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Why should Black folk vote? With the upcoming presidential election there is a lot of talk about who will get the Black folk, I would like to take the time to discuss if we should vote at all.

Let's deal with the old saying that so and so died so we could vote, truthfully and respectfully so and so died so that we can have the right to vote, and it has always been up to the individual to vote. With that said, I would like to hear from all those who plan to vote and those who plan not to vote and why?

I have not; will not and as of now believe I will never vote in a presidential election. For too long Black men and women have had to settle for the lesser of the two evils, while white folk decide who will benefit them the most. The good ole boy Clinton while touted as a friend of the Black community, signed plenty of legislation that he knew was harmful to the Black community, but still signed it as to save face with his white constituents. Every President will acknowledge that what happen to the Black man and woman in America is one of the worst crimes in all of human history, however none of them will do anything as far as redress. They pay us Lip service or no service. Some of us enjoy Lip Service and love the celebrity of the president and this is why even today Bush can go to a Black church and receive a standing ovation. I think Black people are putting to much time and energy into a system that has proven to us time and time again that we don't mean a damn thing to the system. So for this reason and plenty of other reasons I will not vote, and you better believe I will continue to voice my opinion on the evils this country has done, is doing and will do A lot of people like to say silly things like if you don't vote you have no right to speak about what is wrong, as if their wasted vote empowers them with a special privilege, and those of us who do not take the symbolic step to vote is powerless. I have not seen one thing that proved those who wasted a vote in the Gore/Bush election has been endowed with some special power to speak out. Voting for Bush, Dean or any of the other presidential hopefuls will get us nothing more than lip service and I really don't care for their lip service.

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"We got to organize ourselves, We got to mobilize and there can't be no confusion in our collective solution, If not for ourselves, then for our kids, because we know who our enemy is!"

DPZ "for the hood"

More to come later!

Your Brother Faheem

[This message was edited by Faheem on January 15, 2004 at 02:49 PM.]
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There are Negroes who will never fight for freedom. There are Negroes who will seek profit for themselves from the struggle. There are even some Negroes who will cooperate with the oppressors. The hammer blows of discrimination, poverty, and segregation must warp and corrupt some. No one can pretend that because a people may be oppressed, every individual member is virtuous and worthy. Martin Luther King

More to come later! Your Brother Faheem
Original Post

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African American-Americans should vote in ALL local elections. Locally, is where the power of our vote is greatest. The numbers of African America is felt first on the street where you live.

African American-Americans should vote in ALL primary elections, or participate in ALL caucuses. This is where power in the national conventions is gathered. I think ALL African American-Americans should vote for an African American-American candidate in the primaries.

It doesn't matter what you do in the general election for President and Vice-President. It is only a popularity contest, and has NO BINDING INFLUENCE on the selection/election of the person to those offices.

The election for those offices is mandated to be done ONLY by the "ELECTORS" DETERMINED AS SPECIFIED BY THE CONSTITUTION.

THE DESIGN OF AMERICA'S POLITICAL SYSTEM IS TO CONTAIN AND CONTROL THE VOTE OF AFRICAN AMERICA. TO NOT VOTE MAKES YOU YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
I know you told me my intellect has taken a vacation and all, but dammit, you're the ONLY African-American-American on this whole damn PLANET. I've seen nothing but wars since my birth and for the life of me I don't know why Africans-in-America even participate. We die all ways necessary for these "folks" and still we get imprisoned, beat down by the "law" enforcement, executed, disrespected, come back from these foregn lands after war participation for "them" and still get classified as NIGGERS. With all the VOTING, NOTHING HAS CHANGED, and I don't see THAT ANYTHING EVER WILL. My arms aren't long enough to stretch over a coffin holding any of MY BABIES. Go on with your bad self, MR. AFRICAN-AMERICAN-AMERICAN. I can't wait for these jokers to fly on the first thing Smokin' to MARS. You'll hear my rejoicing all over this land. Vote all you want; ain't nothing gonna change; never has for the African-Existing-In-America. Suit YOURSELF!!!!!

***********
The petty bourgeoisie are the first to sell out. When they obtain status their lives generally lose both content and significance. - Black Consciousness
Faheem, the reality is that the numeric minority will always live under the dictatorship of the numeric majority, especially when the interest of the or a numeric minority is significantly different in degree or kind from the numeric majority, in a democracy. Thus, in truth our vote is essentially useless unless our issues assimilate and map in degree and kind, to that of the numeric majority. Then we can blend into the two party systems in a way in which our vote counts. The problem is, however, is that our problems and issues are egregiously different in degree and/or kind, from the majority.

