It doesn’t take much imagination to guess who is accusing Rich Wilkins of “race-baiting” for encouraging Kim Velez to get in the Allentown Mayor race, but needless to say it’s a pretty silly claim.

Race-baiting is when political figures try to flare up voters’ racial resentments to try to win an election or advance some other policy goal. Mitt Romney’s infamous “47%” comments are a good example, as is the Republican Party’s impressive dogwhistling of the word “welfare” to mean “money spent on brown people.”

Pointing out that Latino residents of Allentown don’t have anywhere near the political representation needed to match their growing numbers isn’t race-baiting any more than pointing out that women are underrepresented in Congress is woman-baiting. Observing that Latinos are still vastly underrepresented in Allentown law enforcement and education on Ed Pawlowski’s watch isn’t race-baiting either. The shortage of bilingual cops and teachers presents real practical problems for communication and trust-building between public servants and the public they serve.

We’re being asked to feel just as bad for Ed Pawlowski as we do for the disempowered minority groups jeered by conservative mobs at CPAC. Seeing as whites still dominate Allentown politics, it’s a little hard to take.


  1. Funny how you’ve turned on Pawlowski. Be interesting to see what your angle is.

    • Jon Geeting says:

      It’s only surprising if you think I don’t really mean what I’ve been saying about one-party cities and the problems caused by a lack of political competition. I don’t have anything in particular against Ed Pawlowski. Mainly I just think there are some big issues on the agenda right now that people disagree about, and the public deserves to have those controversies processed by the political system via a competitive election.

      • You mean the part about how you want voters to be mindless zombies, just pulling a party lever all the time instead of actually getting to know candidates? To cede control to smoke-filled back rooms and take what the party deigns proper?

        Jon, you’re so full of shit you float.

  2. Donald Dal Maso says:

    Hey Jon–Who is Kim Velez and how do I get in touch with her? Best, Don

    • Jon Geeting says:

      She is an activist who tried to run for City Council but got scared into dropping off the ballot by a Pawlowski affiliate. I was able to contact her via Facebook.

  3. Donald Dal Maso says:

    Thanks Jon, I’ll reach out to her via Facebook to learn a bit more about her. You know my views about the political scene in Allentown.

  4. Donald Dal Maso says:

    PS I’m sure she won’t be so easily “intimidated” in the future.

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