The ballot or the beat down
By Lucius Gantt
It’s 2016, an election year and also the year of the ballot or the beat down!
If African Americans don’t stand up now and demand equal rights and justice for everybody living in the United States, our parents, our children and our neighbors will continue to be beat down or killed, physically, mentally and financially!
More than one politician is claiming that they can “make America great” again.
Well, America has never been great for Native Americans, for slaves and ex-slaves, for non-European immigrants or for the poor!
Election year after election year, voters are told if they vote for the right candidates Hell will turn into Heaven, war will become peace, financial collapse will turn into financial abundance, homelessness will morph into homeownership, expensive health care will become affordable health care and racial disunity, distrust and disrespect will change into a big melting pot of ethnic Kumbaya singers!
In my lifetime, American voters have been led astray, bamboozled, misled, politricked, punked, jacked and politically clowned by candidates of all parties and persuasions that love each other far more than they love the people that vote for them!
No matter who is elected President in the Fall, the rich will still be richer and the poor will be poorer, banks, no matter how crooked they are, will still be too big to fail and law enforcers throughout the nation will still adhere to their codes of silence that enables them to do wrong without any consequences!
So, who should Black voters give their support to in 2016? Should they cast their ballots for Heckle or Jeckle, for Tweedledum or Tweedledee or for Popeye or Olive Oyl?
Let’s see, candidates that represent one party don’t want us and candidates from the opposing party doesn’t want to hire us. And, many of the candidates that look like us don’t want anything to do with us!
What a dilemma!
Even if we don’t know exactly who we will vote for until we get to the voting booths, the powers that be know very well who they will support!
The mega-corporations will contribute money to candidates from both major parties, the foreign nationals will give to candidates that support their foreign interests, the women will not hesitate to help female candidates, Latino people will seek to contribute to Hispanic candidates and political conservatives will only donate money to conservative candidates.
What will we do? We will endorse, contribute, volunteer and do everything else we can to help politicians that say they are our friends, our benefactors, our protectors, our supporters and our “leaders”.
They don’t have to do anything for Black people or for Black communities. All they have to do is profess their love for Martin Luther King, shed a fake tear for victims of police shootings or misconduct, don a T-shirt or a hat from a HCBU, snap their fingers to a Drake or Beyonce song or eat a spoonful of collard greens or a slice of watermelon!
Billions of dollars are spent in Presidential elections and down ballot elections in Presidential election years.
How much of those billions are spent with Black political professionals, with Black-owned media, with Black political vendors or in Black communities?
Hell, Black people can’t even get paid the cook the fried chicken at a political rally or catered reception!
Hmmm? Since Black elected officials are the ones that white candidates run to for advice around election time, I guess the politicians that represent you have the access, the ears and the influence to tell the white politicians to hire some Blacks to give them political assistance. So what do they do?
I’m asking a question but you already know the answer.
You can’t sit at a dinner table with an empty plate and watch everybody else eat and call yourself a diner.
Any you can’t go into a voting booth and vote for a number of nobodies and come out of the polling place and say you voted for somebody!
I hope 2016 is different. Time will tell if this is a year for the ballot or the beginning of a political beat down!
(Buy Gantt’s latest book, Beast Too: Dead Man Writing onAmazon.com and from bookstores everywhere. Contact Lucius at www.allworldconsultants.net. And, if you want to, “Like” The Gantt Report page on Facebook.)