Are Black People Keeping Slavery Alive By Not Voting?
It simply amazes me how many times I hear a Black person say, “I don’t vote! My vote don’t count, anyway! They gonna pick who they want, anyway!” Or even, “I just don’t care!”
Usually, when political commercials are aired, politicians are rarely ever seen speaking with Black people. Then, if there are Black people present, Black people can’t identify with them because of, maybe, the lighting of the commercial. Never are Black people asked or able to speak during a commercial. However, if there has been a family member who has lost another due to a killing, Black people are only exposed for their sorrow or sobbing uncontrollably. This is the typical way Black people are portrayed. Should Black people take time away from their “Empire” or “Being Mary Jane” or “Real Housewives” TV shows, they would realize that they are being left out of the voting scheme for a reason. If they don’t care about themselves, why should the government?
Because a thorough education of Black History is not present or required in schools, Black people should compel one another to obtain that knowledge at every angle. It wasn’t until the XV Amendment was ratified by Secretary of State Hamilton Fish in 1870 that “All men free and equal” were able to cast their vote. Suffice is to say that many lives were lost to be seen as fully “equal” by the government. Sadly, due to the South’s insistence on keeping Blacks disenfranchised with poll taxes, literacy tests and other means, the Civil Rights Act had to be formed in 1964. It was the Voting Rights Act of 1965 that gave the majority of Black men the right to vote.
It was mainly the Southern states that supported slavery. It was mainly the Southern states that were considered Republican. Though Abraham Lincoln has been credited with freeing the slaves, the Northern states felt they were at an economic disadvantage to the South because of its view of Blacks being counted as property. This is the part of the history that has been left out of history books. Yet, even many old-school Blacks who praise Lincoln choose to pay homage to him by remaining loyal to a party that truly despised them. In lieu of this omission from history, Republicans care not to remember the Great Flood of 1927 and the way its Secretary of Commerce (under President Calvin Coolidge), Herbert Hoover, handled the concerns of Black voters. While promises were made, many were broken. When the aid failed to come in, lives were lost. Duped to believe in Hoover, Northern Black voters caused him to lose his bid for re-election in 1932. It was then, Black voters switched their party affiliation from Republican to Democrat.
Today, wealthy Black voters appear to throw themselves into the Republican gauntlet because they think it will give them more prestige. However, when one attains prestige the perception of power is close at hand. This may be the case with “other” people of color, but not for the Black man or woman. Yet, the struggle for acceptance due to their wealth is real and strong. While the glass ceiling is rarely ever broken in the corporate world or everyday life, there are Black people who feel the need to be perceived as “different” or “non-typical” by their white associates. In reality, it does take a strong-willed Black person to tune out the true thoughts and beliefs of the majority.
Could this be the reason so many Blacks are still affiliated with the Republican Party?
With Lee Atwater (considered Washington’s Bad Boy and “Boogie Man”), President Richard Nixon, and Ronald Reagan, Republicans promoted their “In Your Face Racism” to the world with Code Speech. Atwater pretty much told Republicans how to keep Blacks disenfranchised and subservient. While Political Activist Malcolm X coined the phrase, “By Any Means Necessary,” the Republican Party suppressed the Black vote with such words as “Law and Order,” and “War on Drugs.” Later, “Voter ID Fraud” would come in to play. Keep the Blacks dumb and hungry and they’ll beg for your affection and attention. Is this not what the new Presidential candidate, Donald J. Trump is saying today: “What Have You Got To Lose?” Even though You know the World is against You, why not take a chance on a candidate who doesn’t want You either?
Although Slavery was a physical act, many Black voters and potential Black voters are still being held there mentally. The thought or fear that there can be no rise in their status or existence unless they vote Republican has them in a state of perpetual denial. While the Democratic Party hasn’t drastically hurt its Black voters, the Republican Party wants them nowhere near a voting booth or Polling Station.