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Reply to "Why should Black Folk Vote?"

Black folks are obviously completely justified in being dissatisfied/unhappy/angry at our power and position in this nation. Not voting as a result would only seem to create a spiraling loop downward that further marginalizes us in many ways though. Despite the characterizations about our existence here and about 'the system', the more we participate in this system, the more we can impact positive change in our behalf. In fact, the last presidential election should have more than taught us that since Gore lost Florida (and the general election) by a number less than the membership of our little community.

Personally, I don't buy the argument that because the system was not made for us and abuses us, that we should not participate in it at all. That approach would seem to only further entrench our problems and the manner in which white America takes advantage of us.

Jews in this country have done a wonderful job of organizing themselves and promoting their interests through working 'the system'. United States' foreign policy toward Israel clearly reflects that. As mentioned above, seniors also are a powerful political force in this nation. We have similar potential to focus our political energy in a way that makes a positive difference in the lives of our people. By not voting, we defer all responsibility for our fate to others. We leave dollars and services 'on the table' that could be invested into our communities and into our people.

Some people believe in an all or nothing approach to things. In some situations that certainly makes sense. In this instance, I believe we have the ability to make a positive difference in our lives by getting more involved in the system - by not just voting, but by running for office and making our voices heard. Of course I respect others opinions about this, but I would rather fight for what is due me than sit back and essentially hope for the best.

It seems like there are two options. We either get more involved in our system here or, like Soul_Doctor suggests - we leave. Doing anything other than that would seem to be giving up.


There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela
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