The numeric majority interest, for both parties, is dominated by white America. Our vote in the Democratic Party only helps forward white liberal interest, which may or may not address our issues and needs. Mostly the latter.

Truth is always fraught with impediments. Truth agreed with is a blessed duet. Truth confronting beloved vice will sever relationships, perpetrate flight, and uncover murderous rage. - Alexander Solzhenitsyn


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Noah The African in America
You would chime in with some lies, wouldn't you Watcher. Provide proof that none voters are the biggest complainers, and these Seniors you are talking about are nothing more than old white folk. If you are going to comment in this thread, how about explaining what you mean instead of making ignorant blanket statements like "not voting is detrimental to Blacks". Show me when have it been beneficial. How has voting in the Bush/Gore election benefited Black folk?

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"We got to organize ourselves, We got to mobilize and there can't be no confusion in our collective solution, If not for ourselves, then for our kids, because we know who our enemy is!"

DPZ "for the hood"

More to come later!

Your Brother Faheem
posted January 15, 2004 03:43 AM
I know you told me my intellect has taken a vacation and all, but dammit, you're the ONLY African-American-American on this whole damn PLANET. - Norland

I'm thrilled to see you are not only paying attention, but counting as well. Who else have you polled, or is that a guess?

Curiously, I don't feel at all lonely.

And, I DO suit myself

By the way, you are now using two hyphens. You're trying. WE ALLthank you!!

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
Very True Noah, our problems and concerns are very different from the numeric majority, and the numeric majority proves to us all the time they have no interest in addressing our concerns and continue to pay us Lip service.

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"We got to organize ourselves, We got to mobilize and there can't be no confusion in our collective solution, If not for ourselves, then for our kids, because we know who our enemy is!"

DPZ "for the hood"

More to come later!

Your Brother Faheem
If we act as customers and not owners of this system we will continue to be subject to the whims of the owners(the voters). Groups that are smart benefit all the time from voting. In California, the conservative minority organized, built coalitions with other "minorities" and collectively became the majority and got their person in office. Now that person is doing exactly what they wanted him to do. He's extorting Indian reservations and using their single resource-casinoes to bankroll California's budget. He's asking for a quarter of what they make and they aren't even citizens of the US. He's taxing a sovereign nation.
That's the power of a minority that organized. And part of that organizing started with the vote.

Voting is absolutely necessary for political influence. But it's only the first step and single element of political empowerment.
quote:
Originally posted by Faheem:
You would chime in with some lies, wouldn't you Watcher. Provide proof that none voters are the biggest complainers, and these Seniors you are talking about are nothing more than old white folk. If you are going to comment in this thread, how about explaining what you mean instead of making ignorant blanket statements like "not voting is detrimental to Blacks". Show me when have it been beneficial. How has voting in the Bush/Gore election benefited Black folk?




I'll provide proof that non-voters are the biggest complainers- scroll up to the 1st post in this thread! The Seniors reap the benefits of their powerful voting block every year, why? Because politicians realize that they need the senior block to win. When the senior block elects an official, said official is indebted to them to advance their agenda. Blacks not voting is detrimental because it gives us no representation in gov't and no one to advance our agenda. Guess what Faheem, while we're sitting on the sidelines complaining, the Latinos are gaining. Why? Because their votes can carry elections....
quote:
Originally posted by Faheem:
Why should Black folk vote?.........I would like to hear from all those who plan to vote and those who plan not to vote and why?



I plan to vote but I am not sure of who as of this time. I still need to weed out some weak links IMO. I vote b/c I feel that gives me the right to question anything that goes wrong in this country and the leadership. People that don't vote are part of the problem and not the solution IMO. Yes there are problems and voting has or has not made a difference, but if anyone can show me where sitting around complaining has done anything it would be greatly appreciated.

I still say part of the problem is the party system and as long as people vote "for this party or that party" there will be problems.
Last election I had a goofball actually get mad b/c I didn't vote for Gore. According to his theory I wasted my vote on the independent candidate I choose. Regardless of how I felt about Gore his theory was I should vote for Gore b/c "he was good for blacks"; needless to say one of the dumbest comments I heard for that year.

