People can’t stop talking about Ieshuh Griffin, an African American female independent running for a state assembly seat in downtown Milwaukee. When prompted to complete her description in five words for the ballot–in the slot where candidate’s usually list their political party — Griffin’s wrote: “Not the white man’s b*tch.”
The Government Accountability Board quickly dismissed the wording on the grounds that candidates are not allowed to use obscene or discriminatory phrases.
But Griffin wasn’t having it. She took her “It’s a freedom of expression” case to a five-judge panel. The candidate stated, “It’s not racist, it’s not a slur…it’s not pointed to a particular person.” Griffin continued, “In my point of view, the average politician is a token.”
And although three judges voted her in favor, Griffin reportedly lost in the end. She needed four votes.
Thomas Barland, one of the judges who voted in Griffin’s behavior didn’t have a problem with the description. Bardland says, “She says a lot in five words. It wasn’t pornographic, it wasn’t obscene, and I didn’t interpret it as racial.”
Another voting member of the board couldn’t disagree more. Roxanne Dunlap said the words were racially discriminatory. Dunlap argued that using the phrase would immediately reject her efforts to win.
Now news sources are stating Griffin plans to sue. The candidate says her “freedom of expression” is being “suppressed.”
Griffin’s use of language yields questions around whether she sought to win or simply make a statement. There are a plethora of other ways Griffin could have communicated her “Not the white man’s b*tch” sentiment. Scores of African American candidates are working diligently to win political seats around the country today. Griffin’s statement makes a mockery of the political process and is precisely why so many young African American candidates aren’t taken seriously.
Her ballot description may be a valid stance, but was it totally necessary?
What do you think about Griffin’s ballot description? Sound off!