It is the final stretch in an election cycle that truly lives up to the old cliché’,” this is the most important election of our lifetime.” As America teeters on the brink of dictatorship under the thumb of a wannabe strongman, voting takes on new and more urgent significance.
Speaking to African-Americans voters who may be considering not voting, some person told you he or she wasn’t going to vote because they are getting nothing for their vote.
Stop and take stock of your life.
Your vote influences everything you touch, the air you breathe, or whether you are allowed to continue breathing.
The quality of the food you eat, healthcare, the goods and services you receive in your communities, the schools your children are allowed to attend.
Everything in our lives is touched and influenced by politics. If your vote was not important, ask yourselves, why have they fought so hard to stop you from winning suffrage? And now that so many have died to give it to you, why do you think Republicans are fighting so hard to take it away from you?
As I thought about writing this article, I also thought that a picture is worth a thousand words, so I decided to show you some of the things Black people endured to get the right to vote.
If you do not care about what I have to say, I hope you care about what these images convey.
Voting is a manifestation of self-autonomy, of citizenship, it as a vehicle to self-determination. When you decide not to vote, by default, you cede your right to self-determination and self-autonomy.
That means you give others the right to determine everything for you, how your children’s schools are funded, whether police are allowed to murder your children without consequence, you give up the right to demand clean air, clean drinking water, and safe neighborhoods.
When you cede that authority to people who have fought tooth and nail for hundreds of years to keep you subjugated, do you think that they will have a change of heart and suddenly decide to stop oppressing you?
The next time some fool tells you not to vote, tell him or her where to go.
Mike Beckles is a former police Detective corporal, businessman, freelance writer, a black achiever honoree, and publisher of the blog mikebeckles.com.
He’s also a contributor to several websites.
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