By Dr. John E. Warren, Publisher, San Diego Voice & Viewpoint Newspaper
Perhaps for some it’s going unnoticed, but the State of California now has three Constitutional Officers that are African American: The Secretary of State, Dr. Shirley Weber; the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. Tony Thurmond; and the State Controller, Ms. Malia Cohen. These are very significant milestones for a state with an African American population of just over 6 percent. In addition to these three, let us not forget that the Vice President of the United States is a Californian and part African American. These individuals remind us of what we can accomplish if we stay engaged and persevere. The time of preparation for future electoral victories is now and not weeks before the next election.
Here in San Diego, we have a Black Superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District, but that is not enough with one African American School Board member most of us rarely if ever, hear from. Please understand that while it is not right to expect favorite treatment from elected officials who look like us, neither should they be afraid to help their own just as they do everyone else. Let us not forget that “All skin is not kin”. It will take the building of coalitions beyond skin color to achieve our goals, but just as the people cited here have done to reach their offices, so can the rest of us if we put our minds to it and move beyond instant gratification. Our issues are not at Burger King and we can’t always “have it our way,” but we can stay involved and engaged beyond our personal interest. Then, there will be more of us to “salute”. Let’s rock with this new year and new opportunities to make meaningful change.
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