vote-presidential-election-2016

There is this malaise—this dank dust, heavy and thick and gummy, fixed like sap on this Tuesday to come. Don’t nobody want to touch it. Best to let somebody else get their hands dirty—clean up that sticky mess.

Except this presidential election is our mess.

This is our house—our America. And when our house is chaotic and disorganized and dirty, we clean it—get it all the way together. Because it is ours.

We own it.

If we insist we are American… if we insist we be treated as such… if we insist the freedoms set about in the Constitution apply to us… if we insist that taking a knee during the national anthem is as American as baseball, apple pie, Cadillacs and Beyonce… then we must insist, too, on the responsibility that comes with that ownership. We must insist on prioritizing our duty to vote.

It is the American way.

Like Langston, we, too, sing America.

And we’ve come much too far to just give our house away.

Stakes is high.

Always have been.

They were when southern racists demanded poll taxes from sharecroppers and maids who wanted to make their mark…

They were when Jim Crow laws demanded uneducated and disenfranchised Black folk prove their ability to read and write and recite complicated constitutional law just to look at a ballot…

They were when Black humans were strung from trees and had their hands carved from their bodies simply for verbalizing the desire to vote…

They were when Martin was marching and Rosa was, like, “Nah,” and Emmett’s mama insisted we look and really see what those monsters did to her baby…

They were when a politically stacked Supreme Court studied those hanging chads and “seated” the president….

And when the levees broke and that same “seated” president circled high up in the air while our people—Americans, all—wailed…

And when the banks and greedy politicians disappeared Black wealth, too…

Stakes are still high.

As the American educational system partners with law enforcement to feed our babies into the school-to-prison pipeline

As that system of mass incarceration rots—literally rots—our families and communities…

As judges and local prosecutors conspire to get away with systemic murder…

As we remember that Sandra, Trayvon, Eric, Jordan, Michael, Freddie, Akai, Tamir, Aiyana, Tyre and so many more mattered (still do)…

As we watch racists crawl from the woodworks, waving their confederate flags and frothing at the mouth and vowing to use their vote to “make America great again”…

As politicians work extra hard to suppress the Black vote by poking their fingers through all the gaping hole left in the newly gutted Civil Rights Voting Act (looking at you North Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas, South Carolina and all the rest of you)…

Now, more than ever, it is imperative that we open our eyes and pay attention and remember the history of it all and our place in it and be smart about the politics and make informed decisions as Americans with the right to pick the deciders.

It. Is. Our. Right.

Vote.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.

Leave a Reply

CLOSE
CLOSE