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   Revelations of a Rural Progressive from the Deep South


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I remember in the movie Django Unchained, the heroine to be rescued is Broomhilda, a slave raised my German masters, who taught her to speak fluent German so they could converse in their native tongue. Many lessons taught to us as children will sometimes be of great importance to our survival if we learn our lessons well. In the movie Broomhilda and Django ran for their freedom and were captured, beat, and then sold at auction to differing masters. At the moment when Django nears completion of his task, (to find and free his wife) she is in a sweat-box. A sweat box is a whole dug in the ground or in the movie a metal box placed into the ground covered to sweat, dehydrate, or kill by torture someone who is non-compliant. "All across the deep south this was used up into the late 19th century". -Wikipedia

I say the sweat box is alive and well. I say that Broomhilda is the good suffering populace of the black communities in rural Georgia and that we must free them of their suffering. I say that Broomhilda represents the black populace who are mislabeled as lackadaisical voters or those who not vote at all, because for the most part all across the south the black communities know who runs things locally. They do not see any reason to vote. If they become engaged they may loose their jobs, their livelihoods, they friends, and even the their church that promises the salvation of their souls and yes, even possibly their lives. You see, in the south voter apathy is not with the populace it belongs to the self-righteous members of political parties who do not engage the base in meaningful ways that would build up a community. On the contrary the political powers at the local level do very well at keeping folk down.

As, I write from Georgia, I hear and am repeatedly told that the most important thing in 2014 is winning a Senate seat. Most comical to me is that Chairman Dubose Porter, is clouting "Legacy Candidates". Whose legacy? And what legacy does he speak of? Conservative Dixie-crat legacies? He very hurriedly "picked" a few folk to run for major offices statewide; it's not that he actually entertained the idea of asking any of us as elected officials within the Party (Congressional Chairs for example) He picked folk to run behind closed doors with a discreet few, hand picking ones that can't or won't win. Reminds me a bit of 2010, when the Party trotted out Michael Thurmond to run for Senate so RJ Hadley would not win the Primary. As an executive committee member I don't even know some of the statewide candidates! It is the old favored son system at work again. How can I be so sure? How do I know?

Well for one, I am the Chair of CD1 who can not find people to run for office for they are frightened of the "punishment" without the local old moneyed families consent; and that changes by county. I will tell you more. I was an Organizer for Barack Obama's 2008 Campaign and in Georgia the 3rd largest black precinct (a top priority to turn out for Obama) lies in rural Georgia, It was my assignment, Coffee County.

When I log in to Daily KOS I see a "Michelle Nunn" advertisement that says she is in the lead in the polls" and the next day I see another ad reading "Ex-Governor Roy Barnes endorses Michelle Nunn".

I say put his ass out of Democratic Politics. He is a turn coat and a liar. How do I know this? How do I dare say such a thing? I will tell you why.

In 2010 I was working for the state Democratic Party of Georgia as an organizer and Roy Barnes (running for governor at the time) would not agree to a coordinated campaign with help from DC or us and indeed shunned the President when he came to Atlanta. A dog and pony dance I am sure for his Republican friends. Our dear Roy also argued with the State Democratic Party of Georgia that their field organizers were being paid $2000 a month while his staffers were being paid $1600 a month an Roy didn't want to pay the higher wage. He wanted our wages dropped. He wasted valuable time for weeks when he banked millions. He didn't want a coordinated campaign even with his state party.

Meanwhile, I worked closely with his staff to insure they knew all the old Obama Team Leaders in all of my counties. I told them where the grassroots offices could be sat up in all 10 of my 2008 counties, including Coffee County. I even went with Roy's staff to introduce them to these good, hard working people and see for themselves the offices they had offered to Roy Barnes Campaign - all good Democrats.

I was and am a Team Player for the Party, but by the time all the back biting and bickering was happening between Roy and the State Party, I left for better pay and went to work in Florida's Campaign for Accountability, a coordinated effort for the Alex Sink Campaign and Kendrick Meeks Senate race. I learned a lot there and it was a beautiful thing to see: the sharing of data all the way down to county parties from Obama's data, to Sink's data, to Meek's data, to county party level data. Beautiful!

On election day 2010, I was sitting in the "boiler room". A place where Regional Field Directors sit while getting calls from our field staff letting us know the numbers as they came out of the voting precincts. I got a call about 2pm in the afternoon on Election Day from my 2008 Team Leaders in Coffee County!

"Jeana, that boy has never came back".

"Jeana we have no phone numbers to call".

"Jeana will you get us some numbers to call, we have been sitting waiting for hours and no-one will call us back"?

I was shocked! Shocked that no-one had utilized those good people nor the office with computers and phones to run a Get out the Vote effort for the third largest black precinct in Georgia. If it was so important to Obama why not to Roy?

I called my friend on the Barnes Campaign asking what in the hell was going on? Why didn't my people have numbers to call?

"Oh, Jeana I am sorry I will email them lists right away, thank you for calling".

I called them back and within half hour they were making calls for the Barnes Campaign having only 4 hours left on Election Day 2010.

So as it goes, I waited until about three weeks after the midterms to get "the rest of the story as Paul Harvey used to say".

I called my friend and asked, "What in the hell was going on in Coffee County and what was the neglect of that precinct about?

He apologized, and said, Roy had accepted some campaign contributions from a man and wife who maxed out and the deal was that they would take care of Coffee County or I will say it was left to white rich folks to Get the Vote Out.

That proves to a field organizer that Roy Barnes never intended to win. He's a joke. A bad, tasteless joke.

