Navigating the Shift Pt 2: Let’s Not Repeat The Past But Boldly Move Forward In CD 16 & 17 By Tasha Young

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My dear Democrats, let’s have a heart-to-heart! The second step to ensuring we turn CD16 Republican like CD17 is through racial division through regressive political strategy. Forfeiting another member of the Congressional Black Caucus for a white representative is a regressive policy across racial lines. This is what a challenge from George Latimer represents. 

We aspire to be on a path of true progression, and we refuse to let governance slide back to the ways of the past. People of color deserve to represent us; it’s non-negotiable if progression is our mission—there is no turning back! MAGA might represent yesteryear, but we’re after a party that champions progress across the board. No settling for Liberalism or Neoliberalism—we’re aiming for a nation that values freedom, justice, and liberty for all. 

The damage caused by white, male-dominated leadership is evident in energy policy and the struggle to create a fair healthcare system free from the clutches of greedy insurance and medical giants. We demand women’s autonomy over their bodies and urge Democrats to lead the charge for wage equality, ensuring fair pay for all—no more disparities! 

We need a party that pioneers new policy territories, and frankly, white male leadership isn’t cutting it. They don’t represent our needs; they can’t, not without us, and it’s time they step up to the plate. It’s part of the problem—the privilege of power without shouldering the responsibility to tackle these crucial issues. Where does this leave people of color? It’s time for a change—a change rooted in genuine action and representation. 

Now, let’s talk about understanding race equity and policy innovation. Imagine someone at the intersection of being white and male, trying to comprehend these concepts without facing the weight of systemic oppression. Their race and gender often grant them a free pass on showcasing innovation and serving credibility and resources on a silver platter, oftentimes without any accountability. That’s the epitome of white male privilege. 

For Black, indigenous folks, people of color, and women, it’s a different ball game. Credibility and resources are often denied. Respect? Not freely given. White women might get a bit more, but let’s discuss women of color—their respect often hinges on their proximity to whiteness. 

But here’s the thing: people of color, especially women of color, possess a superpower. Yes, you heard me right! We’ve had to navigate systems not designed for us, developing a unique ability to see through political games. It’s like we’ve got a built-in radar, spotting those power moves favoring white men at everyone else’s expense. 

Now, let’s get real about leadership and privilege. It’s about guiding, supporting, and following those who rightfully earn their positions through a democratic process, not subjugating them due to your privilege. That’s systemic racism at play. 

When those privileged by their white race and male gender come seeking advice on issues concerning marginalized communities, it’s a delicate balance for leaders from these communities. It gets intricate, trust me. Meanwhile, their white stakeholders often don’t put in the work to build relationships within these communities because they already have a rapport with leadership from those communities. 

Even this class of leaders and advisors, those who are people of color, are navigating these white male-dominated systems. Sometimes, they’re even at odds with their own community’s needs. It’s a tough balancing act, one that no one should have to endure, but here we are. We saw Rep. Jones tackle this at the congressional level, and now it seems history is repeating itself with the potential challenge to Rep. Bowman by the greatest County Executive Westchester has ever had. 

Republican Congressmen Mike Lawler defeated Sean Patrick-Maloney after the DCCC Chair ran for Mondaire Jones’ CD-17 seat [Black Westchester]

The transition from a Democratically held CD-17 to a Republican-held CD-17 congressional seat in Congress and its connections to strategic moves within white male dominance need a close examination. Sean Patrick Maloney’s shift and its ripple effects highlight 

these power dynamics, questioning the motives behind actions that often wield privilege against marginalized communities. 

And when implicit bias shows up, it’s not just a passing moment; it’s your duty to address it, especially if you want to maintain strong relationships with people of color and other identities, Democrats. Turning a blind eye? That just leads to being explicitly biased. We’re sharp at spotting these biases and figuring out what to do with that information. I’ll dive deeper into that in another article. 

Now, let’s revisit the steps that led to CD 17’s shift from blue to red. It’s rooted in racial power dynamics, something not everyone sees clearly. But picture this: if Rep. Bowman, the incumbent congressman, faces a challenge from someone like George Latimer, the county executive, it’s a stark display of power and privilege acting against a black man. There’s no room for misinterpretation there. This applies to Sean Patrick Maloney and would echo in George Latimer’s case. 

The weariness of white male dominance is felt, no matter the intersecting identities. For SPM, it was white, male, and gay; for George, it’s white, male, pushing a regressive agenda. 

What we’re chasing is progress—a future embracing freedom, justice, and liberty for all, not a step backward. We’re in pursuit of a party aligned with these values, pushing for universal healthcare, forward-thinking energy policies, women’s autonomy, and other domestic issues that are very real and very dangerous. 

Leadership isn’t just about holding a position; it’s about recognizing privilege gaps and the hurdles faced by marginalized groups. It’s about dismantling systems favoring a select few. Representation? Crucial! Those from marginalized backgrounds understand the power dynamics at play; they’ve navigated systems not made for them. 

The story of CD 17’s transition from Democratic to Republican is a classic example of strategic moves rooted in white male dominance. Sean Patrick Maloney’s shuffle and its aftermath shed light on these power dynamics, urging us to question actions often using privilege against marginalized communities. 

Ultimately, what’s needed here is change—a departure from the dominance of a single demographic and a move toward inclusive governance. Let’s keep this conversation alive and work toward a future that truly embraces our diversity and upholds our cherished ideals.

[Editor’s Note: This is part two of a series by Tasha Young. If you missed it also check out Part One]

AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief and co-owner of Black Westchester, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Rap Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.

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