washington three weeks ago. Other than the Smithsonian, what a dump!

Anonymous said...

IT'S true! They're engaged.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Johnson

Anonymous said...

FU asdasdfasdf... and get a real moniker you queer. DC is still a tourist mecca. The mall is pretty sweet and also...... well FU anyway



Dan in DC

jody said...

yeah, they're getting married.

she has two kids from a previous marriage, also to a guy named kevin.

she gots the hots for kevins!

Sylvia said...

Korean-American Dragon Princess Michelle Rhee

Probably not fair to judge from pics, but something about her seems 'off' to me.

Tom said...

I live in northern VA and usually treat DC politics as a source of amusement, but I admit I was taken aback reading this item by a Washington Post columnist. The amount of racial animosity is striking coming from someone writing in the Post.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/15/AR2010091506240.html

Anonymous said...

Isn't Rhee shacking up with former NBA wunder-guard Kevin Johnson (yeah, he was good)?

Wasn't Kevin Johnson at the heart of the Gerald Walpin controversy?

BTW, Michelle Rhee is 41 years old, with zero biological children so far.

That's just about exactly the Total Fertility Rate that you'd expect from an average college-edumakated Pacific Rim Asian chick pretty much anywhere in the world today.

PS: Rhee has no degree in education or psychometric theory or any useful classical subect [math, physics, chemistry, english, history, etc].

Rather, her BA is in government, and her Master's is in Public Policy - i.e. edumakashun as just another appendage of The Beast.

guest007 said...

All of the elite white progressives who keep claiming that blacks, Hispanics, and third world immigrants will eventually act like white middle class Americans should pay attention.

To blacks in DC, extracting wealth from the district is more important than better schools, a functional foster care system, lower crime, and repaired city streets.

The white boys are just going to have to learn that the only way to get blacks to vote for white progressives is to give the blacks exactly what they want.

Novaseeker said...

She was loathed broadly among blacks in DC long before the KJ thing, but, yes, that revelation cost her almost 100% of the black female vote. Nothing black women hate more than eligible, upwardly-mobile black men like KJ dating/marrying "out".

josh said...

To be fair, my masters program in education actually may have made me dumber.

Felix said...

There is a real tragedy here: another Asian chick lost to the white race. Personally she's way out of my age range, but it's the meta-rejection that hurts. lol.

Dahinda said...

"But Korean-black relations aren't always so hot, as this video from LA's Koreatown in April 1992 recalls."

The weird thing about this is that in some parts of the country the statement "Their relations aren't always so hot" would mean that they aren't really mad at times. In the part of Illinois that I moved to, they would have said that the blacks and Koreans are hot, meaning that they hate each other and want to fight.

MQ said...

PS: Rhee has no degree in education or psychometric theory or any useful classical subect [math, physics, chemistry, english, history, etc].

She also has only two years of classroom teaching experience. She departed for administration as soon as she could.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

Rather, her BA is in government, and her Master's is in Public Policy"

I.e., she is a professional parasite.

Mr. Anon said...

"Anonymous said...

DC is still a tourist mecca. The mall is pretty sweet and also...... well FU anyway

Dan in DC"

DC looked like a dump in 1980, the last time I was there.

DC is the imperial capital, stuffed fool of rent-seeking stooges, lackies, and thieves. A lot of us don't like your lousy city.

Peter A said...

The population of DC has been getting noticeably whiter the last 8 years. Megan McArdle's theory seems to be that black voters were, sensibly from their point of view, voting against Fenty because his very success in making DC livable is driving blacks out of the city through higher property values and higher cost of living. There's a hidden racial struggle going on here.

eh said...

Gray also dominated in predominantly black, yet rapidly gentrifying Ward 5,...

That does not compute.

Or I guess that could mean that if Ward 5 continues to 'gentrify', it will eventually not be "predominantly black".

Wanderer said...

The amount of racial animosity is striking coming from someone writing in the Post.

The Post endorsed Fenty. I don't know what the Examiner did. (The Examiner is a freebie paper, I suppose paid for by advertising.)

This was the most racially-politicized race in Washington since the Marion Barry years.

Anonymous said...

she has two kids from a previous marriage, also to a guy named kevin

Really?

Well so much for my TFR observation.

Wanderer said...

