Monday, October 30, 2006

The African American Vote: Is it Time for a Change?

For years I have voted for candidates that supposedly held some compassion towards African American issues. These are somewhat the same issues that plagued my mother’s generation. High unemployment, home purchasing dilemmas, infestation of drugs in the community, mediocre education standards, and inadequate health care services are only a few of the problems African Americans faced in the 70’s and 80’s. In 2006, we still combat issues that we thought our elected democrat officials would help eradicate or improve. It has been over 30 years, and many of us are still waiting on the results from our parents’ votes. Waiting and waiting! But yet, I have foolishly remained steadfast to the Democratic Party. You can say that I and millions of other black people nationwide have been overwhelmingly loyal to the Democrat Donkey. A donkey that is not truly deserving of our most precious political power: Our votes.

I have done the research and I have discovered that the democrats have introduced bills and legislation that’s helped African Americans “survive” in the United States in the past thirty years. We are able to purchase homes, but there remains to be systems in place that encourages predatory lending and unnecessary home purchasing profiling. We are getting paid more, but the majority of us are well below the poverty line. We have access to “equal” education, but the schools in most urban centers are underserved. There is so much that African Americans have not addressed with our democrat city councilmen, mayors, and congressmen. However, we continue to elect them to represent us. The Democrat Donkey loyalty is in affect with no holistic improvements for black people.

This commentary was not written by a declared Black Republican. It was written by a conservative thinking black man who is just now fully conceptualizing the power and complete meaning of his vote. Yeah, I know what you are saying. ‘Muata, what are you talking about? Our (black people) voting has always been important.’ Of course it has. Nonetheless, voting if you think critically about it has not completely produced the outcomes expected by our ancestors. Yes, it is a right many of them sacrificed their wellbeing for us to have. And, I agree if you are not utilizing this right you have no regard for the black struggle. However, it appears our vote is taken for granted by the Hilary Clintons and Howard Deans. I believe a vote taken for granted, is a vote not worthy of submission. But, where will that leave us? Who should get our vote?

My answer to the last question: Not all the democrats. Voting a straight democrat ticket lacks conscientious forethought and it is borderline lazy unless you are TRULY certain all the democrats agendas are in step with your ideals, beliefs, and expectations. Why not consider voting for a republican who supports No Child Left Behind; favors President Bush’s HIV/AIDS initiative; wants to eliminate unnecessary governmental spending; advocates for an overhaul of the United States government’s workforce; champions personal accountability/responsibility; prefers to lock-up and throw away the key for violent habitual felons; and who has a plan for getting out of Iraq?

I believe it is time for a change. Casting a democrat ballot may not be our answer. Voting strategically is.

Please exercise the right your ancestors died for you to have! If you don’t vote, keep your mouth closed when a decision is made that will negatively affect your standard of living in the United States of America.

Written by Muata. Inspired by Maryland’s Lt. Governor Michael Steele, a Black Republican and senate candidate.


sj-the-infamous said...

Was wondering where you were since you ain't said nuthin' in a bit.

I find myself following MD politics, still...

Georgia politics are sooooo......bleh! It's actually depressing. I'm NOT a proud GA peach. Not so sure I'm really a peach, nor do I want to be. That's neither here nor there.

I will be voting on Tuesday, and I will NOT be taking ID.

Stay tuned...

D. Campbell said...

Think about it: When was the last time you truly believed that a candidate from either party truly represented YOU?

If you answer that question rationally and honestly, it's probably been some time ago.

Both the Democrats and Republicans only represent those interests which have acquired them, be they corporations, unions, or in some cases...foreign governments!

It's about time we woke up, and realize that neither party truly represents our interests. At that point, we have to figure out what to do about it. This two party system we've been fed over the last century is a total scam!

Muata said...

Reader Response:

Interesting commentary. I have often had several of those thoughts. I remember when Clarence Thomas was nominated to the Supreme Court. I remember black people being proud. I remember them vilifying Anita Hill for speaking out. The timing of it all may have been suspect, however it turns out that Clarence Thomas is as bad for black people as George Wallace was.

I think blacks are no different than anyone else when it comes to voting. I think religious whites vote for Right wing republicans. I think liberal whites vote for the people concerned about the environment and pro choice. Many young republicans are only voting republican because of their parents. Blacks traditionally vote for blacks, and in cases where both people are black they tend to vote for the democrat. Being a black republican is a no-no to most blacks.

The issue is simple. Black voters are just as unaware of the issues as anyone else. The problem is that as a race we need the process of government to work. We have to be careful in running to vote for a Democrat because we hate W.W. is as bad as the come when it comes to president. But there are several Democrats not worth their weight in gold and they are in the white house and blacks help them get elected.

We have to educate ourselves and steer clear of party lines. We have to focus on the issues at hand. Most people don’t realize this, but the way to really get results is to participate in local elections. This way you can help shape your environment. If more people took that stance I am sure that it would spread, and as a whole the nation would be better. Many of our problems are compounded by poor voter turnout and lack of participation in local politics. Local and state politics affect us more than the federal issues. But we tend to focus on the popular elections and sort of just fill in the blanks for the local elections.

