In this current 2020 Presidential election, it has certainly been a battle. The remains from 2016 linger into every aspect of this election. But have we learned our lesson in 2016? It seems not. Black voters have been crucial to many elections throughout history. Many politicians like Obama and much of the newly serving female congresswomen have Black voters to thank for their terms. However, once in office, many politicians turn their backs to the very people who voted them in. Issues ranging from police brutality to the housing crisis are especially affected Black people in America. But politicians aren’t solving these issues because of who it affects. But specifically, these issues affect young Black voters.
But during this election year, when are the politicians giving attention to the young and Black voter block? Many tricks and gimmicks were used by people like Kamala Harris to pander to young Black voters. Harris made a video were she pulled hot sauce from her bag, referencing Beyonce’s iconic line in her latest Lemonade album. While some can find it funny, truly it’s insulting. Politicians think the political intelligence of young Black voters is so low that they think taking hot sauce out of a purse would be convincing enough to make us vote for them. This shows how the political world has taken this voting block for a fool. But in the rise of recent events, its been shown this voting block is a viable population to give special attention to in 2020. Not only from a numerical perspective, but from the rise in activism that is seen in the voting block. More and more young black voters are creating revolutionary movements and changing the course of political history. Young Black voters are crucial to every election and deserve proper attention.
A common misconception of this voting block is both young and Black people do not turn out to the polls respectively. Young people vote less than old people and Black people vote less than White people. So going along with this misconception, if a person is both young and black, this population’s turnout must be dismal. However, this misconception is missing crucial information about the voting habits of young black people. In the 2016 election, many young black voters refused to turn out as many stats show. But we have to ask ourselves why. Why would young voters of color refuse to participate in democracy? Well, probably because democracy has shut them out. Weighing both of the options given to this voting block in 2016, we have already lost the battle before it was over. Bernie Sanders had and still does, overwhelming support from this voting block. Sanders’s bold and progressive platform gave a necessary energy boost to this voting block. For once issues affect us primarily, were at the forefront of the political arena.
But thanks the plenty of scams within the Democratic party to cheat Sanders in favor of Clinton, our hope in 2016 was taken from us. So here again we find ourselves voting between a rock and a hard place. Tell me what do we truly get out of such a choice. We don’t get justice for police brutality from either a Clinton or Trump presidency. Climate change won’t be resolved under Clinton or Trump. The student loan crisis would not be solved by Clinton or Trump. None of the issues we face will be solved. But to many older voters, they still think both candidates deserved our vote. I am here to say neither of them does.
These misconceptions have a lot to do with voter shaming. When a particular group doesn’t participate in voting, they are blamed for the end result. As many young people can attest to, we are told Trump became president because we didn’t go vote or because many of us voted for a third-party option. But how come it is never the fault of the politician who failed to earn our vote? Or why should young black voters continue to vote for the ”lesser of both evils” for ”the greater good”?
As young black voters, we vote our conscious and stick to our deepest political beliefs because we know it is will lead to change. Constantly voting for the lesser of two evils has to lead our political stage into stagnation. But with the help of this voting block, the change will come. We will not be shamed into participating in a backward system. Sticking to our principles, even if that means not voting at all, will bring the change that is desperately needed. How? Because politicians need our votes to win. If we refuse to participate, they will have to straighten up if they want to win. This is why more politicians have to listen to our voices and concerns to progress society. Instead of pandering to us by insulting our intelligence, politicians need to tackle our issues to win elections. Had Clinton did this, she would have won.
We, the young black voters, will no longer be shamed into voting between two losing candidates. We want bold, progressive action to solve this most pressing issues of our society. And if politicians choose to not listen, that fine because we have already created movements to rebel. Half of the world is on fire because young activists of color are taking the charge by revolting against the normative power structure. The revolution is being led by us and our demands will be met. We have organized thousands of rallies, protests, walkouts, boycotts, sit-ins, hashtags, books, music, films, etc to push our message to the forefront. We are knocking out the ruling class to instate justice. We are beginning to be heard because our power is too great to be ignored. The political machine shall bow to us because there is nothing greater than people’s power. We have a new world to create for the next generation. We intend to do just that.
Written by: Tamia Lawrence. Afro World News’ Guest writer
Author can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org