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Economic discrimination fuels the politics of political apathy

Derek Joy

Derek Joy

Economic discrimination fuels the politics of political apathy

By Derek Joy

The Florida State Legislature is nearing the end of its 2014 session.

Less than two weeks remain. Budget battles rage on. Legislators haggle over how to put the finishing touches on carving up the economic pie.

No. People of color don’t have to wait until the end of the session to know who will get shortchanged. It happens the same every time.

Yes. Black Americans served in the Florida State legislature. Voters have elected 26 legislators – 25 Democrats and one Republican. A mere 26 in a legislature that numbers 160 – 40 Senators and 120 Representatives.

And, yes, there are a few haunting questions begging to be answered. One glaring question is this: Where are the results?

Republican Gov. Rick Scott can claim a measure of results in publicity back on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

The Legislative Black Caucus scheduled a meeting with Scott for that day that was cancelled at the 11th hour.

“Why should we let him use us for photo ops on King’s birthday when he doesn’t support or show any interest in issues that are important to us?” asked Sen. Oscar Braynon, Dem., Miami Gardens.

Braynon was miffed at Scott for a number of reasons, including redlining an $800,000 appropriation to fund water and sewer improvements in Miami Gardens.

That brings another haunting question to the front burner. Are Republicans blatantly employing political discrimination to achieve economic discrimination as people of color?

That’s politics is an answer that just won’t wash. Politics would see politicians working for the benefit of the masses and not just special and selfish interest.

Now consider the fact that each state legislator is elected from voters in specific districts and another haunting question arises.

Can each Republican legislator honestly say a major of his or her constituents want to continue the economic deprivation that is historic reality of each Florida state budget?

An even more haunting question is: Why are Black American Florida State legislators so conspicuously silent on these issues?

Sure makes one question whether people of color are suffering from, among other things, taxation without representation, too? Most seldom generate any media interest or advertise their positions/messages in the Black American media.

So, what incentive do Anglo and Hispanic legislators have to halt the economic deprivation? That isn’t politics. It is discrimination to maintain an advanced state of slavery.

Consequently, apathy permeates much of the Black American population for these very reasons, which raises one last question.

Did the Emancipation Proclamation and all the subsequent Congressional Acts, the Civil Rights Movement and more, really abolish slavery?


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