We have to change our approach.

-Larikus Scott

Muata said...

Reader Responses:

I agree totally.


I agree with you. I think one should vote, not only for an individual, but the cause and purpose the individual stands for. I'm with you on this one!


Thank you for sharing this, Brian. I think you will get some backs up over it; so more power to you for the courage to write it. I've recently thought the same thing, but have been selective about those I share my thoughts with and I've never written them. Keep on!


Muata said...

Reader Response:

I am a Democrat and will stay a Democrat until the day I die and my daughter will also. Republicans are not shit and never will be. They hate unions and I am in the union to better myself and the working class Americans. Bush hates the poor. And, better off rich black people are only "UNCLE TOMS" who vote for the white man.

It makes me mad to see a kid from the hood that makes the pros and votes for those stupid republicans.


FREEDOM said...

My mother and family including myself have always voted Democrat. If you did not know the candidate, vote Democrat anyway was our Motto.

However, my aunt was a Republican who believed that Democrats were crippling black people. She was a Conservative Christian Evangelist who thought black women needed to stop having all these babies and get off welfare. A system that was set up to have black fathers alienated from the black woman and their children. And, a system that was giving black women a false sense of security.

I guess it is time for a change! The change is to educate ourselves on our candidates, and hold them accountable for their promises to gain our Vote and Trust.

When I shared my ideas with my mother tonight, she told me, “All I know is Democrats have done a lot for black people and Republicans are for white people”. All she knows is that she is voting Democrat no matter what. Even though I tried to reason with her about researching the candidates to see what they had to say regardless of their party affiliation. She politely told me, “It really does not matter, they can all say whatever they want to have you elect them into office. In the end, it really does not matter, you have to put your Trust in God”.

Muata said...

A response from Muata:

Voting for democrats just because our parents voted for them is illogical considering today's political climate. This type of decision is irresponsible also.

Any black person who does not vote is spitting in the face of those blacks who got slapped around for us Nuevo blacks! Any black person who votes just not taking the voting process seriously.

Why can't we just do a little research to get a better understanding? It will only require a little bit of our precious time. Precious?? Yeah, right. Precious time is walking back and forth to the poll station and being told you can not vote today. Some walked over 20 miles to be told no. Precious time is marching to win the right to vote. Some of the marchers had to endure evil white mobs.

I am not amazed any longer at the disrespect and lack of honor we display to those who paved the way.

We need to be... You finish that sentence!

By the way, ignorance leads to foolishness. Both - equals DEATH of the authentic black culture. Who will be the fool on November 7, 2006? We will if we continue with the status quo.


esteeminatti said...

B, what's good, Big Homie? Haywood here. Black people and their politicized thinking. First, let me say: one SHOULD vote....BUT, one should be as informed about the candidates and issues as one would be when out shopping for that new SUV or those new PRADA shoes. That decision (for whom one should vote) is SO life-affecting that it requires more than just Political Party loyalty. Hell, I LOOOOOOVES me some Timberlands , but every now and then the occasion calls for Ferragamos. Boy, Mr. Watson would be proud of all of us for staying ALIVE and CONSCIOUS!!! I'll definitely stop back by the SPOT and check out your "wisdom, which means wise words being spoken". Haywood.

Muata said...

Muata responds to his homeboy Esteeminatta:

The Thomasville in the house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yep, Mr. Watson would be proud of us. Black American History class was truly my favorite class during high school. Mr. Watson was not only a great teacher he is a wonderful MAN!

This politic thing is... Well, it is IMPORTANT, and you hit it right on the head: We need to treat candidate selection like our lives depended on it. If only we all knew the value of the research we are speaking of.

Time will tell! Will we (black folk) collectively figure it out or will we continue to degenerate?


FREEDOM said...

I personally have started early, with the research. Even though my mother and family have a view of the voting process, I will create my own view of what I will do to enlighten myself of the candidates and issues that affect the future of Black America and myself. The research I do I will share it with others, rather than just research for myself only. It is true some people are lazy and they want other people to do the legwork, while they reap the benefits. I do not mine doing the research and allowing others to take from me what I have found in my research.

I went to the voting site where I live and received a FREE SAMPLE BALLOT for Tuesday November 7, 2006 election. For my County there are 56 persons running for an office and, 10 Proposed Constitutional Amendments. From local, to state, to judicial representation; our lives will be represented by these individuals.

I believe we, African Americans should obtain a copy of these FREE SAMPLE BALLOTS, so that we can read, study and research the candidates and the Proposed Constitutional Amendments. It is political suicide if we do not take advantage of early voting, absentee voting and gaining a FREE copy of a SAMPLE BALLOT. So that when we do go and vote we can breeze through the process, rather than being confused about what the Proposed Constitutional Amendments are saying and know exactly who the candidates are that are running in our Districts.

On the sample ballot for my County in GA, you have to vote for: Governor, Lt. Governor, Secretary of State, and Attorney General.

