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?
I think that it is important to answer the questions of Black voters if our leaders desire to get larger and more consistent Black voter participation in the future. In a Facebook post to my last week’s commentary, Voter Suppression Won Again, I suggested that it’s time for a statewide debrief and strategy session to address November 4th’s General Election results and the Black vote going forward. The question of Black political patronage should become a part of any and all discussions of future voter participation.
A friend of mine recently commented that on victorious election nights Black voters celebrate the victory, but white voters celebrate when the patronage is awarded. Republicans are masters of the patronage game. They promise their supporters jobs, tax cuts, fewer regulations and smaller government. It’s important to note that both parties have platforms that target the middle class for their campaign rhetoric and focus. Many Black voters are low and no income voters and completely ignored in campaign outreach rhetoric and patronage after successful campaigns.
Going forward, Black voters should require that their patronage be included in the campaign platforms of political parties and candidates. If Black concerns don’t rise to the level of inclusion in platforms, it’s unlikely that they rise to the level of patronage when it is doled out. In coming commentaries I’ll be detailing the ongoing results from the necessary responses to the Black voters desire for political patronage.
As I’m writing about this topic I’m engaged in numerous conversations with Black Elected Officials and community leaders and am receiving very positive feedback. If this is a topic of concern to you, and I hope that it is, you should ask the same question of people that you’ve voted for and elected to office. As I do commentaries on Black political patronage I’ve started a new Facebook page for the topic. Please go to our link: (https://www.facebook.com/bookmarks/pages#!/voteyoureconomics) “like” the page, ask your Facebook “friends” to “like” it and share your ideas and commentaries with us.
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Peter Grear writes commentaries for Greater Diversity News with a primary focus on voter suppression. To join the Campaign to Defeat Voter Suppression please “Like” and follow us at www.facebook.com/votersuppression, “Share” our articles and your comments on Facebook or at our website www.GreaterDiversity.com. Also, to promote the Campaign to Defeat Voter Suppression, please ask all of your Facebook “Friends” to follow the above-referenced recommendations. Additionally, please follow us on Twitter at: @yourrighttovote and #defeatvotersuppression. •