Catch
That's all BS. It all boils down to mathematics and numbers in a democracy. No matter if we had full voter participation on the behalf of blacks, we cannot squeeze more than our 13% out and 13% is simply not enough leverage to push our interest and agenda to the forefront. That's true even in the Democratic Party. The white vote is roughly split between the two parties evenly. There are 285 million people in this nation, 70% of whom are non-Hispanic whites. That is numerically 200 million whites. Thirteen percent of the nation is black. That is numerically 37 million blacks. If half of whites are voting democratic, that means that 100 million whites are in the Democratic Party. If all black people vote democratic. That means that 37 million blacks are in the party. Thus, it is obvious that white interest and issues have a 3 to 1 advantage in shaping the agenda and platform of the party and white liberal does not = pro black issues. Thus, our vote is really insignificant in the big picture, but voting helps to makes us feel that we are free now. Freedom comes in degrees that are determined by ones viable options. Our viable options to address our specific needs via the political process is not than much different than the options of the masses who live under a single dictatorship. The difference here being that we do not live under the dictatorship of one person or family, but of the white majority instead.

Truth is always fraught with impediments. Truth agreed with is a blessed duet. Truth confronting beloved vice will sever relationships, perpetrate flight, and uncover murderous rage. - Alexander Solzhenitsyn


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Noah The African in America
Let's get one thing strait. Pointing out the problem is not and never will be complaining. The word complaining has a since of laziness attached to it, and If any of you who do vote think your pointing out the problems mean any more than the men and women who don't vote pointing out the problem you are sadly mistaken. Our grievance with this country is different than the grievance Latino men and women have with this country thus, the concessions they make we don't have the luxury of making. Republicans are catering to the Latino community to off set the Black vote, and if they get enough Latino voting Republican, the Black vote will be the most marginalize useless vote in this country. All you pro-American Sambo's will then be left casting your useless vote in an election where regardless who win your needs and your concerns will fall on deaf ears.

Watcher, you can beat on this Senior song all day, you are talking about old white folk who concerns barring those of their medical condition are the same as young white folk, so catering to old white folk is the same as catering to young white folk 90% of the time. While this is a debate, it also a discussion and I have not heard one thing that would make me want to vote.

-------------------------
"We got to organize ourselves, We got to mobilize and there can't be no confusion in our collective solution, If not for ourselves, then for our kids, because we know who our enemy is!"

DPZ "for the hood"

More to come later!

Your Brother Faheem
Fortunately our interests which are many and varied do not nicely bundle into white interests and black interests. Nor do they fit simple conservative and liberal labels. Our interests and their alignment with other groups is constantly in flux. To have those interests met individuals have to a coalesce with other individuals of a similar mindset. A white rural farmer does not have the same interests as a white new england day trader. There interests are probably at odds. As such it behooves the white rural farmer to join forces with other rural farmers who may actually be black or even liberal. Individuals don't make a difference unless they are a part of something bigger. The smaller you are the more you have to align yourself with other individuals. For that reason individuals must build coalitions, collectively make a decision and collectively vote. By offering a bloc vote as we currently do we offer any other fragmented groups a strong incentive to join forces with us. We can exert tremendous influence through this voting power if we choose to. But when communication within our collective group is in disarray the voice and demands we make come out as noise.
If you choose not to vote, at least organize people with similar interests(PACs) and lobby for those interests.
I agree that politics and life is a competition of self interest and the individual self-interest coalesce to compete as a group. Thus, in a democracy, theoretically (ignoring the power of money and lobbyist) the dominant numerical shared self-interest will rise to the top. Although black people share some of the same interest and needs as others, the differ in degree and also, we have many interests and needs that differ in kind. Thus, as shared interest naturally rises to the top of the agenda and policy, the least shared interest will fall to the bottom. Consequently, we back were we originally said we were, with little leverage do too few people share many of our specific interest.

Truth is always fraught with impediments. Truth agreed with is a blessed duet. Truth confronting beloved vice will sever relationships, perpetrate flight, and uncover murderous rage. - Alexander Solzhenitsyn


("`-''-/").___..--''"`-._
`6_ 6 ) `-. ( ).`-.__.`)
(_Y_.)' ._ ) `._ `. ``-..-'
_..`--'_..-_/ /--'_.' ,'
(((' (((-((('' ((((
Noah The African in America
I plan to vote and like alot of folks I just don't know who I plan to vote for. I make it especially an issue to vote in local elections where I know my vote helps decide issues that are important to me. While the national election is a popluarity contest, people really can make a difference at the local level.

