When I began questioning whether or not I wanted to participate in this year’s midterm elections the main thing I continued to hear was: “Your ancestors died to give you the right to vote? In my opinion, that’s somewhat of a misleading statement.
Even though, the melanated men and women that have fought to liberate Black Americans should be honored, let’s keep this in perspective. Far too often we simply give away our vote without getting anything in return. Now, when I say “WE” I’m speaking specifically about D.O.S.’s (Descendants of Slaves) that live in this country.
For the sake of argument, it’s important that we make that distinction because in most cases when it comes time to reap the benefits we were promised by our elected officials, other groups seem to be first in line (i.e. Hispanics, LGBTQ, Immigrants, etc.).
So, when it’s all said and done, we end up in the same position. When I think about our ancestors that truly stood on the front line and attacked racism white supremacy head on, I can’t help but ask myself…Would they have wanted us to focus on voting? Or, educating and mobilizing our people on a grassroots level?
In my opinion, the latter is much more effective. Now, don’t get me wrong, politics are definitely a necessary part of the process but if you’re not coming to the table with money, don’t expect a politician to do your bidding. If we take a close look at how the melanated population of this country is treated, not much has changed since we’ve gained the right to vote. Let’s be honest; no politician is coming to change the conditions in our neighborhoods.
Everyone in our community needs to look themselves in the mirror and ask “What can I do to make a difference? Whether we like or not, we all have an individual responsibility to make a positive impact on our communities, So, don’t let know one discourage you from voting if that’s what’s truly in your heart, just remember to put that same amount of effort and energy into unifying and working with grassroots organizations in your area.