Technically Speaking Commentary
By Perry Busby
As I contemplated on a topic for this week’s column, my mind kept going back to an email I received last week from a longtime acquaintance who wanted to let me know that he had become a regular online follower of the Westside Gazette and this column. He ended his email by saying, “…I have no doubt that the issues and concerns you raise are legitimate. I also know your desire to inform and educate the community about this did not happen on a whim; your writing expresses a passion that is heartfelt and deeply rooted. The question is, will it motivate people to action? Especially, since technology and politics are areas most people engage in the least, even though both impact their life the most.”
I wrestled with the question and its implication for a few days, then filed it away in memory and started on my next article. I was midway through a rough draft when my cell phone started buzzing like crazy. I soon learned that the current occupant in the White House had fired off a series of tweets directed at four Congresswomen of color, telling them to go back where they come from.
For many African Americans and brown hued minorities, nothing about the statement appeared novel. Since the first slave ship docked in Jamestown, SC, white Americans have been telling Black people to go back to Africa. However, it is ironic to note that when the late Pan-Africanist Marcus Garvey, founder of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League (UNIA), began the Back-to-Africa movement, the United States government imprisoned him and then deported him, but that’s a topic for another day.
In fact, the idea that Mr. Trump is the first president to espouse such an idea is ludicrous. Especially when you consider previous officeholders such as Andrew Johnson and candidates like Alabama governor George Wallace. Since the founding of this republic America has not only accepted untoward speech from leaders toward its minority citizens, it has deemed inappropriate behavior and policies toward them as the American way… take it or leave it!
My thoughts went back to the email and why I talked Bobby Henry, publisher of the Westside Gazette, into allowing me to start this column. Like many, I consider myself as civically responsible. I try to stay current on local and national issues, I vote and, occasionally, encourage others to vote. However, I had a moment of reckoning after the 2016 election. I realized that while I had participated, I had not been engaged, nor involved.
In the nearly three years since the election, my research to understand the underlining voter data that brought us to this point has not only revealed a wide number of infractions, from possible voter roll tampering to instances of under counts in predominantly African American precincts and inexplicable over counts in rural counties.
While mainstream media outlets have titillated us with salacious news and kept us on the edge of our seats wondering if Congress will ever work again, the fight to reconstitute our election system has largely gone unnoticed by the masses.
Understand, voting is the one tool we have at our disposal to send an emphatic “go back to…” message at this cancer which plagues OUR nation. The attempts to dismantle voting rights and suppress our participation are proof that the adversary knows the power of voting. Now, they are allowing the technology that undergirds it to fall in disarray. I ask you, what good is a vote if you aren’t sure if it’s being counted or counted correctly?
So, in response to the writer of the email and others who ask why I’m always writing about protecting our vote. I write about it in the hope that all who read will be inspired to learn more, and by learning more motivate you to do more and share the message more. This is why I write about voting.
As always, stay connected to the Westside Gazette, where our goal is to inform, inspire and invigorate you to action!