Monday, October 20, 2014

Beware White Men Saying Your Votes Don't Matter

I admit that I went through a period in my life when I did't vote, and I'll own up to this: It was pure laziness hiding behind the ignorance of "my one vote doesn't matter." But as I got older, I realized that if I don't vote, who am I to protests anything our legislators, councils, mayors, governors, and presidents do?

So, when I read Andrew O'Hehir's essay on Salon.com essentially discouraging people from voting, I wanted to spit bullets, and I did. How privileged a white man are you when you get on your high horse and tell people voting doesn't change anything and that voting in the midterms is a waste of time?

*huffing puffing*

Here's the comment I left at Salon.com:
No matter how effed up the system is, people who don't vote lose credibility when they complain about government.

I'm an African-American woman who readily criticizes this nation. I also tend to be a pessimist, but I'll be damned if I'm going to stay at home from the polls and spit on the graves of my ancestors who've been poll-taxed, literacy tested, beaten, burned and lynched all so they could to have the right to vote. Political operatives are working right now to suppress the votes of young people, women, and minorities. So, somebody in Washington's afraid that voting can change things. Why would I help them hold their power by staying home?

As it's said, "If you're not part of the solution then you're part of the problem," and people sounding off with misguided fronts of righteous indignation about why they don't vote are exactly that, part of the problem.

But you know what, if you don't vote, given your gender and complexion, probably nothing will change for you--nothing at all because you're already in the catbird seat. So, just speak for yourself and leave the rest of us out of your agenda.

Not voting is never the right answer even in this increasingly more oligarchic nation.

The disturbing picture in this post relates to the Opelousas, Louisiana, Massacre of 1868. Southern White Democratic Party members, angry about Reconstruction efforts, may have killed hundreds of black people who wanted to join a local all-white political group.

Yes, once upon a time the Democratic Party (mainly the Southern members later called "Dixiecrats") were the rabid racists, and the Republican Party was the one trying to ensure the voting rights of African-American. However, when it became clear to Southern Democrats that the Democratic Party platform included racial integration and supporting Civil Rights, those Dixiecrats ran to the Republican Party and were greeted with open arms, and today it's mainly Republican Party operatives who work to abolish the enforcement of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

1 comment:

le0pard13 said...

Reminds me of the line from THE USUAL SUSPECTS. "The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist." This is like that. Votes count. Yours especially.