Why Black people need to vote
Politics and Activism

You Can't Convince Black People To Vote For A Politician That Is Going To Continue To Suppress Them, But I'mma Try

Sometimes even the simplest of changes comes down to a few hundred ballots.

Andrew Gillum Instagram

I am a black woman who votes, but you know what, I fully understand why my fellow black-folk don't vote.

2018 Florida Govenors Race Results

How can a government conceived in 1700-something-or-another by white slave owners do anything for me or us as a community? Especially when 200 years after slavery the only things that have changed are us not being forced to work on literal plantations and having the right to vote for new and improved white oppressors?

What sense does it make to play into the hands of a system built on our oppression? What sense does it make to support and respect a constitution that refuses to acknowledge any one of us as a whole person?

And we can really go there. The Democrats don't actively do anything to uplift the black communities --- at least not on purpose. Year after year they pander to us, promise us a reform on this and a reform on that, with little to no intention of doing anything besides waiting for their moment to exclaim that they "have the black vote!" Then they ride off into the sunset on one of the horses from their ranch, while they line the pockets of their designer suits with our blood, sweat, tears and hip-hop culture.

I mean, damn! Has anyone seen our white savior lady, Hillary? She was at cookout after cookout, eating up all of auntie's mac & cheese during the last election, but with all of her influence and "brand" last name, she has sure been quite on black issues since then...

And then there's the obvious fact that capitalism and the oppression of people of color go hand in hand. The rich get rich and stay rich with a boot to the fact of the black man, and so the only way to have rich people is to have poor people. Rich white-folk have a ton more respect for middle-class white-folk than they do black-folk, so we know why black communities always get the shorter end of the stick. Grade "D" schools, streets without sidewalks, and voter suppression. So why support a capitalist system of government when centuries have shown us that socialism has taken care of Black people a lot better?

Not to mention that the Democratic and Republican parties are the same damn thing. They have the same capitalist agenda, with slightly different ways of getting there. But the painful similarities are that they are both corrupt and again serve no one but rich white men.

I know exactly what you want because it's what I want. A black politician who isn't afraid to run on a race-based platform. A black politician we hoped Obama would have been. A black politician who will stand up in front of America, say "I'm Black and I'm proud," condemn our criminal justice system and offer solutions, have a plan to raise the minimum wage in a way that specifically targets communities of color while raising taxes on big businesses and billionaires. A black politician who isn't afraid to say that we aren't at all equal, but that his or her social, political and economic plans will make it so.

A black politician who can keep their composure while being called a "nigger," receiving death threats, being boo'd, having everything including their 1st-grade spelling test grades used against them. A black politician who you probably wouldn't want to be a bodyguard for.

Here is the thing. I know you're holding out for this politician, because so am I. But in the meantime, what you need to understand is that voting in the Black community isn't about making large-scale political changes. We're only 12% of the population, and if anyone has the power to bitch-slap Merica into shape, it's white women, and maybe at some point, they will wake up and start voting in their best interest.

But until then, this is what it is. Voting in the Black community is about the little things. It's about giving ex-felons (many of whom are black and were unnecessarily imprisoned in the first place) their right to vote back. It's about keeping a majority of the House and Senate somewhat decent so that a man literally locking children in cages and deporting their parents can be impeached and jailed. Voting in the black community is about, reducing harm, damage control, keeping people afloat and allowing them to have or keep their most basic of human rights.

Yes, this whole system of government needs to be dismantled and rebuilt, but until then... I took 30 minutes of my day to vote and get an ugly lil' sticker and I hope next time around, you do too.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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