Commissioners: Agriculture/Insurance/Labor/Pubic Service/ (Two) County, State School Superintendent, (Three) U.S Representatives for Congress, (Five) State Senators, (Fourteen) State Representative in the General Assembly, County School Board.

Then you have the Nonpartisan Election, which contains election for the Justices for the State Supreme Court (Four), Judge for Court of Appeals (Four), Judge for Superior Court (Three), Judge of State Court (Six), and Soil Water Conservation District Supervisor.

Ten Proposed Constitutional Amendments for the State of GA:

-To restrict the use of eminent domain.
-To protect the traditions of fishing and hunting.
-To authorize the general assembly to dedicate revenue from special motor vehicle license plates.
-To expand the ad valorem tax exemption for farm equipment.
-To expand the ad valorem exemption for veterans organization to include organizations which refurbish and operate historic military aircraft for educational purposes.
-To expand the ad valorem tax exemption for property of charitable institutions.
-To provide a homestead exemption to certain residents who are senior citizens with respect to state ad valorem taxes.
-To provide a homestead exemption for the surviving spouse of a peace officer or firefighter killed in the line of duty.
-To provide that a surviving spouse shall be entitled to a continuation of the base year value under a base year assessed value homestead exemption.
-Last but not least, a Special Election for parks bond referendum.

AD VALOREM - Lat. According to the value. This term is used in commerce in reference to certain duties, called ad valorem duties, which are levied on commodities at certain rates per centum on their value.

I was floored by this sample ballot WE MUST RESEARCH, WE DO NOT HAVE A CHOICE. Determining 56 persons to represent me and 10 proposed constitutional amendments to decide if they should become LAW is vital. It is imperative that we (black folks) get our hands on as many FREE Sample Ballots for our Counties and pass them out to the masses before election DAY.

Can you imagine trying to decide to vote for these candidates and amendments when the lines are long and you may feel rushed and confused about the language in some of these proposed constitutional amendments.

Just a LITTLE research that I found, just from A COPY OF A FREE SAMPLE BALLOT!

However, much more research has to be done to make my final decision on the best candidates. The information I have provided is just scratching the surface. I still have to research who the judges are, county officials, and state officials. We must must start researching early. We have to STOP waiting to the last minute to make vital decisions for our future. Our ancestors died so that we can VOTE responsibility, integrity and courageously.

I think we will do a great disservice to ourselves, our culture, our children, and our future if we choose not to acquire a FREE SAMPLE BALLOT, to effectively and efficiently study the candidates that will be in charge of two or four years of service in the United STATES of America in which we LIVE and call HOME!!!

FREEDOM said...

I need to emphasis on more comment, in regards to VOTING. When obtaining your FREE SAMPLE BALLOT, after researching the Candidates and the Proposed Constitutional Amendments. FILL IT OUT! Take your HUGE cheat sheet with you to the Polling Site. For it is encouraged!

By having your FREE SAMPLE BALLOT filled out when you return to VOTE. You DO NOT have to worry about memorizing whom you want to vote for or what Amendments you are for or against. Nor will you have to WORRY about being kicked out of the Polling Site for having a cheat sheet. While, Cheat Sheets are not permitted in schools, however in voting, it is necessary to have ALL your ANSWERS in front of you on your handy dandy FREE SAMPLE BALLOT!!!


Muata said...

Reader Response:

I agree with some of your premise. I am not confident that the Republicans have helped African Americans over Democrats-since 2000, blacks have suffered a greater gap in income, provide more soldiers per capita in Iraq, and suffer incarceration rates that have increased 15%, HIV AIDS has increased 8%, etc....however, I don't think there was an overall improvement under Clinton or any other democrat. Blacks will continue to be marginalized as we allow corporate interests (supported by both parties) to develop and influence public policy. Our society has drifted far away from any true democratic process and allowed vested, unelected interests to govern Washington.

It's no longer a party issue. The citizens of this country drift in a state of amnesia fueled by corporate values and a perverted entertainment culture. We no longer know how to use our hands, how to take care of our elders and lift people off the street. We spend on ourselves hoping to buy the big car, the big home, the big this, the big that....and get FAT--Lenox Mall is our Place of Worship and Nike the Great Icon of the 21st Century. Public debate is dead.

We need to elect officials who are willing to distribute income more equitably, regardless of the party. This country needs health care, after school programs, schools that work, clean air, jobs that pay well. You are right, we need to look at the situation more critically-this includes going beyond a party focus.

David D'Agostino Leavitt

Muata said...

Reader Response:

If the Dems don’t come up with some concrete plans, they will be washed out in 2008. We need to pay less attention to Iraq and look at the ‘Iraq’ in our own back yards---why are women abused every 7 minutes in this country and kids shoot kids with guns? Why? Why do 2 people have to work to keep up a household full of kids? Why do less and less people have a retirement and have to work until they are dead? It’s because we are slowly, but surely becoming a third world country---all the signs are there.

David D'Agostino Leavitt