So if you don't want to vote at the national level so be it, but not voting at all including your local elections just means you don't care what really happens and if that is the case then you really don't have an excuse to complain about what falls on top of you.
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
quote:
Originally posted by Noah The African:

It all boils down to mathematics and numbers in a democracy. No matter if we had full voter participation on the behalf of blacks, we cannot squeeze more than our 13% out and 13% is simply not enough leverage to push our interest and agenda to the forefront.


But more than half of whites do not vote. Further of those whites that do vote, they are roughly evenly split between the parties. Hence, if organized we could represent THE MOST IMPORTANT BLOC of votes in this country - the group that determines which party wins an election.

All votes are not equal. The votes that push a candidate/election over the top and to victory are more important than all others. We can be much smarter and strategic about our voting to increase our political leverage in this country - just like we can be with our dollars in terms of our impact in the economy.


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
Ambiguouslight, there was a thread on this board some time ago about the whole farming situation where I articulated how Black farmers are being giving the shaft and being discriminated against. If Black farmers interest were the same as white farmers' interest there would be no need for a Black farmers group to fight how this government distributes money to Black farmers versus white farmers. I will agree with you in that a day trader in New England does not share all the concerns of a rural white farmer, however on issues that directly affect Black men and women I think both of these white individuals will have more in common with one another than they will their Black counterpart.

Here is a scenario; Evil politician proposed legislation that is harmful to the Black community and the legislative body he belongs to pass the legislation. A non-voter points the wickedness of the legislation out, and a voter points the legislation out. How does the pointing out of the evil by the voter mean any more than it being pointed out by the non- vote? Both are affected by it.

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"We got to organize ourselves, We got to mobilize and there can't be no confusion in our collective solution, If not for ourselves, then for our kids, because we know who our enemy is!"

DPZ "for the hood"

More to come later!

Your Brother Faheem
MBM, do you not think that increasing the percentage of blacks that vote will occur without a reaction from whites? This is a competition of interest here. Half of whites do not vote; because they do not need to due to the fact that there shared common interest as white folks still has the dominant leverage in the political processes. If blacks start to increase participation and forward our agenda to the top, threatening the white agenda, you can believe that any gain we made will be short lived as they will rally to increase white voter participation to ensure that the win the competition of interest going forward.

Truth is always fraught with impediments. Truth agreed with is a blessed duet. Truth confronting beloved vice will sever relationships, perpetrate flight, and uncover murderous rage. - Alexander Solzhenitsyn


("`-''-/").___..--''"`-._
`6_ 6 ) `-. ( ).`-.__.`)
(_Y_.)' ._ ) `._ `. ``-..-'
_..`--'_..-_/ /--'_.' ,'
(((' (((-((('' ((((
Noah The African in America
quote:
Originally posted by Noah The African:

MBM, do you not think that increasing the percentage of blacks that vote will occur without a reaction from whites? This is a competition of interest here. Half of whites do not vote; because they do not need to due to the fact that there shared common interest as white folks still has the dominant leverage in the political processes. If blacks start to increase participation and forward our agenda to the top, threatening the white agenda, you can believe that any gain we made will be short lived as they will rally to increase white voter participation to ensure that the win the competition of interest going forward.



I hear you, but have a couple of points:

1) How can increasing our political participation do anything but increase our power and influence to make our lives and communities better? How can it harm us in any way?

2) How has the Jewish vote been diluted in ways that you describe? They represent a small segment of the population yet manage to exert their will in significant ways through the political process.

3) Politics is like chess. We make a move, our opponent makes a move, then we move again in response. It is also like chess in that we can anticipate our opponent's move and take that into consideration before making our move. Sure - we will always be in the minority, but IMO that doesn't mean that we should even further reduce our influence by removing ourselves from the political process. If black folks get smarter about our political participation we can do things to enhance our leverage and power. We can build coalitions with others with similar interests. We can do things like the strategy I've articulated here in state and local elections, etc. to make change in our local communities.

4) There are a number of states where we represent a much greater percentage of the over-all population. We have the ability there to wield much greater political power and influence. By not voting we just hand those resources to someone else. Why?

5) For better or for worse, black folks are here in America. For the vast majority of us, we're not going anywhere either. Yes - we've been dealt a hand that is fucked up and immoral and racist etc. DESPITE THAT - I believe we can work this system to our advantage in a way that improves our communities and our lives in meaningful ways. Yes, the system has been set up to subjugate us. DESPITE THAT - I believe that we can work it to our advantage.

