#SoulSharing: The Black Vote

November 7, 2018

I’ve seen numerous posts from Black folks who chose not to vote. The primary reasons tend to be that the system doesn’t represent them or their needs, that the candidates they’d choose don’t have any support, and that voting doesn’t actually change anything. I myself had a hard time getting to the polls for these same reasons. In a very real way, they are valid arguments.

But I wonder if this mentality is as pervasive among White people. Do many White folks also consciously choose not to vote?

My guess (and it’s literally a guess because I’ve done no research into it) is that, in general, most White people vote. Whether conservative, liberal, or “other,” they go to the polls. And that makes sense. White men have always been empowered to vote, and White women, once granted the access, still feel empowered to vote. Simply by virtue of Whiteness, there is a sense of responsibility and power in being an American voter.

Black folks don’t have that.

We been fighting to get the polls decade after decade after decade. Even when voting for us became legal, White-run governments make it their duty to find ways to still disenfranchise us and silence our voices. Generations of that takes its toll. Vote after vote after vote after vote of trying to grasp political power only to consistently see your enemies stay in place takes its toll. Voting for change but never getting any takes its toll. And over time, some of us stop trying and stop caring.

All while White people keep voting.

I don’t have a point that I’m trying to make. Just expressing some thoughts and observations. I’m not looking to shame non-voters, cuz I get it. And honestly, I think it’s a long-term tactic by the opposition. They create barriers to the booths not just for present elections but for future ones. Because they know that, over time, they’ll get more of us to stop trying to come. There’s only so much energy people can put into trying until they’re completely spent and have absolutely zero fucks left to give. It’s all part of the system.

The oppressed cannot change the system by themselves because the system is made to lock them out. The ones who can truly make the changes we need are the ones in power. White people. The ones who keep going to the polls. The ones with their names on the ballots. But even then, there’s not enough conscious and compassionate White folks to flip the board over and rebuild the broken system. Because the system isn’t broken for them (at least that’s what so many think). Many continue to vote in what they’re told is the best interest for them (which it isn’t for all of them), and we do this same dance each time.

At least that’s the way it goes in these red states.

That’s all, I guess. Trying to process what voting means, what continuing to live in this country means. I welcome others’ thoughts and discussion. Just keep it respectful.

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