Steve, I don't think any folk-memory of the LA Riots (or of anything in California) exists among many blacks in the Washington area.

A more likely reason blacks don't like Miss Rhee is that she is an arrogant, holier-than-thou "interloper", outsider, coming in and condescending to the locals (which is basically true).

She fired a large number of DC teachers, and they have a very powerful union. That probably sealed the deal.

Wanderer said...

The Vincent Gray victory is good news, because it represents a defeat of SWPLism.

josh said...

Michelle Rhee? Not hot. Most Asian women--assuming certain basic levels of non-Margaret Cho-ism-- (altho seeing a pic of her covered in a back tatoo,and hearing that she is bisexual now,well,something to think about)--most A women have a certain amount of sex appeal just by virtue of being Asian.Michelle has that,but not much more. I do believe Fenty may have lost some IT guys' vote:nothing nerds hate more than eligible Asian women "marrying out". I have read a lot of stuff about her firing people left and right and attacking teachers(well,not physically...) she is akin to a controversial Chicago school reformer,by the name of...Arne Duncan. As test scores rise with the number of whites/others moving in,will she get the credit??

BamaGirl said...

"PS: Rhee has no degree in education or psychometric theory or any useful classical subect [math, physics, chemistry, english, history, etc]."

Lol did you just call english and education useful subjects? Even physics isn't useful but for a handful of people. People don't go to college to get "classical educations"
And government/economics/public policy is probably more useful for most college students in the current climate than all of the aforementioned subjects, except for chemistry.

Anonymous said...

Tom: The amount of racial animosity is striking coming from someone writing in the Post.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/09/15/AR2010091506240.html


Whoa - no kidding.

Some of undertones in that piece are getting pretty close to full-blown Mugabe-ism.

I wonder what Barry thinks of all this - he stuck his neck way out for KJ in the Walpin affair [and will probably be facing Congressional subpoenas about it if the GOP regains the House in November] - yet now the "authentic" negroes of DC have told KJ & Rhee to go shove it?!?

Shades of Bobby Rush and the 2000 election.

DC anonym said...

The September 15 column mentioned by Tom from Virgina is a fantastic rant by a furious (and famous) Post columnist. He is really really pissed off about Fenty and Rhee and gentrification. The column makes a gentrified reader say "whoa, that poor Rhee was doomed from the start by the pathological defensiveness of DC's community. I'm on her side."

But just two days earlier, right before the election, Post writer Courtland Milloy spent an entire column celebrating Rhee's vision. He very approvingly quotes Rhee saying what I consider to be the Great Lie of education:

[Rhee said] "Warren Buffett [the billionaire investor] framed the problem for me once in a way that clarified how basic our most stubborn obstacles are. He said it would be easy to solve today's problems in urban education. 'Make private schools illegal,' he said, 'and assign every child to a public school by random lottery.' "

Milloy then wrote an entire column about the profundity and radicalness of Rhee's vision.

So it's funny to see that on Monday in the Post a famous columnist spends an entire column celebrating the (wildly stupid) blank slate beliefs of Rhee and the bizarre totalitarian fantasy of complete government control over all children.

Then two days later, after the election, a famous Post columnist savages the arrogance of Rhee and Fenty and practically shouts Ding Dong the Witch is Dead.

It just goes to show how much any reform is up against. In order to care enought to try to reform, and in order to be allowed to try to reform, people like Rhee must say (and maybe believe in) ridiculous blank slate ideas. But even if they say and believe these crazy things, any real reform will threaten the community's sense of itself too much to be allowed.

And the strangest thing about the two Post columns? Both are by writers named Courtland Milloy.

Truth said...

"The amount of racial animosity is striking coming from someone writing in the Post."

I don't think it is racial animosity, considering the guy who lost is blacker than the guy who won, but yes, that is a simple-minded, whiney, one-sided peice of journalism.

Anonymous said...

Fenty's tragic mistake was to forget to use the Man-Tan.

I think I was in high school when Man-Tan first came on the market. No longer did you have to look pasty in the winter. Just rub on some Man-Tan.

It really worked. It wasn't subtle at all. I remember a guy who had a deep tan up to his eyebrows and a white forehead. And of course the palms of his hands were also deeply "tanned".

The tan color was actually orange so the users of the product were pretty easy to spot in school halls.

