Newly elected black officials decry "straight up racist" Democratic party system

The State House News Service summarizes a panel discussion with Rachael Rollins, newly elected Suffolk County DA and Liz Miranda and Nika Elugardo, both elected as state representatives.

Miranda said that as a candidate this year, she felt she was "fighting" against a party that she says should have been helping her.



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It's a pretty good article and very in-depth. Do take time to read the whole thing before you comment. Same thing is happening in other states. A college friend of mine, a woman, had an extremely hard time "breaking-in" to the democratic party in RI. She won her primary and the general, but they didn't make it easy. I get it, you have power, you don't want to give it up, but times they are a changing.


Rollins said

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"White women are wonderful. You don't understand the black community, right. You believe that you can speak to us and about us but you don't even include us in the decision-making and I don't have time to be nice about it anymore because things are urgent right now. It is life or death. We don't have the death penalty in Massachusetts. We send people away for life without the possibility of parole all the time and we are impacting people's lives that changes them drastically all the time. I don't have time for your feelings. We're going to change it now."

Ummm, what?


It's a weird quote to write

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It's a weird quote to write out, but I'm guessing it made sense in person. The first part makes sense, and if I had to guess on the rest I'd think she meant:

"It is life or death. [No, ] we don't have the death penalty in Massachusetts, [but] we send people away for life without the possibility of parole all the time... we are impacting people's lives [in a way] that changes them drastically. All the time. I don't have time for your feelings. We're going to change it now."

Sounds right to me.


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These women worked at least twice as hard as their opponents, overcoming headwinds of incumbency, race, and the "old pol network". May they serve as a model for future candidates who dare to rock the boat.


Rollins and Miranda ran in

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Rollins and Miranda ran in open primaries. Elugardo challenged a liberal incumbent. Why would any of them expect the party establishment to choose sides in those? It never does. And if it did, the criticism would be the party shouldn't be picking sides. Can't have it both ways.



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I don't know about you, but I would count the sitting mayor, a bunch of the city council, the city employees who "volunteered" as the establishment.


So, to summarize

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Liz Miranda defeated the longest tenured African American in the General Court, Nika Elugardo defeated one of the highest ranking Democrats in the House who is also a "person of color," and Rachel Rollins, whose father would not look out of place in a rural pub in Co. Kerry, defeated a field as racially diverse as she is, yet the Democratic Party is somehow racist? Congratulations, Massachusetts, I think we've okay with the race issue when people of color are griping about not getting support in their races to defeat people of color because of racism.

On the other hand, I'll be assuming that these three will do everything possible to make sure that Van Ness is not on the ballot in two years' time so that Idowu can have a decent shot against Scaccia.

CORRECTION- I somehow confused MIranda's win of an open seat with Jon Santiago's defeat of Byron Rushing. My bad. I don't know how to do a decent job correcting this without messing things up. Still, I'd love to know what the state party did to support Miranda's opponents. Also, my points on Elugardo and Rollins stand.



You see that guy on the VFW with equally huge Diehl and Steve Murphy signs? I'd bet heavy money that's the kind of institutional voter from the Steve Lynch arm of the regional party who's not phone banking for candidates like these.

I'll double your bet

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That the guy might be a registered Democrat, but he is not a part of the party apparatus. Conversely, how many elected officials who are Democrats (an oxymoron, I know) endorsed Baker this year? That's a different problem right there.

Still, the issue was racism, and both Murphy (in the primary) and Diehl (in the primary and general) ran against white people (and Shiva, who is honorary white by now.)

Honestly, I don't know

I am picturing people like Marty Walsh's cousin Marty Walsh and the 'Top Chef' case guys - you think they're out phonebanking for Nika! after she beat Sanchez? You think the people in DeLeo's orbit were? I suspect not.


Let me put it to you this way

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Nika needed as much help after two days after Labor Day as Scaccia, Dan Hunt, and even DeLeo himself needed, which was none, mainly because there were no other names on the ballot in November. Rollins might be able to make the case, but she was able to destroy Maloney in the general election without breaking a sweat. The reality in Boston was that each candidate works on their own.

