Monday, February 03, 2020

"Caucus" comes from the root word "Caucasian"

Well, it doesn't really. Its actual etymology is debated, but to hear the sounds emanating from some corners of the Democratic Party's big tent, it might as well.

Specifically, it has been noticed that Iowa, whose early contest sets the tone for the opening of the struggle for the Democratic nomination, is whiter than sour cream. Even more specifically, it's ninety percent cracker, and this fact is claimed to make it unrepresentative of the party...or the a whole.
While Iowa has been blamed for culling candidates of color from the race, it might also be to blame for limiting who runs in the first place, one activist argued. “One of the criteria for signing on to be a Democratic candidate for president in this country is How well am I gonna do in Iowa?” Reyma McCoy McDeid, a black disability-rights activist from Des Moines, told me. “If we’re talking about a state where, by and large, the political landscape is dictated by an aging, white … voting bloc, that obviously is going to be a hugely mitigating factor in determining who decides to run for president, and who’s considered to be a viable candidate.”
One WaPo opinion piece claims it would be less racist to use Georgia as the bellwether first primary...for the Democratic Party, since the GOP is just presumed to be intrinsically racist.
In an ideal world, neither party would prioritize a state with a population that is 90 percent white. But I am leaving the Republican Party out of this discussion since the GOP has decided to place all of its chips on a white nationalist agenda. Until Republicans deviate from this strategy — something their current leader and his party members show no signs of doing — the argument for changing locales of the first caucus state for presidential elections falls to the Democrats — the party that ostensibly should care about respecting and including its rich racial, ethnic and class diversity. 
Several of my students have asked me over the years just which state should have the honor of being the first state in the nation to set the pace for the presidential nomination process. I propose Georgia. Why? Georgia is a southern state with an economically diverse population, including rapidly growing Latinx and Asian American and Pacific Islander voting blocs. These diverse groups in Georgia reflect what the nation is becoming. White Georgians’ share of the electorate had been steadily declining while the African American share had been significantly growing. Given that black women have proved to be the backbone of the Democratic Party, the increase in registered black voters should not be ignored. In the past decade, Asian American and Pacific Islander and Latinx registrants and voters have reached measurable levels, and they have begun to affect voting outcomes in local, state and national elections.