Civic education exposes the politics of political apathy
By Derek Joy
The long hard campaign grind is nearing its merciful end.
Town Hall Meetings. Debates at various venues. The works, including a presence throughout the religious community. In short, the goal is to leave no stone unturned in a drive to garner the majority of votes cast.
Imagine. Just three weeks until election day – Nov. 4. That all important time for citizens to exercise one of their civil rights.
Ironically, people seem to forget that civil rights demand the responsible exercise of civic duties. As such, the failure to vote constitutes civic irresponsibility. That kind of political apathy speaks volumes of education, or the lack thereof.
Granted. Some among the electorate may not like any of the candidates on the ballot. Others may feel alienated by one or more of the candidates in a given race. Just two of many excuses for not voting.
Yes. There is the very real possibility that excuses are tools of the incompetent. Civic negligence personified to the point that education is devalued.
Funny how education is touted as a valued commodity in the job market. An advantage for people of color in the perpetual pursuit of equality. A recognized advantage so often abused by the failure to vote.
Consequently, each citizen, no matter the ethnic persuasion or political affiliation, must stand individually responsible. No way to blame others for civic irresponsibility.
So, take a look at America’s three tier – federal, state and local – government where candidates seek election and re-election to public office. The right to vote is a civic duty.
Obviously, the primary focus is the battle between incumbent Republican Governor Rick Scott and former Republican Governor Charlie Crist, the Democrat. But no less attention should be given to various local races.
Black American elected officials, including State Senator Dwight Bullard, (Dem., District 33), and city of Miami District 5 Commissioner Keon Hardemon, among others, repeatedly remind the public of their need to participate in the process.
Obviously, Black American elected officials can be more effective when their constituents attend meetings and address issues impacting their communities. Bullard and Hardemon, like every other elected official, will confirm as much.
Interestingly enough, despite all the efforts of many, there are those who simply abuse and neglect their civic responsibilities. In so doing, they fester as diligent derelects.
Thus, the masses are adversely affected by those who violate their own civil rights through civic irresponsibility.