The good voters of rural Georgia, black and poor white, my dear Brothers and Sisters of these Untied States are in a bona-fide sweat-box. Just like Broomhilda. We want our freedom; freedom to participate in local politics without fear. We on the ground are suffering behind these deals made behind closed doors. Redistricting you may ask? Actually that precinct grew larger with the black vote so they must be very sure they can oppress the still, 3rd largest black precinct in Georgia. When the Republicans redistricted they added voters in! That tells me they own Coffee County. I am sickened and saddened.

So I have a remedy for all.

Once as a young parent my Father bought a beautiful house on a hill for me and my two daughters to live with him. The angle on the down hill side was about 51 degrees. The people who had moved out had raked that hill into one huge leaf pile that was left there.

I decided I could easily get on my hands and knees with my left knee holding the bottom of the bag and my left hand the top with the wind blowing the leaves right in. I used wide sweeping motions with my right hand and I had it going really good. I had bagged about 6 huge black bags when I started on my seventh. I will never forget what happened!

As I swept the leaves into the bag the leaves got damper further down and in a moments flash, there lay a large snake coiled who had been sleeping. The sun must have glared in his eyes because he did not move, but I did! Good folk I was on my hands and knees at an angle and I'd say he was about twelve inches from my face. I grabbed him with my right hand below his head and held on so tightly so he could not get away and he began to curl quickly around my arm probably as frightened as I was.

I stood up and called to my seven year old daughter to run and get a shovel and as she saw what was happening she cried, "Ok Mommy" in a very frightened voice.

As I looked around the hill I saw my neighbor, a pastor, who happened to be outside, so I walked towards him asking if he knew what kind of snake it was?

He said, "get it away from me I'm afraid of snakes"!

So I said to him, "I think it is a large rat snake and I don't want to kill it if I don't have to".

Nadine comes running back with a small hoe, and I said baby get the shovel it is the big one Mommy uses to dig holes for trees and the bushes. She said, Ok Mommy in that same frightened voice and away she ran.

So the man said, "kill it, all snakes are bad".

I said, "no all snakes are not bad", for I was taught to respect life.

Shaking his head, he quickly went into his house leaving me with the snake ever tightening it's grip so as I looked at the snake very closely I thought he looks like a rat snake but I am not from here, he may be a moccasin but he doesn't look like one, although there was a creek down below, I truly did not know what kind of snake it was. About that time, Nadine arrived with the shovel and I had only one thing to do. You see I was taught you don't get second chances if ever; one must always be prudent and cautious.

So I decided my daughter had a lesson to learn as she might be a Mother herself one day and that was for me to protect her, our home, our neighbor, and our community. It was over for the snake. I put my foot behind his head and used the shovel to cut his head off. I did feel a bit of regret for I fear he was a simple rat snake; but we don't get second chances in life or death situations nor in opportunities to teach the sanctity of life.

We must preserve ourselves alive.

If we in Georgia don't free the black populace from this obstructionist plantation minded mentality of suppressive oppression we may not have a second chance. I say it again, we are coming to the end of a Black Presidency and what good has it done us in the deep south?

If Michelle Nunn wants Roy Barnes endorsement, more power to her, however, let her be aware that people across southern rural Georgia all know about the fiasco at Coffee County by his campaign and ah yes, they look back on the Free Hot Dogs Roy Barnes gave away to the populace down there right before the election. Whoop de Do. The poor whites ate those Hot Dogs to and many believed he would win the Governors race again in 2010.

I say he never wanted to, never tried, and is a detriment to the Democratic Party, no matter what he used to be. I know what he is.

Now Michelle Nunn, that is another story and I know not who she is, so I suggest taking notes and carefully watching, waiting, and seeing with those who have eyes to see. She has done much in the volunteer sector and that I love. Yet, it is murmured the Dixie-crats want Michelle in so we Progressive Democrats will never get her out as an incumbent when we officially become a democratic state in 2018 by the numbers.

I promise you this: there are enough people all across rural Georgia who know what is going on. You can not play people for fools anymore. I say let's see whose company she keeps. Birds of a feather flock together. and as for the endorsement of Roy Barnes, that part of her campaign strategy has me puking and wondering how stupid do they think we rural people are?

Georgia, and for this matter, the whole of the old south, when will you learn your lesson? Broomhilda is the suffering voting populace of Georgia whom you discreetly throw away to some dark periphery of uselessness. I am fired up and ready to free her. Please KOS readers and the Federal Government help Georgia free herself. We will be free, we have to. It is the Respect, Empower, and Include message that we gave these people in 2008 and we want to believe it.

Good Democrats please don't be fooled by this "legacy" of plantation minded Dixie-crats whose days are numbered as they act as if they guide our ethics in the old south. We see you and we know who you are. Good Democrats vote for values that don't look left or right but straight toward human rights and social dignity for every human being. Every life has worth and is valuable. Let's start acting like it and include those who want to be included.

As for Michelle, and the "legacy" candidates I can not tell what kind of Democrats all the candidates are.  

As for Roy Barnes, he's a joke and a sad one to be commenting on any Democratic happening in this state. So be watchful voters, stay encouraged. Stay engaged or dis-engaged as you, the voter, sees fit. We speak the same language, the language of progressive rural politics, and we have learned our lessons well. We don't get a second chance in 2014. We never had one in 2010 thanks to Roy Barnes. We won't make that mistake again.

I employ my personal love and will to help the good people who still suffer. God protect us in the sweat-box.

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