Look, white folks would love nothing more than for us to not vote. They wouldn't have to worry about us or our interests - they do what they want forever. IMO - it doesn't have to be that way. No, we're never going to have black nirvana in America. Truth be told though, that's not in our cards anywhere though. That said, I think we just work this system as best we can and maximize our leverage and influence to make our lives and our children's lives and our communities and our futures as bright as they can be. IMO voting is a part of that.


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
Whites see themselves as jews, fiscal conservatives, liberals, traditionalists, southernors, northernors, etc. All of which have been in conflict with each other at one point or another, which is further evidenced by their repeatedly fragmented and split voting power.
By building solidarity amongst ourselves as we have already done by consistently offering a bloc vote(85%), we are collectively strong where they are individually weak.
It's simple we need to align ourselves with segments of their population, thus dividing while marginalizing their power. There's a process to it and it starts with a collective vote on a national level and communication on a local level.
MBM, interesting points here are my answers.

1)I believe as Noah noted that our increased participation is always offset by increased participation from other communities. There is nothing harmful in our increased Participation but because we want different things and view things different than most the other demographics, there is a better chance that our increased participation will mean little or nothing.

2)The Jewish community is able to exert influence because of the unity they have in their community, something we don't have, plus and most important they are able to throw millions of dollars into lobbying to get what they want, and in most cases what they want is not a big difference from what most white folk want.

3)If you think this is truly about numbers, then you are making a mistake yet again. This is about money and influence. We don't have to have the big numbers to influence politicians to give us the things we want and need, all we need is an endless flow of money like the Jewish community has and we will be taken a lot more serious. If you think getting more black people to vote will give us the power and influence the Jewish community enjoys, then again you are mistaken.

4)There is maybe one or two states where we represent an overall majority and these states are not major players in anything that happen and can barely get a congress person elected that will vote in favor of legislation that is friendly to our community.

5)Yes we are here and will be here for some time, America has reached its Apex and has chosen not to do right by the black man and woman and if you think as this country slide things will get better, history will prove you wrong. As America takes a turn for the worse, the citizens of this country will take a turn for the worse and resort back to tactics and things that worked for them when the conditions were similar, thus attacking us will become a sport. If we are smart we will not look to their political process for what we need, but turn inward and help ourselves and prepare for what is inevitable. The Fall of America.

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"We got to organize ourselves, We got to mobilize and there can't be no confusion in our collective solution, If not for ourselves, then for our kids, because we know who our enemy is!"

DPZ "for the hood"

More to come later!

Your Brother Faheem

[This message was edited by Faheem on January 15, 2004 at 01:01 PM.]
Well Faheem, as I said, there would appear to be two clear options. You either choose to make this country as good as it can be, or you leave. Choosing neither is suicide.


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
Yea, thats original MBM. If you dont like it, leave. OK

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"We got to organize ourselves, We got to mobilize and there can't be no confusion in our collective solution, If not for ourselves, then for our kids, because we know who our enemy is!"

DPZ "for the hood"

More to come later!

Your Brother Faheem
quote:
Originally posted by Faheem:

Yea, thats original MBM. If you dont like it, leave. OK



Faheem - what is your alternative? Abdicating responsibility for your life and for the welfare of your community is the only thing that comes from removing yourself from the system in which we live.

What is your alternative Faheem?

BTW - what's "original" about staying home on election day? How does that help you in any way?


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
I gave you plenty of alternatives throughout this thread. The alternative is we become self sufficient, empower ourselves, we don't have to participate in their shenanigans if we choose not to. Our unity will produce far more results than continuing to poor our self worth into a system that has continuously failed us.

Staying home on Election Day, if I don't have to work is relaxing and gives me the opportunity to spend time with the family. If not that I can be out working on empowering Black people around me, that will have far better results for Black people that you going to punch a hole in a ballad for someone who probably don't give a damn about you or our issues. What power do you have from voting that I don't have from not voting?

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"We got to organize ourselves, We got to mobilize and there can't be no confusion in our collective solution, If not for ourselves, then for our kids, because we know who our enemy is!"

DPZ "for the hood"

More to come later!

