The Gantt Report
By Lucius Gantt
Every election year, African Americans are told what they want to hear.
At election time, candidates from both major political parties visit your schools, visit your churches, stop by your businesses and attend your organization’s meetings to say, “I’m the best candidate for Black people and Black neighborhoods. I’m your friend, your supporter and your benefactor. I love Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I have a Michael Jackson record and I ride a convertible in the HBCU homecoming parade.”
I know the following sentence is not a good example of the king’s English but I’ll write it anyway so all Black Americans can see where I’m going.
You’ve been had, you’ve been took, you’ve been misled and your community and your votes have been jacked by modern day carpetbaggers!
Our so-called leaders have only two ways that Blacks can progress: pray and vote.
Well, prayer works if you pray the right prayer to the one true God, but voting for false friends that wait until the last few days in an election cycle to even discuss politics with you has resulted in us taking one step forward and two steps backwards.
Don’t even go to sleep and dream that most elected officials will listen to us, understand us, draft legislation specifically for us and vote for us.
You see, there is only one thing that Congress, state legislatures and city and county commissioners and councilmen, and women, are required to do and that is to divide collected revenue from, taxes, fees, fines and so forth.
They are not required to name a street after Uncle Tom or Jezebel, they don’t have to give a rapper a proclamation, they don’t need to give an athlete a trophy or give a business-person a plaque.
Other than pass a required appropriation bill, or governmental budget bill, elected officials do what they want to and vote for what they want to.
Think about it. In every legislative or Congressional session, women will get attention, Cubans will get some attention (not all Hispanics, like Puerto
Ricans and immigrants) and Jews will never be slighted in any governmental voting.
I seriously encourage all eligible voters to always cast your vote on Election Day.
However, too many times we’ve held our noses and stood in long lines for hours and hours to cast the votes that our ancestors fought so hard to get. The process is stinky, but we still vote. In my lifetime, I’ve only missed two opportunities to vote, once because I was injured and the other time, I requested an absentee ballot that was never mailed to me.
No candidate, of whatever race or color, will ever scratch their head and say I need to spend some of my political money with Black media, Black political professionals, Black printers, Black pollsters or Black caterers.
Most candidates spend campaign money with people they are told to spend money with.
We need a new generation of Black elected officials that are not afraid to tell leaders of major political parties, “Thank you for your support and recommendations about who I should hire or contract on my campaign, but I will also hire qualified people that live in or work in the district that I represent.”
Young Black boys and girls can go to a basketball or football camp to learn how to play sports. They can even go to a FAMU band camp to learn how to play music.
We need to create a “Politics Camp” to teach young people that want a career in government how to be a responsible, reliable and winning elected official!
We need to groom our interested youth how to win elections and how to excel in governing. We need to learn how to do what we want to do in politics.