Educate, organize and mobilize -- For more than a year leading up to the recently completed General Elections, I’ve written about Voter Suppression, gerrymandering, the Black vote and voters. The good news from the General Election, if there is any, is that the level of participation by Black voters during this midterm was about what it was during the 2010 midterm. The bad news is that our level of participation was far less than it should have been given the seriousness of the issues that confront us as a people and a community. To get ahead in America, Black voters must vote in much greater numbers and demand an equitable return when Black supported candidates win.
Recently, a rising sentiment among some political critics calls for the minimization, if not the dissolution, of the local American voting precinct. At times described prophetic, this group perceives the recent election’s results as a lack of positive effect generated by our smallest democratic unit. But instead of asking for the means to strengthen precincts, as we might imagine, their projected model is something akin to a passkey by which--through their proposed reduction--only the correct few will have access to higher up political arenas.
Educate, organize and mobilize -- Since the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960’s many Blacks have been loyal and consistent voters, albeit at levels that need to increase. During our most recent elections and other elections going back to the sixties, many Black voters have questioned whether their votes would make a difference, and if so, what they would get as a result of electing people to office. In other words, are rewards of voting equal to the value of voting?
Educate, organize and mobilize: Although the results of Tuesday’s General Election are very disappointing, they have given us a real measurement of our task ahead. I don’t have any empirical data to prove the exact results of our mobilization to get-out-the-vote in the Black community; several reports indicate that Black voter participation was down slightly from the 2012 General Election. Unfortunately, our efforts were not enough to deliver victory to Senator Kay Hagan. Additionally, I don’t yet have the empirical data to prove the exact effects of voter suppression on this election. However, many incidents were reported that suggest that the effect was substantial. Kay Hagan may very well have won had Black and other votes not been suppressed.
Educate, organize and mobilize -- Necessarily, this is my last column before the November 4th General Election. The outcome of this election and voter suppression is in your hands. Please continue your outreach by emailing your contacts and posting to your Facebook friends asking and reminding them to vote. It’s important to vote against Republicans because they are the advocates that are committed to voter suppression and preventing Black voters from voting at all. There is no reason for Black voters to vote for a Republican except in very unusual circumstances. The one circumstance in this year’s election is the choice for Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court.
Many of us remember the five famous words from the movie Apollo 13 “Huston we have a problem”. Looking at the extreme conservatives on our County Boards of Education on up to the majority in the General Assembly, I must make an obvious statement. “North Carolina, we have too many problems.” Let us take a look at a few serious problems from our state legislative leaders:
- Defeat Voter Suppression: D-Day is Here Email your contacts. Facebook your friends.
- Vote Early: Defeat Voter Suppression - Vote Early and Volunteer. Volunteer. Volunteer.
- Voter Suppression: Polls Don’t Vote Vote Early and Volunteer! Volunteer! Volunteer!
- Voter Suppression: One More Round The Ground Game - Getting Out the Vote
- Voter Suppression: The Black Church Organize, Register and Vote!