Why this election makes me sad and sick
African Americans, President Barack Obama, Black unemployment, election, Mitt Romney.
By Dr. Boyce Watkins
As we approach the 2012 Presidential Election, I quietly ask myself: Regardless of who is elected, is Black unemployment going to dip below 10 percent over the next four years? Is the prison industrial complex going to get any smaller? Are Black teens going to continue to die from guns being made available on every corner in our communities?
Then, I realize that when we fight to keep “our guy” in office, we’re kind of like prostitutes trying to keep their pimp out of jail. The hookers know that the pimp isn’t going to make their lives any better, but his incarceration might possibly make it worse.
I would not go to the extreme of agreeing with W.E.B. Dubois, who once said that he was not going to vote, since neither party cares very much for the African American community. But I am certainly in favor of African Americans being as selfish as every politician in Washington who simply does what’s best for him or her, without any regard whatsoever for the needs of the African American community. The fact is that you should care about them about as much as they care about you, end of story.
There is nothing wrong with supporting third party candidates, since most of us can agree that the two party systems simply aren’t working. What offends me most is the determination with which the Democratic Party relies on fear and seeks to undermine individual freedom when it comes to how we vote. The fear is driven by reminding you that if you don’t give them your vote, horrible things are going to happen to you. Their subjugation of freedom comes from the fact that they are seriously threatened by the notion of anyone telling Black people to think for themselves. They are accustomed to doing the thinking for us.
I’ll admit that, while I like Barack Obama and hope that he wins the election, I find myself unable to be as excited about this election as some of my friends. In fact, it’s downright depressing. I’m sad to look around me and see a world where anyone who doesn’t want to line up and have Barack Obama’s baby is somehow defined to be a traitor. It is also a world where anyone who tells our politicians to help battle against the diseases of poverty, violence, inequality and mass incarceration is told that they are peeing on the Negro Juneteenth Political Parade. No one wants to hear about black people who are suffering, since we’ve been trained to believe that a certain segment of our community just doesn’t deserve any better.
I am firmly against the consumption of alcohol, but this election is driving me to drink. To know that your vote isn’t going to have much of an impact on those you love is, admittedly, downright devastating. Perhaps it’s time that we demand something more, for our politicians have us bamboozled.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is the founder of the Your Black World Coalition. He is also the creator of the Building Outstanding Men and Boys Family Empowerment Series. To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.
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