Watching JB Pritzker’s gubernatorial campaign become stifled in damage control mode has been a sad and disturbing debacle to watch. For decades Democratic leaders, party hacks and elitists have padded the coffers of themselves and their friends, while the masses in Illinois have been left out in the cold. 

Since race is in the campaign conversation, I believe now is the time for African Americans to demand their fair share from the state’s Democratic Party for being it’s most reliable and devout constituency. The Democratic Party is weaker than ever, and consistently we are shown that there is no vision of inclusivity for the marginalized and oppressed.

Their primary selling point to us these days is that at least they are not as racist as them old Republicans. For far too long, African Americans have been written off by the Republicans and taken for granted by the Democrats. Let’s seize this moment in history! While they are fighting over our votes, let’s demand substantive reciprocity.

Black voters must matter more than just during election season; this must stop. I humbly suggest rather than passing judgment on J.B.’s stupid and unfortunate remarks, and or accepting the alibis of his allies — that he’s not a racist guy, because they know his heart — let’s assess each candidates’ stance on the major issues that affect our community.

What matters most to me in this election is the position and commitment each candidate has for fighting for equitable school funding, prison reform, increasing the flow of jobs and stemming the tide of violence! 

The candidate who has a formidable plan and who’s willing to be an agent of change is the candidate for me. Quite frankly, I could care less if he likes me or not. This is my perspective. Hopefully I don’t sound like one of those offensive blacks. I’m actually not angry, I’m just analytical.

 Rev. Ira Acree, Greater St. John Bible Church