It seems that every time we get near the end of an election season, idiocy goes into overdrive. Sometimes it is over the top claims by candidates or ridiculous behavior by campaign staff. However, this time, someone may have taken things a bit too far.
If you read this blog you know several Black pastors have come out on the radio and endorsed Republican incumbent Greg Ballard over Melina Kennedy in the race for Mayor. Well apparently someone either in or associated with the Marion County Democratic Party didn’t take to kindly to that and has crossed the line by allegedly making threats against the ministers.
I spoke with Pastor Mel Jackson of Westside Community Ministry, one of the ministers in the ad. He told me he has received several calls at home telling him he was going to be sorry for his endorsement and that retaliation was coming. I am also told by other sources that the leadership in the MCDP is promising to go after the ministers and “take the gloves off” in the process.
Picking a fight with God, where do I begin?
When I looked at Pastor Jackson’s resume, working with the Indianapolis Housing Agency Board of Commissioners, The Midtown Advisory Board, Project Safe Neighborhood, the Dawn Project and his volunteerism with Westside Communities Inc., working with the homeless and unemployed, I was shocked that someone would be so brazen as to make threats against the man who has fought for the same people Democrats claim to represent.
Jackson also told me that he fought and marched against segregation in the South in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s so he wasn’t afraid of threats. He told me in a phone interview that he fought for Blacks to be able to make up their own minds about whom to vote for and he wasn’t going to back down. Another minister said, “they are afraid we are walking off the plantation and they don’t know how to deal with us.”
First of all, making threats only results in police reports and caller ID results in arrests. Secondly, and more importantly, will any Marion County Democrats step up and denounce this behavior? The party was quick to run ads against Greg Ballard insinuating he was racist for using the phrase “difficult populations”. Will they step up and speak out now? I think calling a black minister and making threats over who he supports in a political race ranks a little higher on the righteous indignation scale. I have my disagreements with some of the Black church in this town because they are more like Rev. Ike or Daddy Rich in “Car Wash” . But calling a black pastor and making threats against him and potentially his family? Because of the way he wants to vote? Is this 2011 or 1911?
Pastor Jackson also told me he has his faith as a shield which has helped him through the years. He may also want to keep a sidearm as well because after this type of behavior you can never be too careful. Especially around Halloween, there are too many opportunities for someone to show up on his doorstep wearing a white sheet. And the sad part is that the person under it won’t be asking for candy.