Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Results Of Benign Neglect

Today, I will go to vote. Some people will choose not to vote. Some people will argue that the conditions in the black community have deteriorated to a point where neither Barack Obama or John McCain's presidency will matter. I'm going to surprise everyone here by saying that I agree but, not without explanation. Let's take a look at how we got to this point...

On this day, in the very neighborhood I live in, I have more to fear from someone who looks like me than I do some chucklehead in a white sheet or who wears jackboots and masturbates to posters of Adolph Hitler and Eva Braun. In my community, teen pregnancy and the high school drop out rate runs high, as well as the unemployment rate that has created a generation of hopelessness and apathy.

The apathy and black psychosis that sprung from this comes from people... black people who always seemed to have an excuse for not voting in many elections past and who allowed jackleg politician after politician, (black and white politicians, mind you) to get elected and not be held accountable for what they said they would do. The end result of this is decades of not being respected and not getting any services delivered to our community. No money to the inner city
schools, not enough police protection in our communities, no incentives for colleges and local universities to extend financial aid to inner city youth for schloarships, no lowering of property taxes for first-time home owners or availability of home loans, etc. I'm just giving examples of
how our own apathy led to politicians from both parties ignoring the black community and I am laying this at the feet of the black community.

For years, politicians of both parties knew that we weren't going to come out to vote if it rained or, if they weren't running a black candidate, or if we didn't feel as though this were our country, or any of the other nonsense and excuse-making we as a people have been guilty of. Why should they respect you, since they know you're not going to vote anyway and they know that they can do or not do anything they damn well choose because all you are going to do is bitch and moan and maybe march downtown to protest it? They don't care because they know that black people also have short memories too. We will allow them to come to a few churches, eat some fried chicken, lie about knowing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and everything will be cool. They can get re-elected and spend four more years of doing nothing and our neighborhoods suffer.

It's funny... I go out into the suburbs and I don't see voter registration drives. Do you know why? Because nobody has to tell white people to vote. They come out in droves and they let their elected officials hear it loud and clear when they make a mis-step. They write letters, make phone calls, and send e-mails. They don't care if you came to their church or not... they don't care if you and Ronald Reagan were in a movie together back in the day. They want results for what is ailing them right here, right now and in most cases... they get action.

But, in the Black community, we have to have voter registration drives. We have to explain to some that their right to vote was hard fought for and should not be taken for granted. We have to tell others that this is their country too and that their vote matters, just as much as anybody else's. And, we still have the cynics amongst us who sharply criticize the government and politicians but don't vote. To quote James Brown, that's just "Talkin' loud and sayin' nothin'."

This is not about Barack Obama or John McCain. This is about making the powers that be respect the black vote. For the first time in years, black folk are hopeful, registering in record numbers, and you can best believe that somebody is taking note of this somewhere. I know that right now, voting and political talk is the "in" thing amongst us but, I must stress that we not let it end tomorrow. If we want to be taken seriously, we've got to start today, (no matter who wins) holding politicians responsible for what they say they are going to do.

Neither presidential candidate is a savior and regardless of who wins, your life is not going to be much different for a long time. That will depend on how fast whoever wins gets to changing policies and how much these policies are going to effect how you and I are living. It is in your best interest to stay involved, read newspapers, magazines, blogs, and to continue to voice your opinions through e-mails, letters, phone calls, etc. after the election has been decided.

In closing I'll say this... your benign neglect and their benign neglect means that nothing will ever change. Aren't you tired of nothing ever changing? Then, do something. To quote James Brown again, "Get up, get into it, get involved!"

22 comments:

James Perkins said...

You're still hittin it Brother,Great Post..Go get em Keith

Political Sean said...

Excellent Post Brother Keith, Thanks for the lesson.

Simon Bastion said...

As usual you are insightful and knowledgable.

Shanita Waters said...

Thank you!!! Very well said.

Angie B. said...

Right On...Right On!

Toni said...

I voted early this morning, it was a great feeling!

Sunflower said...

I just voted...I didn't think you were going to post anything today..
but you surprised me...What do you do, carry a Laptop or do you blog from a PDA device of some kind?

Keith said...

@Sunflower- No, I blog from a regular computer keyboard at my home.. I sit down in the afternoon
and write my posts for both blogs and schedule them to be published.
I don't own a laptop and I'm not technically savy enough to blog from my cell phone...You gotta talk to my main man and fellow blogger,12Kyle for that.lololol.

Lisa said...

Hi Keith, I voted this morning too.
Great Post.

Anonymous said...

Barrack The vote baby!!!!!

Opinionated Diva said...

Keith...EXCELLENT post and so true!

We have to expect more...and be willing to demand it by taking action - VOTING!

I voted early o'clock this morning!

OG, The Original Glamazon said...

Great Post!

People often say that, in a democracy, decisions are made by a majority of the people. Of course, that is not true. Decisions are made by a majority of those who make themselves heard and who vote -- a very different thing.

-Walter H. Judd

-OG

Yobachi said...

Exactly, politicians don't pay attention to those who don't vote. Not voting just self-fulfills the prophesy that "they ain't gonna do nothin for me".

Of course not, they're politicians and you didn't do anything for them - and like wise they don't have to fear that you will hurt them by voting for their opponents.

CurvyGurl said...

Amen Keith! I got my vote on this morning...backache, 2+ hours in line and it didn't faze me because it was for my fam that didn't live to see this day :).

karrie b. said...

keithy keithhhhh!

awww man, i felt this post...esp "I have more to fear from someone who looks like me than I do some chucklehead in a white sheet or who wears jackboots and masturbates to posters of Adolph Hitler and Eva Braun"

thats real. i got my vote in, and i know obama got it...much love keithy.

-KB

12kyle said...

remember the phrase...Droppin' Science???

That's what you just did!

Great post, bruh.

LOL @ your comment to Sunflower

Somebodies Friend said...

I am definately tired of nothing ever changing, I will do my part!

SLC said...

Well said as always. Put up or shut up.
Voted in the rain with thousands of other change makers.

SLC

crys said...

good post keith. so we all vote nov. 4th and hopefully barack obama becomes the 44th president of the united states. i am praying that people understand that it goes BEYOND the vote - that even after nov. 4th...the same passion that you have for obama, for this movement, for everything that is going on -- use that same passion to do something to give back to YOUR community. can we channel this energy collectively as people to also commit to just generally being involved - even after the election? i hope so....i hope this is JUST the beginning of many changes to come

Mizrepresent said...

Excellent Keith!

The F$%K it List said...

Keith what do I say! Awesome post yet again!

I voted this evening, and I am so happy and stll nervous

Kin'shar said...

Can I get an AMEN.....ummm, so, uh...why is there anonymous commenters here....as if there is something to hide




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