Voting Rights in the 11th

It made for fairly gripping stuff last night when Michael Myers and Al Vann took on the issue of race in the 11th district election.

Myers accused Vann of “racial hustling” for calling on David Yassky, the only white candidate in the field, to withdraw.

I’m telling you that the Voting Rights Act was designed to eliminate racial barriers in terms of voting and elections, not to add to them. And I say to your viewers it is an Orwellian double talk to use the Voting Rights Act, to use the name of Martin Luther King, Jr. to say that Yassky shouldn’t win this office simply because of his skin color.

Vann responded that we are not yet at the day where a decision in this race can be based soley on qualifications.

We all look forward to the day that we can walk hand in hand, black and white, you know, free at last, free at last, but we are not at that day yet. Until we can bring about equality for all people in this city, empowerment is a critical issue.

Of course you bring your qualifications to the table and the best person wins. However, there is a history to that district, and other Voting Rights districts, that is different–it’s exceptional.

Whose interpretation is right?

—Nicole Brydson