Black people are fully embedded in the US political system; politics matter. Politics manifest on the personal, community, regional, national, and global levels and all of these levels are impacted and impact upon the Black population in the US. It is irresponsible for Black people not to engage the political process of this nation and the world.
Saying you are not into politics is irrelevant because politics are into you. People who assert that politics don’t matter, or that we should not engage because they are corrupt are simply uneducated or chose to remain ignorant of politics and public policy.
Imagine if someone said “I’m not into economics,” or that Black people should not engage in economics because they are corrupt. Can you see how stupid they would sound. What’s more corrupt than US economics? But we understand that we have to be engaged in economic processes, exchanges, that we have to secure ourselves economically; as well as politics, culture, education, and all other Areas of Human Relations and Interactions.
Black people need to define who we are, where we stand, what we need, how we intend to secure what we want and need, then coordinate our collective actions to secure what we want and need. We need to be in a position to reward those who hold and support our interest, and to punish those who act against our interest and our agendas: that’s politics.
Just because you are voting dosen’t mean you are political or engaged in politics, and not voting dosen’t mean you are not engaged in politics.
Politics is “war without violence,” as Kwame Ture would say; it’s all about agendas, allies, and enemy, losses and victories. We need to engage and fight to win, always.
The Vote, which is what you specifically asked about is just one weapon or tool in a people’s political arsenal. If the vote is all your people have, then you have a weapon without ammo, or a tank without gas, It may look good and intimidating, but it’s not effective. It’s just a show, with no substance.
If the Black community is not engaged in Block Voting, if we are not running candidates who are married to and fully obligated to our specific agenda, then we are not doing politics, even if we vote, we are engaged in popularity contest; then the Black vote is no more relevant than voting for Homecoming King and Queen. It’s just a show.
The US is run by what used to be called “factions” and “voting Blocks” in past, but now they are called “special interest groups.” The Black community used to be a relatively powerful voting Block, but we gave that up under integration, and because we gave up our international standing as a people to be fully assimilated into the United States. Now the Black community is owned and neglected by the Democratic Party.
Until we rebuild the Black Political Faction and the Black Voting Block we will continue to lose ground, and the Black vote will still be window dressing in the US political process.
We need intensive poltical educaiton in our community, and it must come from the bottom up because our professional Political Scientist, Policy Professionals, Politicians, Economist, etc have all failed us and sold us out. We need a new Black Agenda, a Pan-African Agenda.
We need to; above all else, we need to Stop voting for political parties and personalities and start voting strictly according to our collective agenda and specific political policies!
We also need to stop pushing the lie that “people died for us to vote,” that is a disrespectful lie. The New Negros push that lie because it reduces our obligation to showing up to a voting booth once a year, or every other year, voting, then going back to our individualistic behaviors; while pretending we’ve fulfill the debt we owe our ancestors.
Our ancestors didn’t die for the damn vote, they died for Liberation, to secure their Human Dignity; the vote was a tool the assumed would help them secure Liberation, Power, and Dignity. If the tool has been proven not to work, you repair or trash that tool for a better one. The vote was not the goal or the end game, it was a stepping stone.
So if the New Negros really gave a damn about want our Ancestors died for, they wouldn’t be talking bullshit about the vote, they’d be organizing for Pan-African Unity, Liberation, Empowerment, and full Reparations!
But they don’t, so they just hit us over the head with the vote.
So, vote or don’t; but make sure you are fully engaged in Pan-African Politics, the politics of liberation. If you want to ad the vote to your political/economic/cultural arsenal, make sure you build a Black Voting Block, a clear political agenda, and policies you demand from your “public servants.”
If your ideology or militancy dictates that you don’t register to vote, or engage in party politics, make sure you are still fully engaged in the Radical and Black Nationalist Politics, and make sure your people are getting what they need from the public and common resources in your region.
The Black Panther Party for Self Defense was a political party, so even our most militant organizations understood the importance of fighting on all fronts, and just because you are organizing on the political front don’t mean you can’t still be on the front lines, in the trenches, or mobilizing amond the grassroots.
So vote, or don’t; but damnit; Understand and Engage Politically.