I had a chance to speak my opinion on The Smiley and West Show, then I commented on the post afterwords, you can click the link above to hear it and this is what I wrote in the comments section.
Thanks for the comments.
As the segment for the show had time restraints I wasn’t able to fully explain my position on the Your Vote is Your Voice statement that Tavis put on Facebook.
To better clear it up, I’m not an advocate for not voting. I understand that voting is an intricate part of America, but it is a choice, not a mandate. If you choose to vote then cool but if you choose not to vote, then cool, it’s your choice.
As for Your Vote is Your Voice, I equate it to saying No Vote = No Voice, or if you don’t vote shut up, which Tavis said he believed was accurate, and that if you don’t vote keep your mouth shut. We did agree that people who have been imprisoned and cant vote in some states was wrong and that something should be done about it but as for regular people, just shut up.
This is where my problem lies.
As a product of Generation X, growing up in a predominantly Black neighborhood I have seen first hand how voting has done nothing for these neighborhoods. People vote, neighborhood remains the same, schools get worst, crime doesn’t stop, repeat every couple years. It’s cyclical and every couple years we have politicians that re-promise their constituents the world but never deliver.
At 38 years of age I have come to view politics a bit cynically and to be honest I believe voting is what really silences your voice. The average person believes that if they vote they have done their part in creating change but as we see change doesn’t come. Voting makes the vast majority of Americans complacent and that’s all they do, Vote!
They don’t understand that voting is like what Christians call getting saved. As the bible says, faith without works is for naught, if you call yourself saved your works should prove that you are. The same goes for voting, you can’t just vote and call it a day, better yet a couple years. You still have to be active in changing your community for the better and that’s what gets lost in translation.
Politicians are cool with it because they can prey on you when the next election comes around and re-promise you the same things they were supposed to fix 8 terms ago.
Besides, we got more accomplished as a people when our voting rights were being suppressed. Ever since we started looking to politicians and voting to save our communities, our communities have gotten worse.
I believe that if you don’t vote you still have the right to speak up and out for or against anything you want to speak on. The political system in this country is flawed and skewed toward politicians staying in office, collecting big checks, and underperforming. I don’t like the system and even if I don’t vote in a particular election I’m still going to speak my opinion because when it comes down to it, the amount of people that speak up is what creates change not the amount of people that vote, and we need all the voices we can get.