Stockton Mayor Anthony Silva said he is Stockton’s first black mayor in a Mayoral Debate held on April 21.
Silva isn’t black though.
While Silva himself isn’t an African American he doesn’t believe that he needs to be in order to present himself as an African American mayor.
“I don’t have to be an African American Mayor to help African Americans. Too many people in our Country are afraid to talk about race issues. Don’t vote for someone because they have your same skin color, vote for them if you believe they will fight for you,” Mayor Silva posted to his Facebook page on April 22.
Delta student Tiara Johnson analyzed the comment from Silva.
“It’s not offensive it’s a different kind of comment … I don’t think he’s a black man because he supports African American communities that’s interesting that he said that,” said Johnson.
Silva might not be able to make this case if he didn’t have the support of black organizations including Black Women Organized for
Political Action who were one of the organizations hosting the debate.
“I don’t think it makes him black but he is a minority and relates more with minorities,” said Delta college students Jennifer Rader and Darlene Allen. The two continued to say that he relates more with minorities because he is one and can cooperate more with minority communities than someone who isn’t.
Of the eight mayoral candidates Stockton City Councilman Michael Tubbs is the only one who is African American and was unsurprised by Silva’s comment.
“Honestly, I think he was joking, so I wasn’t really offended. I was more offended by most of the policies he’s proposing whether it’s the sagging ordinance to get cops to police young men in how they wear their pants, as if they don’t have more important things to do,” Councilman Tubbs told CBS 13.
Silva is currently running a campaign against 7 other candidates and leads in support because of his actions in the community. “I believe in Mayor Silva because of his actions… he’s a Hispanic who believes in equality for all,” said Delta College student Tony Lee.