Your Brother Faheem
I think that Faheem is absolutely right. In reality, black people actually have more leverage (in the long run) by NOT participating than by participating (in the short run). There is a white liberal interest represented by the Democratic Party. That liberal interest can rarely win the White House without black support. If we give them that vote unconditionally by feeling that we MUST vote, there will never be an incentive for them to put our issues to the forefront of the parties agenda or platform. By boycotting an election, white liberal interest will be forced to address our issues, lest their interest never make it into the white house again.

To follow the path of MBM and others will only result in the continued marginalizing of our people in the political process. Think about it. Why should they do any thing of substance for us when they know that they have our vote locked up now and in the furture? We should not be fooled into believing that white liberal interest = black interest, because it does not...unless it of FORCED to be.
Truth is always fraught with impediments. Truth agreed with is a blessed duet. Truth confronting beloved vice will sever relationships, perpetrate flight, and uncover murderous rage. - Alexander Solzhenitsyn


("`-''-/").___..--''"`-._
`6_ 6 ) `-. ( ).`-.__.`)
(_Y_.)' ._ ) `._ `. ``-..-'
_..`--'_..-_/ /--'_.' ,'
(((' (((-((('' ((((
Noah The African in America
Choosing to remain subject to a government whose political system you have no intention of participating in makes as much sense to me as being an atheist, but choosing to go to church every Sunday and pay tithes. A reason blacks should vote is so that they serve notice that they are a part of this system. It's not easy to achieve any change in this system that we compl--- uhh, "point out" about --- when those who benefit from being elected notice you don't do any of the voting. Another reason is that black people by now should be sick of being seen, and seeing themselves, as "sort-of" citizens here. As "wards" of America, instead of actual part and parcel of it. It is infinitely easier for a nation to monolithicize a group and take aim at it, through its economic and legal institutions, when it chooses not to even act within the participatory governance structure set up here. Being active in this country is the only way to work it out here. So, Faheem's sardonic paraphrase of MBM is close to the mark. For the well-being of a black person, there are two sane choices: take your American destiny into your own hands, or move to another country and build a destiny there. Neither choice is difficult to do. This half this/none of that stuff, living on the fringes and in the margins certainly wouldn't work for me.

The "tyranny of the majority" wanes as African-Americans soak up the benefits of this country increasingly, and as African-American power -- true power, not just political -- increases in strength. But none of that is possible without voting. Imagine a government earmarking money for economic development to communities where the people don't even vote. That will not happen.

BTW: the word "monolithicize": patent pending. Razz
Sounds like an excellent argument for registering as an Independent.

The leverage of being absent from their roles without losing the power of the vote.

The ridgid need of all the political parties are less able to take the uncommitted participation than committed non-participation.

Power is in control of the vote of African Amreica. There is no power in not playing the game.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.
It seems that many of you folks are just going through the motion. I am not big on politics as much as I am on economics, but I do realize that politics is about STRATEGY. The strategy to always vote is a failed one for black interest. The strategy to vote independent is really no different than not voting, because the independent has the snowball chance in hell of winning. What many of you black folks are failing in is cunning. You just get out there and vote for the lesser of two evils and hope that they will have compassion for you causes. Well, that is not how politics work in America. It's a quid pro quo system. In other words.... you scratch my back and I scratch yours. Blacks folks are doing a lot of scratching, but we keep itching because we keep scratching others for free. Its time that we stop scratching the back of white liberals and let them itch a bit...then see what they do.

Truth is always fraught with impediments. Truth agreed with is a blessed duet. Truth confronting beloved vice will sever relationships, perpetrate flight, and uncover murderous rage. - Alexander Solzhenitsyn


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Noah The African in America
Its time that we stop scratching the back of white liberals and let them itch a bit...then see what they do. -- Noah

Registering Independent really makes that itch severe. Opting out of the system gives the lotion to stay in motion.

They win. We lose.

PEACE

Jim Chester

You are who you say you are. Your children are who you say you are.

[This message was edited by James Wesley Chester on January 16, 2004 at 04:45 AM.]
Jim, I am suggesting opting out as a short-term strategy. Some times one has to take one step backwards, in order to take two steps forward in life. If that strategy fails, there is always civil unrest.

Truth is always fraught with impediments. Truth agreed with is a blessed duet. Truth confronting beloved vice will sever relationships, perpetrate flight, and uncover murderous rage. - Alexander Solzhenitsyn


("`-''-/").___..--''"`-._
`6_ 6 ) `-. ( ).`-.__.`)
(_Y_.)' ._ ) `._ `. ``-..-'
_..`--'_..-_/ /--'_.' ,'
(((' (((-((('' ((((
Noah The African in America
"If that strategy fails, there is always civil unrest"

Yep, one of the many ways African men and women in South Africa helped in destroying Apartheid they became ungovernable. I remember reading sometime ago that it is time Black men and women become ungovernable, because this nation is becoming more and more hostile to us.

