It’s that time again and the last four years will bring new voters to make choices for the candidates that best express what they want in government, be it local county, state or national.The people who vote regularly, election after election know what is at stake in this election.The choice is individual and everyone that of voting age should be registered and thinking about how they will cast their ballot. Vote your values and value your vote!
The NAACP cannot and will not tell anyone of voting age how to vote or which candidate to choose.However, voting is a privilege every citizen should use as his right. It is time for your individual voice can be heard.It is louder than a bullhorn.It is more effective than a banner or a march.It is your right according to the 1965 Voter’s Right Act.
When you vote consider whether you believe government is a “color thing” or a “political thing.”Politically speaking, no group is perfect.Our political system is built upon the opinions of men and women.Many issues we are facing today in our cities, counties and statewide are just as debatable as our national assessment of whether we are better off than we were at any given time.We must vote our values and value our votes.
“Who’s” on first and “What’s” on second, was a great comedy routine for Abbot & Costello, but it has come down to health care, economic policy and taxation.This is no laughing matter.There is no comedic relief when people cannot discern between what is right and what is wrong.
We should not assume that all African Americans vote for Democrats, no more than we should assume that other predominate races or cultures vote Republican.However, we should all assume that the election of 2008 will be a milestone in American history and what is at stake for the survival of the American people will be the determining factor of what kind of government the people want.What the American people get depends largely on whether one is voting for a man, a woman, a political party or a cause.
Various groups and organizations have registrars available.They are preparing to get out the vote.It will be our attempt to post voter registration sites.Check out this website for updates. Register before Tuesday, October 7, 2008 to vote in the November election.Stand for something or fall for everything.Do your homework on each candidate.Do not be taken for granted.Vote your values and value your vote.
So many people have fought and shed blood for the right of every American to cast a vote.Will your vote be taken for granted this time around? You can send a powerful to Washington, but you cannot do it if you do not vote.Like the lottery—you cannot win if you do not play.If you do not register, you cannot vote!
Never believe that it is simple.It is not.Even after 44 years after the poll tax was abolished, minority voters across the country (U.S.) are still fighting to participate in the political process.There are states that are still bogged down in the quagmire of overt voter intimidation, to the strategic placement of polling places away from specific communities, to laws that call for citizens to provide state-based IDs to vote, and various other tactics to prevent minorities from voting.The fight is still on!
Although Mother Rosa Parks took a stand by keeping her seat, the Black minority must now speak up at the ballot box in order to be heard.Do not allow your vote to be taken for granted this (2008) or any election year.Whether it is immigration reform, equality in education, national health care (disparities in Black and White), environmental justice (toxic racism), or homeowner’s mortgage relief, the path to success is building the community power for change.
Will your vote be taken for granted this election?Will the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965 make a difference for blacks and Hispanics registered for the first time?Are the issues the more important than voting “color or gender?”
It is a tougher choice now, more than ever before.Whether embracing the positions of one candidate over the other, as evidenced in the last election when a large majority of African American Christians voted along “religious persuasion” lines, the question is choice.For many conservatives, including some blacks, it is ironic that African Americans would be so strongly opposed to the party of Abraham Lincoln, the president who issued the Emancipation Proclamation.However, the Republicans who freed the slaves in 1863 are not the same Republicans often branded as racists by many African Americans.
The record is, at the height of the struggle for civil rights, a new brand of Republicans called Southern “Dixiecrats” emerged with those persons who switched parties in order to resist liberal Democrats’ efforts to desegregate the South.It became noble or distinguished for the two top officials of the country (at that time) to endear themselves to African Americans by supporting racial integration, voting rights for blacks and equal employment opportunity.
What will first-time black and Hispanic voters have to muddle over in the voting booth?Will they side with the group that has shown the most support or will they support the group that has “taken” away the benefits of those who are the most needy?
The allegiance, which continued through the ‘70s and the opposition of the Vietnam War is perhaps “digging in” politically, hoping to galvanize the Black vote to shore up its political stand.Yet, the 1980s regime opposed affirmative action and cut funding for unemployment, housing and education programs that had been supported by African Americans.
Is the glass half full or half empty?On the other hand, is it a thermos bottle of recognizable half-truths, unfaithful promises, and apparent illusions?Who better communicates the divergent political views of the underserved and under-represented masses?Will minority communities, known for its devotion, become allies to a platform of platitudes?
The social investment of these groups must not be taken for granted this time around.Someone must articulate what is good for the goose and the gander.If the “chickens come home” they must have somewhere to roost, otherwise there will be a fierce battle over turf and the right to speak on behalf of the marginalized and disenfranchised.How certain issues are translated into a vote at the polls, largely depend upon both community and religious leaders.Registering legal age voters is one thing, getting them to the polls to vote is another thing.
It is not difficult to be undecided, what with the serious weaknesses around the issues that are as important now as it was four years ago—budget deficit issues, the war in Iraq, fluctuating oil prices, and the governmental bail outs of insurance and financial institutions.In view of all the other issues that have arisen, perhaps it is time to make both parties fight for the votes of African Americans, Hispanics as well as Asians.Taking optimism to task is probably the best idea to date.It is still too early to tell.
There are many issues, too numerous to mention.The black electorate may surprise even the most discriminating analysts, those who have taken them for granted.Of all the issues, the economy is the heartbeat of American, whether black, white, red, yellow or green.People will be “voting” their pocket books and wallets.As African Americans enter polling stations across America to vote, they will be thinking of what must be done now that was not done forty, fifty, even sixty years ago.
With this lever called the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965, will there be African Americans who do not plan to vote this year?Will the day after the election have been a nightmare for the ones whose dream were not realized, or will there be “dancing in the streets?”Voting one’s conscience is the only thing that cannot be taken for granted.
You are guaranteed one vote.Whichever way you vote, you do have a choice for a change, what you do with it is between you and your conscience—only do not be taken for granted.