|Councilor Ed Coleman|
One would think that Coleman’s message was a no brainer. After all, presumably even the Democrats at the forum (no Republicans attended) believe that the attendees should vote for them because of their positions, not because of the party label they chose.
|State Senator Jean Breaux|
Later Senator Breaux told Coleman’s campaign manager that Coleman was being rude by suggesting the almost exclusively African-American audience educate themselves and not just vote party, i.e. for Democrats. Sen. Breaux's apparent attitude towards African-Americans - that they should remain uneducated about the candidates and blindly cast a vote for the Democratic Party - is condescending at best, racist at worst. Contrary to what Sen. Breaux thinks, Democrats don't own the African-American vote, which Democratic elected officials have often taken for granted in the policies they pursue, especially in the all-important area of education.
Coleman, who has consistently expressed concerns about the direction of the City was shocked to find he wasn’t welcome at an event where candidates were expressing concerns about the direction of the City. Coleman made clear that Senator Breaux's positions was not shared by the host of the event, Minister Kenneth Allen, who was gracious toward Coleman and who appreciated that he came to the event.
We need Republicans and Libertarians who are willing to learn about the concerns of the African-American community. Coleman should be applauded for reaching out to that community and instead he is told he is not welcome. Senator Breaux, no novice candidate, should be ashamed of herself. She owes Coleman and Minister Allen an apology for her behavior at the Rally. Let’s see if she’s classy enough to provide it.
CORRECTION: Two Republican council candidates, AJ Feeney-Ruiz and Councilor Barb Malone, were at the event. The Republican candidates apparently only got the invitation the afternoon of the day before the event.