A good friend of mine for many years - Chanin Kelly-Rae wrote about her utter frustration with both candidates in this election cycle, she tagged me in her post and I responded. I think the dialog may help others who are struggling as well.
Chanin Kelly-Rae: In government, there are only 2 ways to get the attention of politicians.
1. You buy their attention. $$$$$ Donors get attention.
2. You capture the attention and support of large pools of voters. If they think you influence the support of a large enough segment of their constituency, they'll know who you are and they'll want to be friendly with you. They'll want your endorsement...... And support.
Politicians want and NEED both money and voters.
If you can get either...... There you go.
They, literally, don't care about you if you can't deliver either of those things.
That's why poor people will never have the attention of politicians.
That's why unmobilized communities will never have their attention.
That's why keeping the "other" on the fringe of society will allow them to be ignored.
And NO politician will EVER be held accountable for the conditions of those constituents, or the communities in which they live.
They show up begging for votes with celebrities. They might feed you, or give you some shiny object to distract you from the real issues. They feed on guilt, and make lofty promises that they have no intention of keeping.
At some point, the voiceless must rise up!!! Take the reins and control the direction that this country is moving.
People keep saying that this is not the right time for a PROTEST vote against those who have promised to champion your causes.
I ask you. When IS that time for black and brown people to command respect? To be heard? To be partnered with as we build a better future?
If not in 2016, was it in 2012 when we were told to fear Romney and the rollback of the Affordable Care Act, or 2008 when we were told to fear Palin, or 2004 when we were told to fear more Bush policy, or 2000 when we were told that Gore would save us from the end of life as we knew it, or 1996 when we absolutely HAD to continue the policies of Clinton, or 1992 when we needed to be saved from Bush Sr and the Republicans, and on and on and on......
There will ALWAYS be a crisis around the corner. There will always be a "Boogeyman" under the bed.
Black and brown people will always be told to wait, and that the time is not right.
But WHEN? When will the time be right for us to demand the enactment of public policies that defend black and brown lives? When will the money come to rebuild our schools? When will governments stop funding themselves from our criminalization and incarceration? When will the former Industrial cities across the Midwest and the South, the East coast and the West that sit as decaying reminders of our shared middle class past find the same tax credits being passed around suburban communities to attract and grow family supporting wages in the form of new jobs? When will supplier diversity programs of government contracting find their way to underrepresented businesses?
The Democrats promise shared prosperity. But it hasn't come. What has come instead is giant leaps backwards!!!
When will someone hold them to their promises???? They want the votes.....
Make them EARN the support!!!
SPEECH: Thank you for writing this. I know your heart is ALWAYS for the love of the people and to see people rise from the places where we are still oppressed! Sorry my response is so long, but I felt you deserve a detailed thought as opposed to a regurgitated media talking point. We both 100% agree that we MUST command respect and be heard! However, this is not only imperative from the government, but first & foremost from ourselves as Black people too! We haven't yet learned to respect ourselves enough to force the government and the world to respect us! We've been taught that this system is all we got! (And it's a false & demeaning teaching) Our unity & collective activism is conditioned by the same survival techniques we learned during slavery & Jim Crow. We unite to expose brutality, abuse and unjust murders by whites but (relatively) ignore the same atrocities by blacks. When a black life is taken or abused from another black, it's merely sad, not deplorable with the same intensity as a police killing is to us. We're still waiting for the system to uplift/recognize us, when it's us that must do this for ourselves! During and after slavery we were called, "boy" / "girl" even if grown, taught to see our "master" or the white man as our parent or guardian… NEVER ourselves.