I understand that there are better products available today. Pity. Man-Tan was a source of much amusement in the day.

For about twenty years dermatologists have been warning people to avoid the sun and especially to avoid tanning salons. That seems to be turning around now that the medical establishment has noticed that most Americans have Vitamin D deficiencies. So now we are supposed to sun bathe again.

It looks bad for Man-Tan sales except for these very light mulatto politicians like Fenty. They should lather up until they can "pass".

Albertosaurus

OhioStater said...

Hmm, I'm surprised you don't spend more time discussing time orientation. I'm reading about it, and it seems we're in decline because our future-time oriented elites are being replaced by present-time oriented elites.

eh said...

OT

The White House, Office of the Press Secretary, For Immediate Release September 16, 2010,
Statement by President Obama on Income, Poverty, and Health Coverage Data Released Today


Here's part of what Obama had to say on the release of census data showing increasing poverty etc:

Our task now is to continue working together to improve our schools, build the skills of our workers, and invest in our nation’s critical infrastructure.

That's so original and inspiring, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/17/city-rejects-judges-offer-on-hiring-firefighters/?ref=nyregion

none of the above said...

Imagine having "fix the DC school system" as your job description. Alongside godawful corruption, incompetence, and entrenched bureaucracy, you have a truly horrible student population. It's 85 percent black, 10 percent Hispanic, overwhelmingly poor, and everyone with any choices at all has gotten their kids the hell out.

OhioStater said...

Your finding Obama a Puritan aside, most blacks accept Obama (white as if not whiter than Fenty) is as black a man (culture not skin color) as will inhabit the White House. However, in local races such as mayor blacks will choose a blacker candidate although this candidate is not electable to broader office. This is why Obama, ambition aside, leapfrogged to the senate as the more traditional path was blocked by his lack of blackness.

Simon in UK said...

Novaseeker:
"Nothing black women hate more than eligible, upwardly-mobile black men like KJ dating/marrying "out"."

It's funny, here in England middle-class black women quite routinely marry white men. I get the impression in the US it's a huge taboo, whereas black man/white woman is just as common as here.

Anonymous said...

This seems as good a thread as any to post this.

Cosmology, Racism, White Supremacy.

White supremacy (not mere racism) explains everything. This is precisely the sort of nonsense that Bill Ayers and Barack Obama would have sat around talking about all day/night.

Truth said...

"DC is the imperial capital, stuffed fool of rent-seeking stooges, lackies, and thieves."

Hey Anon, I can recommend a good moving company if you'd like.

Anonymous said...

What is so wrong about people wanting to elect people that look like them? Fenty does not look like most black people. Black people have been through alot and should be allowed to freely associate with whoever they dam well please.

Anonymous said...

What is so wrong about people wanting to elect people that look like them? Fenty does not look like most black people. Black people have been through alot and should be allowed to freely associate with whoever they dam well please.

Sounds fine.

Now accord the same to whites and...oh dear, we can't have that now can we.

Sylvia said...

Josh said...

I do believe Fenty may have lost some IT guys' vote:nothing nerds hate more than eligible Asian women "marrying out".

LOL!

TGGP said...

Perhaps D.C voters understand the Curley effect.

Uncle Peregrine said...

Simon said:

It's funny, here in England middle-class black women quite routinely marry white men. I get the impression in the US it's a huge taboo, whereas black man/white woman is just as common as here.

Yes in movies and tv shows from the UK, white guys seem to be hot for Black women all the time. I can't help wondering if language reflects some of the difference between the two countries. A Black person in the UK will have a Caribbean or African accent if an immigrant, but have the accent of the other members of the class and community otherwise. Black American English is a reminder of cultural differences persisting for nearly 400 years.

beowulf said...

Uncle Peregrine,

You should check out a great book from about 15 years ago, Rich Relations: the American Occupation of Britain 1942-1945.
hhttp://www.amazon.com/Rich-Relations-American-Occupation-1942-1945/dp/0679421610

The most interesting thing is how decently the British treated black GIs. As a consequence, the violent reaction of Southern white GIs to seeing white British women openly dating black GIs caused all sorts of disciplinary problems.

none of the above said...

When elections are all about identity, it becomes impossible to vote on issues or governing philosophy. Instead, it's all about who-whom? That's a disaster for any kind of democratic accountability.