By: Anthony Maxwell
The 2016 Presidential Election is the topic of discussion in African-American barbershops and beauty salons. Due to the media’s coverage of Donald Trump’s provocative statements, Trump’s cult like following (which includes former Ku Klux Klan members and other white supremacist groups), and fights at several Trump rallies the majority of African Americans vilify Donald Trump. During the 90s, African-Americans mistakenly called Bill Clinton, our first black president because he played the saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show, visited African-American churches, and pretended to “feel our pain”. While Bill was courting the black community, Hillary Clinton helped her husband gain support for a crime bill formally known as The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 and the North American Free Trade Agreement. The crime bill written by Vice President Joe Biden was a multi-billion-dollar law that allocated $9.7 billion to build prisons, $6.7 billion for special police programs, and hired 100,000 new police officers. In many cases, the newly hired officers were trained to engage in racial profiling to target African-Americans to fill up newly built prisons. The Free Trade Agreement sent factory jobs away from urban American cities like Detroit, Chicago, New York City, Newark, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Cleveland to workers willing to accept lower wages abroad.
People Died For Us To Vote
Older African-Americans remind us to vote because our ancestors died for our right to vote. The Freedom Fighters of the 1960s taught younger African-Americans to express their frustration through marching and voting. If we aren’t happy with either of the candidates on the ballot, we are told to pick the lesser of the two evils. In the spirit of Stokely Carmichael, I ask why must we accept the lessor of two evils? Why should we be forced to decide between Satan and Lucifer? Politicians who use evil as a weapon are masters of deception, lies, confusion, misrepresentation, omission of facts, and illusions. We are victims of their evil games because collectively we have been operating in political ignorance which is a form of darkness. We must move away from darkness and into the light of truth.
The truth is that we have dishonored our ancestors who fought for the right to vote by voting for evil politicians who pretend to care about our community but ignore us after they get elected. We are dishonoring our ancestors by voting for politicians and not monitoring the impact of their policies on our community. African-Americans are the only voting block that doesn’t directly demand anything from their elected officials (regardless of party). We just hope they get up there and do the right thing. Based on the current condition of the African-American community, the politicians that we elected have not been doing the right thing. Since the passage of civil rights related legislation, neither political party created policies that were intended to improve our community.
It’s All About The Benjamins
In our capitalist society, politics is the process by which government distributes taxpayer’s resources. Corporations and their lobbyists use their influence and money [notice that I didn’t say votes] to convince politicians to do what is best for their business interest. Politicians are playing a game of trying to look like the people’s champion while collecting corporate dollars. When corporations, lobbyists, and special interest groups contribute to politicians, they expect something in return.
Collectively, African-Americans haven’t formed special interest groups to lobby politicians to look out for our interests. We don’t have a business class with generational wealth and economic influence to protect our interests. We can’t afford to play the American political game and that’s why they don’t take us seriously.
Solution: Political Revolution
In 2016, we can’t continue to use 1960s politician strategy. We can’t afford to align ourselves with political parties that continue to fail our community. Since we can’t afford to create and finance our own special interest groups to protect our interests in national elections, we should temporarily refrain from participating in national elections until we develop a national political strategy. We should focus our energy on local politics because local elections require less financial resources. If we develop a strong local voting block and turn out to vote for issues affecting our community, we can create meaningful improvements in our community. We must identify local people who are committed to our community to serve in the following positions: city council, county commission, district attorney, district court judge, clerk of court, registrar of deed, and sheriff. Also, we need to identify African-American professionals to fill the following government related position: city budget director, county budget director, public school superintendent, public library executive director, department of recreation executive director, and director of public health.
Here are several videos that Anthony Maxwell suggest that you check out before you cast your vote!