Herschel Walker sealed his fate with the Black vote a long time ago. He isn’t even supported by Blacks in his hometown of Wrightsville, Georgia. As New York Times looked around the community, they saw few campaign signs for Walker-all in front of the most lavish homes in town, and the NYT reported two near the courthouse-and a Confederate memorial. Being supported by White people isn’t a bad thing, but when you’re a barely articulate Black man, their support should tell you something about yourself and the town from which you originated.
Wrightsville has always been divided by race, and little has changed today. NYT spoke with Curtis Dixon, a former teacher and coach of Walker: “All those campaign materials were in the white community. The only other house that has a Herschel Walker poster is his family.” Even as Walker brags that he’s going to “get the Black vote,” Dixon made clear what most Blacks think of Walker: “Herschel’s not getting the Black vote because Herschel forgot where he came from. He’s not part of the Black community.”
You see, Wrightsville remained predominantly segregated well beyond the rest of the state or the country for that matter. Blacks couldn’t get good jobs, the police force was all white, and the city’s country club was for whites only. Yet, Walker had the unmitigated gall to write in his memoir: “I never really liked the idea that I was to represent my people.” How well we know. Walker is no John Lewis, who put his very life on the line to “represent [his] people.”
Walker has had the nerve to visit with Black clergy, trying to court a vote he’ll never get, while his campaign staff is mostly white. He spoke to a room filled with white women in Wrightsville, telling them: “Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re racist.”
They might not be, but that doesn’t mean that others are not. Herschel Walker has lived his life with blinders on. He chose not to get involved in any civil rights activities in his hometown when his presence could have made a difference. To him, no whites are racist, and most Black are just whining. He can continue to think that way and see just how many Blacks come out to vote for him; it won’t be many.
At the same time, an opinion writer for NYT, Charles M. Blow (a Black man) wrote: “Herschel Walker Says He’s ‘Not That Smart.’ I Believe Him.” So do many others. He says stupid things like: “I’m a country boy” and that Raphael Warnock is “a preacher who wears nice suits.” Please. Herschel Walker has the money to buy as many nice suits as he wants, but he wants to play up this ridiculous image of being “one of us” when he is exactly as Blow describes him: “Georgia Republicans’ attempt to undermine the image of Black competence by making a mockery of Black people, by replacing a thinker with a toady.” Neither Walker’s nor Republicans’ attempts will work on Black voters in Georgia. Walker might as well stay in Texas where he belongs.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years