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"We got to organize ourselves, We got to mobilize and there can't be no confusion in our collective solution, If not for ourselves, then for our kids, because we know who our enemy is!"

DPZ "for the hood"

More to come later!

Your Brother Faheem
quote:
quote:
Originally posted by Vox:
Choosing to remain subject to a government whose political system you have no intention of participating in makes as much sense to me as being an atheist, but choosing to go to church every Sunday and pay tithes.

It is infinitely easier for a nation to monolithicize a group and take aim at it, through its economic and legal institutions, when it chooses not to even act within the participatory governance structure set up here...
    Imagine a government earmarking money for economic development to communities where the people don't even vote....

Well... I thought about that last part and I wonder how you would answer what happens as a result of the decreasing White Voter Turn-Out?

Are they somehow singled out, ostracized, demonized or otherwise "monlithicized" for their poor Turn-Out?

Just rhetorical questions... (I understand your point). I would, however, like to use a Church metaphor if you will.

As far as Black "citizenship", the Black Vote & Turn-Out, participation and the ultimate 'earmarking' of funds... I'm sorry but I don't believe in the you have to "Get Right" theory before you can proverbially come to the Altar and partake of the Offerings. In other words, there is no reason for African-Americans to have to "out perform" Whites or others when it comes to voting in order to be taken seriously. Given that our voting numbers are measurably significant and there is a significant tradition for mobilizing the Black Electorate, our "benefits" from a system that we all participate in with our TAXES should not be contingent on some Black Herculean Voter Registration drive.

All my life, preachers have professed that you "Come As You Are", an invitation that says that by virtue of one's desire to "Change Your Life" is a crucial starting point and ENOUGH to put you in the 'good graces' of the "Church".

All I'm saying is that if we claim to be "citizens" but feel like we have to prove ourselves before we can reap the benefits of the 'fellowship' then we are resigning ourselves to that second-class citizenship, saying in essence, "We Don't *Deserve* Anything If We Don't Participate."

The logic behind that is crazy. It's all based on a theory that if Black people turned out in numbers equal to or greater than Whites and/or cast the "deciding" votes in elections that favorable policies will follow. Let's get off the Chronic!

The only thing the Black Vote can do is give us a "better" chance of having SOME favorable policies or at least not as many that are detrimental. In other words, Take Very Little Good with, hopefully, The Not So Bad.

I haven't read all the post here but it seems like everyone is working under the assumption that Black Voter Turn-Out is so much lower than anybody elses. Last I heard, Black Turn-Out was steadily increasing while everyone else's was decreasing and the overall Black Turn-out is a mere 3-4 percentage points behind Whites (nationally).

And, again, speaking about "monolithicizing"...
Hispanics vote in far fewer numbers but (*cough*) you don't get the sense that they are being "taken for granted" or dismissed...
"How has the Jewish vote been diluted in ways that you describe? They represent a small segment of the population yet manage to exert their will in significant ways through the political process."-MBM

Europeans will and have always been significantly more receptive to Jews than Africans. While Africans and African Americans continue to be economically marginalized and exploited and are still in recovery from profound psychological damage (in which no vote can ever cure), a 'Jew' can live among and interact with whites and go virtually undetected, thus facilitating the aquisition of money, quality education, better housing, loans, and eventually success. Therefore, comparing the social accomplishments made by 'Jews' (who are historically, nothing more than ostracized whites) does little to defend your argument for voting.

To be certain, NO election, NO American president, NO political leader can do anything to improve the social status of the African Americans until America's racism and supremanistic society is dealt with head on. Nothing is going to make sense and/or contribute toward our advancement until this problem is thoroughly rooted out, confronted, and eradicated. I'm not suggesting that people should not vote, especially if they feel that it will make difference; however, we should be mindful that if the 'vote' is not going to challenge the racism that is pervasive and thriving all throughout this culture, it will not be effective in helping African Americans. Essentially, until whites deal with their affinity for domination and control, the whole world can vote a million times over and "others," that is, "non-whites" will continue to be at the mercy of European global and economic dominion.

[This message was edited by Rowe on January 18, 2004 at 11:55 AM.]

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