So we see the false promises of politicians and we want to teach them a lesson by a protest vote etc, all in the hopes that THEY will see OUR value and importance! Meanwhile, we haven't shown it in our unity, self-determination, work and responsibility, collective economics, creativity and collective purpose! Unlike every immigrant to the U.S. from Jews to Asians, Africans & Latino's, who DO practice these necessary principles ON THEIR OWN! We Blacks have a unique relationship of oppression to where we were never immigrants but brought here and robbed of these fundamentals and even terrorized when we amazingly practiced them in later years (Black Wall St. & Rosewood) We therefore concluded that we must rely on the system to substitute for us what was not allowed for us to have on our own.
Even today, unfortunately the very sight of black skin triggers from too many whites inherited, instinctual blocks to our equality and humanity. And only blacks that rid themselves of any sign of their blackness & rid themselves of any devotion to black freedom are allowed unbridled access to white privilege. Otherwise we are an immediate threat. Which is why it's tough for politicians whether white or black (i.e. the Clintons or Obama) to fight more for our cause in this countries hostile atmosphere. And the higher up they are in politics the more they have to deal with this white defense against black freedoms and black humanity. So you asked, "When will the time be right for us to demand the enactment of public policies that defend black and brown lives? I believe that these policies are already started under Obama and would continue under Clinton. President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act in 2010. This narrowed the penalty between crack and powder cocaine from 1:10 to 1:18. In 2014, President Obama established a task force on policing and in 2015, he rolled back the use of certain military equipment by local police – a Black Lives Matter related demand. During the Obama presidency, the Department of Justice has investigated several police departments, including Ferguson, Cleveland, and Philadelphia, under former Attorney General Eric Holder and current Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Not to mention numerous times Obama as president, during press conferences framed the murders of us by police as a crisis that is also related to racism. You asked, when will the money come to rebuild our schools? Obama has definitely TRIED to initiate programs in this regard, ESPECIALLY for poor and minority schools! This link may help to see what his plans were about. http://www.ed.gov/budget15 You also asked, when will governments stop funding themselves from our criminalization and incarceration? Hillary Clinton pledged during this campaign to ban the use of private prison companies if elected president, and in the meantime to stop accepting campaign contributions from those corporations and the lobbyists who work for them. Obviously it’s our duty to first of all elect a democratic house and senate so that we can hold her accountable and ensure her plans are actually passed. You asked...
When will the former Industrial cities across the Midwest and the South, the East coast and the West that sit as decaying reminders of our shared middle class past find the same tax credits being passed around suburban communities to attract and grow family supporting wages in the form of new jobs? Well, Hilary at least acknowledges the need to break down barriers of bigotry like the systemic racism that holds back communities of color. She actually says the words “SYSTEMATIC RACISM” Trump nor his republican peers would EVER say those words! (LOL) She said she’d devote $125 billion to an Economic Revitalization Initiative to create good-paying jobs, rebuild crumbling infrastructure, and connect housing to opportunity in communities that are being left out and left behind. And she’d pay for it by taxing WALL STREET. So, cities like Flint, Baltimore etc would benefit. You asked, when will supplier diversity programs of government contracting find their way to underrepresented businesses?" Under Obama Small business owners can find out about federal contracting opportunities by visiting www.fedbizopps.gov. He's tried to publicize these facts, but unfortunately news outlets in this capitalist system only care about Shocking news and gossip instead of promoting the things that can actually change our lives! It’s actually been a priority of Obama's since day one! I understand that these issues haven’t been solved yet, but there is actions towards solutions. But can a person hit a bullseye if they are not even aiming? At the very least Obama and now Clinton is aiming, while Trump is unfortunately all talk and doesn’t even acknowledge the problems, much less have a plan! I have heard this election cycle compared to a woman choosing between TWO abusive husbands, and that the logical response is to leave for a non abusive relationship. However, to me the analogy is flawed. First off I don’t believe Hilary Clinton is a abusive candidate. But even if I did… the reality is that there will indeed be one of the two major candidates as our next president, the others WILL NOT be chosen. So a protest vote is not equivalent to leaving both abusive husbands, unless it also means that you leave this country! If you stay here, ONE MUST CHOOSE ONE of the two husbands, because that is the only choice.