Conversely, it never ceases to amaze me that the Republican Party doesn't even recruit candidates for all the races. There should be 160 Republicans running against 160 Democrats for the MA House, 40 against 40 for the MA Senate, and 9 for 9 for Congress. Sure, the results might be the same, but at least they should have tried. And I always imagine that in states like Wyoming the same is true in reverse. It's just sad.

EDIT- I changed the third sentence in the second paragraph so it might make sense this time.


"At least they tried"??? um,

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"At least they tried"??? um, what? Why waste money and time campaigning for an unwinnable seat? Add to that the current atmosphere of nastiness - who wants protesters picketing at your children's school and defaming you with labels of racist and Nazi? I'm an Independent and even I can understand why Republicans don't want to run for office in Massachusetts. I don't blame the Republicans at all for sitting it out.


I mean

they could try not supporting racist policies and not get called a racist? It's not defaming if it's true.

I'm also very interested to know where exactly in MA a GOP candidate had their children's school picketed - please post a link.


I'm editing that post

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Since even for me, that don't make no sense.

Setting out 200 candidates, with hopefully good temperaments, will affect the public's view of them (assuming, of course, they aren't all Scott Lively clones.) Then, it becomes a question of platform and whether or not the Democrats should be returned.

Pro Tip

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Don't act like a racist, don't be a Nazi and people won't "defame you" with "labels".

Got it?

Romney did that while gov.

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Romney did that while gov. Candidates ran for all offices. Slaughtered. Even lost seats I think.

What is Elugardo even talking

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What is Elugardo even talking about? She knocked off the most powerful Latino in state government who is from an immigrant family, for one thing, by calling him a racist against immigrants. And look at her supporters in photos. They are whiter than a bar of soap. JP gonna JP. Good luck.



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They won and yet still complain. Some people are never happy.



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Everything is racism. Hard to disentangle 500 years of racism as policy in this country. It's pervasive and pernicious.


Not that hard

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to disentangle racism from policy if you have a clear unmuddled intention, the facts, and a national platform. fade on even one of those necessities for a minute and you will lose ground big, because the unconscious reigns.

I see no lies

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Massachusetts is impressive because it ignores and excludes it’s large and substantial minority population from civic live,political life, and many other parts of every day life better than almost any state in the nation. Massachusetts rarely releases racial demographic data and will rarely tell its constituents what the changes in their communities are occurring. Massachusetts- whether you believe it or not- IS one of the fastest diversifying state in the country behind only (NV MN WA and just behind RI Which is still not l quite as diverse as mass) and has been for about 15 to 20 years.

30% of this state is minority right now many of our biggest cities a majority minority. And 58% of births in 2017 were minorities. That mean about 40% of all parents in MA are minorities.

Many of our suburbs exhibit SIGNIFICANT minority populations. The demographic shift has largely occured and the under 40-year-old population. The older white population who runs the Democratic Party of Massachusetts is used to a state that is about 90% white as it was into the late 80s and early 90s. The fact of the matter is Ma demographically is more similar to 1998 New Jersey than 1990 Mass or even 2008 Mass. Democrats have been comfortable with MA having token minority representation since the 1980s but the 2 million POC in the state have outgrown that role. The MA Democrat party must look to model NJ or risk being a CT (slightly more diverse than MA but not NJ levels).

ThIs states democrat politicians emulate from and cater to MetroWest and the Northampton/Amherst area. They ignore diverse area in Plymouth/Norfolk and Essex. Hampden gets attention because Springfield/Holyoke is relatively dire. Boston residents south of the pike get relatively little attention minus JP.

Anyone else who’s lived in another urban blue state can tell you exactly where when and why Massachusetts has a racist system. Sadly most white residents from Massachusetts just have their heads so far up their ass about how great it is here “for everybody” they’re unable to see what’s right in front of them...which is why people tend not to like us



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The South Shore gets a lot of political attention. And there is little care given to the state west of Worcester.

Which south shore?

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Hingham Cohasset Duxberry Norwell?

When both Brockton and Randolph have black mayors I’ll believe South Shore Democrats are diverse and supportive of minority candidates. And I don’t think the south coast gets lots of attention. Unfortunately Jasiel Correa has probably hurt minority citywide candidates in some circles.

