By Charlie Harper
I had a brief twitter exchange with Phil Kent a couple of weeks ago. In it, he had tweeted about a “black Cobb County GA state house candidate” that had changed his name. I tweeted back asking why it was important to label him as black, to which Mr. Kent responded that it was a “journalistic identification tool”. OK, sure thing, right. ”Tool”.
Kent is now shilling for State School Superintendent candidate Sharyl Dawes, in the form of a robocall. It’s not one that was stealthily done, as it’s prominently displayed on her website. Kent begins by using a “journalistic identification tool”, introducing himself as a board member of the group “Pro English”. I’m glad such groups exist, for without them, the anti-English lobby would probably have us all speaking German by now, and there’s nothing pretty about that language. But I digress.
Kent continues in the call:
“Today is a Mexican holiday called ‘Cinco de Mayo’ and I bring that to your attention to highlight a troubling cultural issue in Georgia. All too many children in our public schools cannot speak the English language. Sharyl Dawes is the only candidate for State School Superintendent who has a plan to ensure that all classroom instruction is conducted in English only. Please remember to vote for Sharyl Dawes to improve education, protect our children, and preserve our culture. That’s Sharyl Dawes. Thank You.”
This week, another friend of mine who is a candidate sent me a questionnaire with some answers he’s responding to for local media. Their first question is “What should the GOP be doing to attract and maintain more younger voters?” My answer: Avoid the politics of Phil Kent.
Phil has long made a career off of reinforcing fear of older white Republicans. ”They” are trying to take away “our” culture. You know, those people that aren’t like “us”.
Phil knows this, and he knows that the people he’s targeting know this. People willing to shill this way all know this. Unfortunately, the calculus is that they also know that more times than not, it’s effective. At least for now.
If you think the problem with education is that people who aren’t like “us” are in our schools, I guess you should vote for Sharyl Dawes. If you want the students who are in our schools to actually be educated so as to one day become productive members of our society and contribute and pay taxes regardless where they or their parents came from or regardless the color of their skin, then please vote for anyone else.