I blame Obama for this… after all, hasn’t he redefined race transcendance:
While her catchphrase may not match the rhyming whimsy of “I Like Ike” or “Ross for Boss”, Milwaukee Assembly candidate Ieshuh Griffin thought she had hit on a ballot slogan that best described her political expertise: “Not the white man’s bitch.”
Yesterday, however, Wisconsin election officials narrowly rejected Griffin’s motto – not because of the phrase itself, but due to a lack of votes needed to pass the initiative. Three members of the Government Accountability Board – an all-white, six-person panel – ruled in Griffin’s favor, but she fell one shy of the four-vote majority thanks to one board member’s absence.
In Wisconsin, independent candidates – unlike their counterparts from the Democrat and Republican parties – are allowed a five-word “statement of purpose” on the ballot to explain to voters the gist of their candidacy.
According to an attorney for the Accountability Board, the panel can restrict the use of obscene, profane or discriminatory language on any candidate’s ballot, but one board member – retired judge Thomas Barland – didn’t object to the tone of the slogan.
“She says a lot in five words,” Barland told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “It wasn’t pornographic, it wasn’t obscene and I didn’t interpret it as racial.”
“I’m not making a derogatory statement toward an ethnic group. I’m stating what I’m not,” Griffin testified. “It’s my constitutional right to freedom of speech.”
Donald Downs, a free speech expert at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, told the MJS that approving the ballot language would have made it difficult to reject a hypothetical case in which a white candidate said he was not beholden to the “black man.”
Mike Maistelman, a Milwaukee elections attorney who represents Democratic candidates, disagrees, telling the MJS Griffin’s slogan is “a political statement that should be protected by the First Amendment.”
“It’s a freedom of expression,” Griffin told the panel. “It’s not racial. It’s not a slur.”
It’s not racial. It’s not a slur.
And Obama transcends race.