I had a lengthy talk today with an intern at work from Whitman she told me how working in Baltimore and coming back to Whitman has been a huge and upsetting realization of how bad prejudices here where she says she knew but she didn’t realize it just how many whites and prejudice many south shore towns are including virtually all of the ones I listed above. Mind you this is a young girl who was born and raised in Whitman as was her mother and most of her friends mother she’s grown up with the same friend group since elementary school and all of the mothers are still friends. I told her about a recent negative racist Experience I had with a man from the south shore and she says “I’m not surprised”

I think the rest of my piece still holds water.


You know what a shore is, right?

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Also, Randolph does not have a mayor, and Brockton is far from being a black city. The political leadership of Massachusetts is mostly from the Metro Boston area, and if you ever met someone from West of Worcester, you'd lean very quickly that they are ignored on Beacon Hill.

If you piece was a pail, it would be more like a sieve.

Brockton is pretty much a black city now.

Boston Herald actually has an interesting article on Roxbury residents getting forced out of their homes. A lot of them are basically being forced to relocate to Randolph, Brockton, Avon, etc.

I won't doubt that black people live there

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Since I just provided the statistics, but we're not talking Atlanta stats, either. Given the raw data and throwing in citizenship issues, the city having a white mayor is not a sign of anything. Heck, Detroit has a white mayor.

I used to also throw Washington DC as an example of a black majority city, but from what I hear and saw recently, that might be, um, "changing."

This is exactly what I’m talking about

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Brockton is at least 43% black. Atlanta is 52% black. Blacks are the largest ethnic group in Yhe city. The schools are 61% black. Brrockton has the highest black population percentage wise in all of New England. Bloomfield CT has a higher percentage but it’s a small town of barely 20k. To say Brockton isn’t a black coty is the exact ethos the candiates are talking about. Randolph is also over 40% black. But whatever this is a typical Mass attitude.

I don't know if you know how this works

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But 43% is not a majority.

Meanwhile, Framingham has an African American mayor because she worked her behind off to get elected. That's how these things work. Augie Grace represented Burlington on the Massachusetts House of Representatives back in the 1980s. On the flip side, William Carpenter is currently the mayor of Brockton. Are you going to claim he doesn't care about his black (or Hispanic) constituents?

Your idea of places demographically outdated

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Dc hasn’t been majority black since 2010. Brockton is essentially just as black as DC 43% vs. 46%. New Haven and Hartford are less black than Brockton but have had black mayors.

Sure, now

Remember a fella named Stan Rosenberg? What was that, two years ago?


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And I remember Jane Swift, too. Can anyone come up with another example of a West of Worcester politician having any clout?

So, let’s summarize

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The State Senate was run for 3 years by a guy who represented Hampshire County, and the last person to have the post from out west was?

Similarly, the last person to act as Governor from out west, who was elected as lt. governor, held that post for less than two years. And the governor before that from west of Worcester was?

And of course none of us can name the last Speaker of the House from, well, west of Weston.

Go due South

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Randolph and Brockton are about 39% African American (Non-Hispanic.) Milton is 14%. Beyond that you are talking towns that went from a rounding error to an actual percentage but less that 9%.


From 2017 Census (see sock puppets link)


44.5% white
41.1% black
10.1% Latino
3.7% Two or more races
39.6% White (non hispanic)

I'm not sure what officially makes a city "black" or not, but I'm sure the school system has some numbers as well.

I stand by my numbers

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If we are knocking out the 5% of white people who are Hispanic, then let's knock out the 2 to 3% of black people who are the same.

I don't know what I'd call Brockton. White plurality (barely.) There has been a rise in the view that since white people are no longer a majority, there should be a black mayor for some reason. They tried that in Chicago only to discover that the Hispanics, the #3 group in that city, can make or break the mayoral elections. And Chicago's numbers are close to Brockton's.

Brockton is like 41% black 7

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Brockton is like 41% black 7-10% Hispanic 38% white form my recollection of 2017 stats.

Randolph is about 43% black. I know Stoughton is about 14% black as well-their school system is exactly 21.5% black and The rough estimates I’ve seen out of Bridgewater show about 850 black residents out of about 8100 total residents...

