5 Reasons Why I’m Rooting For Alvin Greene, and Why You Should Too


5 Reasons Why I’m Rooting For Alvin Greene, and Why You Should Too

by Bakari Kitwana

Since the news broke that Alvin Greene won the South Carolina Democratic Party Primary Election for US Senate, countless media and political elites, have filled several rounds of the news cycle looking down their noses at the unlikely winner. But more important than questioning where he got the $10,400 filing fee and feigning outrage in response to the obscenity charge, those who claim to love democracy should be asking this: “why are freedom-loving political insiders asking Greene to step aside?”

The same folks leading the charge against Greene, in part suggesting that he’s not smart enough to have really won, are the same public servants unable to protect us from banks smart enough to rip us off, but too dumb to fail, and oversized multinational corporations smart enough to drill, but clueless about how to stop the greatest oil spill in American history.

So until said elected officials have figured out a solution to these pressing issues, alongside the unemployment crisis, the budget crises, and recurring voting irregularities in national elections that nurture a climate for more of the same, I’m rooting for Alvin Greene.

Here are five reasons why:

First, if Alvin Greene is the legitimate winner, and I think politicians should find that out with a fair investigation before asking him to step aside (as Congressman James Clyburn and Democratic Party State leader Carol Fowler have done), his win reinforces the notion that grassroots everyday people can still win elections in America–that the country, imagine this, still actually belongs to the people. Political elites reveal how far removed they are from this idea when central to their criticism of Greene is the notion that Senate primary wins are impossible without big bucks and establishment support.

I’m also rooting for Alvin Greene because he’s an underdog, the quintessential outsider, so much so, his own party claims they never heard of him. That plus the fact that any non-millionaire deserves our support when he proves he can ruffle the feathers of the mainstream political establishment–those same politicians who get sent to Washington to represent the interest of the people back at home, but fail to support the majority will on pressing issues of the day.

Third, Green deserves our support because he is a candidate who went for broke and did the unthinkable: he put his money where his mouth is. If indeed his filing fee was his own money–which is as plausible to me as his win–then it’s a compelling story about the will of everyday people in search of democracy. This is the type of inspirational narrative all Americans should be embracing–not imaginary populous movements that run politically connected candidates (Rand Paul are u listening?) and pass them off as a revolution.

Alvin Greene

Greene wants to do something to save the country sans name-calling, racial slurs or spitting on politicians he disagrees with. Instead, the 32-year-old college grad truly believes in public service–if his military record is any indication.

Which leads me to my final two points: Greene’s a military veteran and a post baby-boomer, two groups underrepresented in the Senate. Sure, Washington insiders spend a lot of time giving lip service to the troops when it’s politically expedient. However, when a 13-year military veteran runs for office, these “support the troops” cheerleaders are focused on discrediting him.

According to the Department of Defense, over 75 percent of the armed forces is comprised of Americans under 30 years old. Likewise, young voters 18-29 years old in the last three national elections have been steadily increasing their engagement. It’s time their numbers are more significantly represented in Washington.

It may be revealed in the days ahead that Alvin Greene’s win was no win at all. If so, the culprit will likely be something far more plausible than a “Republican plant.” Although an electronic voting machine glitch, diabolical voting machine tampering, or massive crossover voting lead my list, I’m hoping that won’t be the case.

But whether Alvin Greene is manufactured, an accident or for real, those crying foul should see his entry on the political scene as an opportunity to re-evaluate their commitment to the nation’s ideals–rather than to continue to dismantle them.

Bakari Kitwana is senior media fellow at the Harvard Law based think tank The Jamestown Project and the author of the forthcoming Hip-Hop Activism in the Obama Era (Third World Press, 2010).

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11 comments on “5 Reasons Why I’m Rooting For Alvin Greene, and Why You Should Too

  1. Mr. Greene may b a plant but what would u call the current sitting politicians they have planted themselves firmly on the side of the 1% rich in this world

  2. I agree with Mr. Kitwana, and I am very concerned about this issue. I hope someone is looking after him (Mr. Greene)to make sure he is OK. As a Democrat, I want to know what happened. If someone is taking advantage of this man I want to know who? and why?

  3. The story about Mr. Greene intrests me because I live in SC and I never heard of Mr. Greene nor saw any political signs bearing his name until AFTER the election was over. I personally have no problem with Mr. Greene, he did fight for this country which SHOULD merit respect by every American Citizen. Mr. Greene also received a degree from the University of South Carolina in Political Science. However the issues that concerns most voters is the fact that:
    A) He’s the black version of Sarah Palin (although he did get his degree in less time wha-pow).
    B) He got elected in the midst of a period when the Republican base in South Carolina could be overturned.
    C) Despite his background he embodies the “Uneducated Negro” which we all know scares away white people Dem or Repub.
    D) He supposedly showed some female porn, but if Kobe and OJ didn’t do it I have my reservations

  4. Interesting opinion, and as a non SC resident maybe I’m seeing this wrong, but Mr Greene seems to have difficulty articulating his viewpoints. At this point I can’t tell if its a charicature being drawn by the media, or he really is that uncommunicative.

  5. Leosash if you’re refering to the CNN interview where the other “Brotha” was interviewing, there could have been a slew of reason he came across as “uncommunicative”. I believe that the man was simply shocked that he won and was still trying to grasp what had happened. What I didn’t like was the so-called reporter trying to imply that the man was, as he said inebriated or doped up or something.

  6. Never heard about this and I want to know more because it does mean something good when a regular or normal person can be able to make noise in politics as stated before.

  7. I live in SC and I whole heartedly disagree with the writer of this article. Sure, it would be nice to have a real grassroots candidate come out of left field and shock the house, someone who can really shake things up. Someone who brings fresh ideas and a fresh spirit and is ready to fight the power.

    Only problem is Alvin Greene ain’t that dude. He is seriously unprepared.

    I don’t care who you are, but if you have absolutely NO experience dealing with politicians and or wheeling and dealing with big money business people, your candidacy will be a pie-in-the-sky, wishing-on-a-star kinda thing. Sure, Greene represents the common man. Especially, the common man in SC. Unemployment here is extremely high and there are alot of military people here.

    Greene did no campaigning. Did you hear me? He didn’t send out posters, flyers, nuttin. Here, in. this. state. when a Black man runs for office: FOLKS TURN OUT TO SUPPORT HIM. Provided you energize the base. Actual people call your house to see what time your voting and if you need help getting to the polls.

    I have never heard of Alvin Greene – and I ain’t alone.

    Mr Greene doesn’t strike me as someone who has the fire in the belly to really do the job. Nor does he know how to excite people to get them fired up to want to stomp the streets for him. What do I mean by that?

    I used to live in the Bay Area. I’ll never forget when a guy named Tom Ammiano (think i’m spelling the name right) ran for mayor of SF. He announced his candidacy at the last moment and was a write in candidate, he was able to energize his base within two weeks i think. He got mad votes – gays turned out by the thousands to vote for him.

    So scared were the powers that be of Tom Ammiano running the city of SF, that the powers that be, did the unthinkable. They did what many would’ve bet was impossible to happen in Bay Area politics: they (the Republicans) threw their support behind the man they swore to hate, their archenemy Willie Brown.

    I’d love to vote for an outsider, but I’ll use my vote to vote for an outsider that knows what the hell is going on and can ARTICULATE HIS PROGRAM AND POSITIONS in a clear manner.

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