Voting is viewed as the only way to affect change and other point of views are not acknowledged as valuable.
I have never voted, I registered once because I was talked into it by someone but I never voted. Originally, I never voted because I felt no connection to the process. I never felt obligated to vote and did not pay politics much attention. In college, I remember seeing lines to vote and not being interested. I never felt voting would really change my life. The investment never seemed worth it. Of course, many people have a problem with this and believe if you do not vote then you are complicit with oppression and should not complain. That’s dumb for a couple reasons. First, voting does not end oppression, it never has and never will. Secondly, with a two-party system that has proven to be unresponsive to the people what is the point? Black people have continued to be marginalized and little change has come through voting. When corporations pay to run the government, individuals without unity votes are only useful to win office but maintaining the position is based on politics of accepting money for favors. In my opinion, more progress can be made organizing special interest groups and funding policy. Lastly, imagine telling someone who is experiencing oppression they should suffer in silence because they did not participate in a racist system that has proven unresponsive. You are now a part of the oppression. Interesting how that works.
Another argument is that black ancestors died for the right to vote. No, our ancestors were murder for attempting to exercise power and control over their lives. They were killed for doing many things and voting is just one them. Insisting people vote regardless of their experiences or beliefs is limiting their freedom to decide what is best for them. I do not believe voting will change the lives of oppressed people in any major way and to spend energy and resources on getting people to vote and invest in the words and promises of politicians is an exercise in futility. Once elected the politician serves a term and often doesn’t follow through on promises and next election just makes more promises and 2-4 years were spent waiting on change that never comes. So, I personally cannot invest energy into a system that I see as a distraction from liberation. Policies that violate basic human rights are passed continuously and often unbeknownst to the people they affect. Instead of shaming people for not voting, respect their right to choose what they feel is the best use of their energy just as the ancestors did.
The question is what are we doing to bring change? Maybe voting is not my solution but then what are some other solutions? Building real communities away from their municipalities and out of their jurisdictions is the only solution I see as viable. As long as people want to be a part of an oppressive system, the system maintains control. People fight to change it but they can never change the foundation and the time and energy invested could be used in more productive ways. Just like this solution may not fit everyone, neither does voting. We can benefit from having these conversations. Let’s discuss how to solve oppression, how to build a better society and the best ways to expend energy. Instead of allowing difference of strategies and opinion to cause further division, let’s figure out how to build regardless of differences. What safeguards can we put in place to protect our people no matter what happens with politics and voting? Division over a racist system is not going to move us forward or protect us. What are we building?
Peace & love. I share my thoughts in hopes of helping you find your own. They may take many forms from poetry to essays. However the spirit moves me I will share. Thanks for taking the time to read my thoughts & experiences. This is my truth.