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April 24, 2011 02:41 AM UTC

Eritreans Just Love Michael Hancock!

  • 11 Comments
  • by: Colorado Pols

Folks, we’ve officially reached the point in the election cycle where campaigns will throw whatever they find at the wall in the hopes that something, anything, may stick for even just a moment.

Case in point, this interesting press release from Michael Hancock‘s campaign:

With Election Day under two weeks away, mayoral candidate Michael Hancock today announced the endorsements of the Colorado Black Professional Firefighters and Eritrian Community of Colorado.

The Eritrian Community of Colorado is an organization that represents the interest of those in Denver and Colorado who are of Eritrian heritage.

“Michael Hancock is the right man to move the city forward,” said Tarke Teku, Chairman of the Eritrian Community of Colorado. “He has the right ideas to jumpstart our economy and to improve our neighborhood schools. His openness and willingness to bring all communities to the table to discuss the important issues is what separates Michael form the rest of the field.”

Wait a second, what? We had no idea there even was an “Eritrean Community of Colorado,” let alone know of anybody who would be swayed by their endorsement. The fact of the matter is that if you told 10 people about Michael Hancock’s Eritrean endorsement, 10 out of 10 would say “the what?”

We’re a little surprised that this organization exists. Do you think it’s an actual organization, or just some guy in a Denver office somewhere who just speaks for all of the Eritreans in Colorado? Is there a vote? Does the rest of the Eritrean community know this guy is making endorsements? How many Eritrean voters are there in Denver? 10? 20? 100? We really have no idea.

But wait, it gets better. We managed to find the Eritrean Community in Colorado’s website. Needless to say, if you loved web design in the early 1990s or ever spent a lot of time on Geocities, this website’s for you.

That said, the Eritrean Community in Colorado refers to itself as the Eritrean Community in Colorado. Hancock’s press release spelled it, in each reference, as the Eritrian Community in Colorado. Folks, if you can’t even spell the organization’s name right in your press release, the endorsement doesn’t really matter, does it?

Further, according to the same website, the ECC is a nonprofit organization that is “free of any political, governmental, and religious affiliations.” Probably not the best idea to endorse a candidate then, right?

From what we can tell, the ECC is a nonprofit corporation. If they were a 501c3, though, they wouldn’t even be able to endorse Hancock without losing their tax-exempt status. Let’s hope for both the candidate and his Eritrean (Eritrian?) supporters that this incredibly meaningful endorsement doesn’t come at great cost.  

Comments

11 thoughts on “Eritreans Just Love Michael Hancock!

  1. Spelling aside.  In this mayoral campaign with lackluster interest by the voters and the press, candidates had better get ALL the votes they can.

    Colorado is becoming more multicultural and yes some of those from other nations can actually vote.

    Linkhart at one of the debates said there are 25,000 Ethiopians in Denver.  I’m not sure how many Ertitreans there are, but it sounds like Hancock will get a leader’s vote and his vote may encourage or sway others.

    In this race every vote counts.

    If Mejia had been endorsed by say the Guatamalean organization or Romer by the Bask society would your tone be the same?

    1.  and we’re one of the states where Eritreans are resettled in large numbers.  I’m not sure that the number of Eritreans is as much as the 25,000 Ethiopians, which does sound accurate, but it’s not far off.

      Why would Denver Pols be “shocked” that there’s such an organization?  That’s just an unnecessary statement on your part.  Shocked?  Really?  That said, I’m not sure how much this endorsement means.  I pay attention because I think our refugees need more attention, but I doubt this will resonate with many people.

      1. We probably should have said “surprised.” We’d never heard of the organization, and certainly never seen it touted by a candidate for office. That’s not bad or good — we were just surprised to see it.

        1. I think the words that are chosen often show the intrinsic biases that we all possess.

          Probably enough said.  I think you all made your point.

  2. Spelling aside.  In this mayoral campaign with lackluster interest by the voters and the press, candidates had better get ALL the votes they can.

    Colorado is becoming more multicultural and yes some of those from other nations can actually vote.

    Linkhart at one of the debates said there are 25,000 Ethiopians in Denver.  I’m not sure how many Ertitreans there are, but it sounds like Hancock will get a leader’s vote and his vote may encourage or sway others.

    In this race every vote counts.

    If Mejia had been endorsed by say the Guatamalean organization or Romer by the Bask society would your tone be the same?

      1. You’re mad at us for giving coverage to a press release that normally wouldn’t garner any?

        Let’s say that this endorsement really resonates with a small sub-set of people. They have a far better chance of seeing it now that we’ve posted it.

        Sure, we’ve posted it because it’s kind of funny, but either way, it does showcase the fact that Hancock got this endorsement.

        We have nothing against Hancock. We made fun of Romer when we got his press release about the candidate riding on a certain bus at a certain time. Quirky aspects of a campaign are fair game no matter what.

  3. to its coming into being as an independent state, are the predominant African immigrant population in the Denver area (followed perhaps by Sudanese immigrants).  I suspect that Linkhart’s estimate of 25,000 in the metro area is on target.

    The Ethiopian community probably exceeds that of any first and second generation group of immigrants from any one European country in Denver (with the possible exceptions of Greeks and European Jews), and is also on a par population wise with most of the immigrant populations from specific Asian countries (e.g. Thai or Vietnamese).

    There are probably more Coptic Christians in Denver (ball parking from number of places of worship) than there are Muslims or Hindus or Buddhists, and they are probably close in number to the number of Orthodox Christians in Denver.

    What subset of Ethiopians in Denver are from Eritrea rather than rump Ethiopia?  Hell if I know.  But, surely there are some.

    For Hancock, one of the things an endorsement like this conveys is friendliness to immigrant communities that could be masked by the inclination of Latin American immigrant communities to favor Mejia simply on shared  ethnicity.  

    Another thing it does is to dog whistle connection to an Africanist as opposed to assimilationist vision of African-American political identity which matters to a lot politically active people in North Denver (which is home among other things to an Ethiopian sister city park that sends similar message, particularly to those with political roots in the 1960s and 1970s when that vision was particularly prominent) without sending a comprehensible political message to other voters (as evidenced by the confusion found in this post about what this message means).

    This could be reassuring to people who are worried that Hancock is a closest conservative, as messaging early in the campaign about him being a possible GOP favorite in the race, had suggested.

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