2017 AmericanFactFinder 1year estimates for jurisdictions 65k+

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Your looking at numbers that include Hispanic. Black Hispanic or white hispanic. I can also tell those aren’t 2017 number. This state isn’t 9% black it’s really only 7% black those numbers are also my the most recent 2017 estimates. American Fact Finder has the most comprehensive stats for any jurisdiction over 65k in thousand of different cross sections. They also have yearly updates for all municipalities over 30k people at the end of the year. You can compare cities states, PUMA, metro areas etc. you can also find data back to about 2005. American fact finder are generally the stats municipal governments use.

MA is
71% non Hispanic white
12% Hispanic
7% Black non Hispanic
7% Asian
2 mixed race
1% other

Potato, batata

A different way to look at the same numbers is that the total percentage of MA that's white declined only 5% and not 8% from 2005 to 2017, because of white Hispanics, who are the fastest growing demographic group in MA.

Who gets counted as what is pretty political.

Both on a collective level and on a personal level.

Ever hear of the US Census?

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Also, the Donahue Institute at UMass?

These both release demographic data on a regular basis. US Census ACS 2014 is down to the tract level.

Yeah, ya see

The census? That's that linky thing that's in another color on the page. Go ahead and click. The data I linked to is for 2017.

What I'm looking for is not a demonstration that the demographic of Brockton is unusual for the state. I'm looking for any support for Jay's assertion that the diversity of the state as a whole much resembles that of New Jersey.

Because the census does not support that. Here's the census again:,ma/PST045217

New Jersey is rapidly heading towards being a majority minority state, and MA is not. It just looks that way if you stand on certain street corners. Say, in Brockton.


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Check your thread. I replied to Jay.

Bit oversensitive about these things are ya?

1998 New Jersey

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I said 1998 New Jersey which was about 70% white.

Not who they're talking about

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There weren't a lot of young urban hipsters and white progressives that had Stephen Murphy signs or were part of the Mayor's team of canvassers.

You are in denial.

Did you read the article? Do you think the people being gentrified out of Roxbury by these same "progressives" view these folks as political allies?

I'm confused

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Is your gripe that Stephen Murphy has a political organization?

At the end of the day, this feeling of entitlement by the candidates- and again it should be noted that they were successful candidates- amazes me. No one handed Murphy his legion of followers. It's an army that's been built up over the decades of the man running for any job available. Greg Henning did get a boost, but not from the Democratic Party. He got the Dan Conley corps to back him. One could think that Rollins won because she had the best ideas, and I don't want to dismiss her vision, but in the end she also built an organization. Henning asked me personally to vote for him early in the game (with Conley 3 feet away) and Rollins had someone come to my house on her behalf. Nika! built her group while Sanchez leaned on the group he built over the years. The party, in primaries, does nothing, and that's the way it should be (other than making sure there is at least one person on the ballot.)


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This discussion was about the clash between the old pol powerbrokers and the new wave of candidates with lived experience that reflects a huge part of the community. I was one of those people knocking on doors asking voters to consider Rollins. Of course she and NIka built up a huge army of volunteers, because they couldn't have won without working twice as hard as the candidates with institutional support.

And why did Nika have to work twice as hard?

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It's the power of incumbency.

Rollins was a different case. She worked the hardest and won, but that was a case of needing to stand out in a crowded field. If Carvalho or Henning or anyone else had worked twice as hard as the field, they would have won. Good work on being a part of her organization. It made a difference.

Did anyone actually watch Basic Black?

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Because if you watched it, you'd see that Elugardo and Rollins are specifically talking about lack of party support after they had their respective nominations. Nika is talking about candidates of color used as backdrops for their white counterparts' speeches. Rollins is talking about handing out unified Democratic lit in Roxbury and having only white faces and Ayanna on there.

So yes, a lot of us have litigated the primaries and the lack of support candidates of color received by those in power in a party that relies heavily on voters of color. But it seems like the discussion on WGBH was about the party sidelining these women who had to work twice as hard as their opponents, when they should be embracing them as the face of the future.

But again

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What kind of support did they need on September 5th? For Elugardo at least, about as much as you and I did.

The backdrop thing does seem to be bad.

But no, I don't watch Basic Black. If it's not geared for kids and on PBS, I don't watch it.