Black Democrat Lawmaker Calls Ohio Democrat Party a Plantation

Plantationby Patricia L. Dickson   11/13/14
A black Democratic member of the Ohio State House of Representatives decided to wait until after the midterm elections to file a lawsuit against his own party.  State Rep. John E. Barnes, a Cleveland Democrat, has filed a defamation lawsuit against the Ohio Democrat Party and its chairman alleging discrimination.

In his lawsuit, Rep. Barnes claims that white lawmakers in the party get better treatment than blacks and that he was punished for raising the issue of racism within the state Democrat Party.  Barnes claims that he faced retaliation and discrimination from the state Democrat Party because he refused to join the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus in the Ohio House.  He mentioned in the lawsuit that his reason for not joining the OLBC was that he feared that the membership would harm his reputation, because many of the members had been convicted of felony and misdemeanor offenses in the last three years.

Can anyone honestly blame him for making that decision?  He claims that his refusal to join the OLBC coupled with his decision to cooperate with Republican governor Kasich angered party chairman Chris Redfern and key leaders of the Democratic caucus in the House, and in turn he was retaliated against by being passed over for any committee leadership positions.

The interesting part about Rep Barnes’s lawsuit is that he alleges racism and discrimination within his own Democrat Party.  He stated the following at a press conference:

Barnes told reporters, “This behavior on particular members … African American members … African American members have to go through another door and the white members go through another door and they expect you to stay in a box of despair.”  He said, “They expect you to stay in a box where your voice is minimized in the process. Enough is enough.”

“There are people who would probably turn over in their graves if they knew about the treatment and the efforts to create a plantation-style management of black public officials in the state of Ohio,” said Barnes.  “I understand what the focus is, that you want to have people together so you can manage them like they’re on a plantation. That’s just unacceptable. It’s insulting to my intelligence. It’s insulting to the people who honor me with the opportunity of serving a community and serving in the Ohio House of Representatives.”

You can’t have a process where you tell people, ‘You’re black, you go over here.’ It’s almost telling me I have to go in the back door of a restaurant. I’d use some other terms but they won’t let me,” Barnes said, glancing at his attorney.

“I don’t have time for petty party politics,” Barnes said in Monday’s press conference.  He said he waited until this week to file the lawsuit so it wouldn’t hurt his party in the election.  “I don’t have time to sit around and focus on ignominious peace – peace for the sake of peace – when I have people in my district who are unemployed, hungry, don’t have an opportunity – and we stand and argue about nothing and get nothing done. I will work with whomever’s in office pursuant to the Ohio Constitution, Article II,” he said.

“Now, I’m a Democrat. Make no mistake about it. But at the same time, I believe that part of being a Democrat is the freedom to place a color on the quilt that reflects your thinking, because that makes up the body of what this process is about,” said Barnes.

Referring to the OLBC’s “plantation mentality,” he said, “I don’t know why these people think that compromise is dishonorable. I don’t believe that compromise in a democracy is dishonorable.”

I am amazed that Rep. Barnes has experienced the level of racism and discrimination within the Democrat Party that he alleges and yet remains a proud and loyal member.  If this does not prove that liberalism is a mental disorder, what will?


PatriciaDicksonPatricia Dickson blogs at Patricia’s Corner.
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7 Responses to Black Democrat Lawmaker Calls Ohio Democrat Party a Plantation

  1. Rosalys says:

    “I am amazed that Rep. Barnes has experienced the level of racism and discrimination within the Democrat Party that he alleges and yet remains a proud and loyal member. If this does not prove that liberalism is a mental disorder, what will?”

    I too am amazed; but let’s allow him to take one step at a time. It can be difficult, really difficult to let go of what has been a part of you for maybe a lifetime. He has begun the process of opening his eyes! This maybe a mere baby step toward the light and sanity, but it is a step!

    • David Ray says:

      Good Point.
      Ron Silver broke with the DNC because he received endless vicious blowback for supporting America after the 911 attack. The transition was not over night. In the end he spoke at the 2004 RNC convention and even became pals with none other than Ann Coulter. (Who’d a thought it.)

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I remember that he was the guy who, when he say military planes flying at Clinton’s first inauguration, was initially upset until he realized, “Those are our planes now.” But a decade later there he was reminding us that even the most hopeless liberal can learn better provided he will allow himself to do so.

        • David Ray says:

          I remember that. I had just started watching this new show on TV called “Rush”. Mr. Limbaugh shared that quote and I thought; Ron who?
          Unfortunately cancer claimed him. Ann Coulter, as is her passion, gave yet another composed eulogy.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    It would appear that the Demagogues punished him for his actions, not his race, though we have no way of knowing from the article if they behaved similarly toward whites who cooperated with Kasich. But it’s perfectly fair to judge them by the same standards they use against Republicans. And by that standard, they’re clearly guilty of racist behavior.

  3. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Allan West once talked about the economic dependency plantation that the Democrats had constructed for the blacks. (And he took some grief from many supposed conservative writers for doing so.)

    Generally speaking, it is acknowledged by the brave (or just the foolish) that those whites on the Left who profess great love and care for blacks do so in a condescending way. They’re saying “We know what is best for you. Let us run your lives. All we ask in return is your blind allegiance and vote.” They are the kind who like the idea of windmills, for example — just not in their back yard.

    Blacks who begin to pierce the bubble of black grievance, liberal white condescension, and the paranoid view that has been stoked about conservatives and the GOP, are unofficially the Uncle Toms. They are at the very least traitors to the cause.

    I’m sort of with Rush Limbaugh on this, although he speaks of this aspect regarding the GOP: Because there would seem to be much political hay to be made simply by opposing the Left, you wonder so why few do it.

    And that certainly can apply to blacks (and others) in the Democrat Party, just as it can apply to the Progressive Establishment Republican RINOs who think victory can only come by not taking a stand on anything. Rush’s point is that you would think that pure political ambition would cause some of these Republicans to take on some of the extraordinarily unpopular policies of the Democrats and the Left.

    It’s amazing to see people on both sides living inside these suffocating political boxes. The indoctrination is thick.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      Back when I was at Purdue, a friend of mine was a member of the Young Americans for Freedom. (I later joined when I came up for a visit during the Activities Carnival, and the Purdue Wargamers happened to be next to YAF. I also picked up some books from them, including Steve Shadegg’s book on political campaigning which developed the point that most “independents” are more properly called “indifferents”.) One issue (I believe from 1972) had a cartoon of a plantation owner putting up signs for a runaway slave, and wondering why he ran away from all those benefits — guaranteed annual income, free healthcare, old age security, etc.

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