The Washington Post's endorsements or lack of endorsements in the September 14th DC Democratic Primary make one thing very clear, if you challenged Mayor Fenty or questioned schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee, “No Endorsement for You”.
Nothing made this clearer than the Washington Post editorial board's decision to endorse Delano Hunter for the Ward 5 City Council seat dismissing his stance against marriage equality in the District of Columbia and his call for a referendum or initiative on the legislation and ignoring him having tied himself to the homophobic, hate filled, and offensive statements and actions of the National Organization for Marriage. They even went as far as to list on the site under his listing among the bulleted reasons why they endorsed him, “Smart ideas on truancy, joblessness, and gay rights”. REALLY?
In my mind this endorsement was not only an endorsement of Mr. Hunter, but it was a slap in the face to the DC LGBT community and an endorsement of those who oppose marriage equality and who are actively working to divide our city over the issue.
Mr. Hunter cannot take money from the National Organization for Marriage and participate in their campaign organizing efforts by passively endorsing the National Organization for Marriage's mailing promoting his campaign stating that he is fighting the Gay Agenda and trying to keep San Francisco and New York values out of DC, and he not be considered a homophobe. Mr. Hunter has yet to publicly distance himself from NOM's activities on his behalf and has not disconnected himself from the mailing.
How dare Joann Armao and the other members of the Washington Post editorial board tell members of the LGBT community; that since Mr. Hunter isn't a major homophobe by their standards we should get over it and let it go.
The Washington Post has the right to endorse whomever they desire based on whatever criteria they establish, however you don't get the right to tell the LGBT community what is and what isn't homophobic.
I gather that their tunnel vision focus on standing firmly behind Mayor Fenty and Chancellor Rhee has resulted in them having no idea how offensive their statements in this endorsement actually are.
If the Post's leadership and members of the editorial board don't understand, I think there needs to be some changes at the Post to try to re-build the public trust that once existed.
Jeffrey Richardson is a Ward 6 resident and the President of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club