It’s about time!!! I am halfway happy and halfway disappointed that black people are finally taking politics seriously and are way involved than in previous years. I have been having conversations with people (over the last year) that are actually, for the first time, enthusiastic about voting in this presidential election. We even have the Hip-Hop community voicing their opinion like never before! I am definitely proud to see that my peers have taken the steps to register to vote and plan on voting on November 4th. It’s good to read blogs, articles and magazines focusing on politics (Although I do HOPE that this lasts beyond November) and people getting the word out about certain rules, regulations and rights regarding the election process and to make sure the votes are not only done correctly, but that it counts!
I am happy that the conversation is more than water cooler talk and that some in the community have planned and organized voter registration drives and raised money for the candidate they want to see in office. I have a smile on my face knowing that the younger generation is taking full advantage of modern technology to increase not only their awareness, but the awareness of others and it will show in the exit numbers. I feel an achievement when I see that people are actually doing a little research on the candidates to make a more informed decision based on the information that is readily available for anyone to see. It even gets me excited hearing kids, who are yet unable to vote, talking about, not only the candidates but the issues as well. This is definitely a step in the right direction and it MUST continue beyond November!
Now, I am also disappointed that it took having a black candidate running for the presidency to motivate people to exercise a right that our elders fought and died for. I am hurt that people as old as 40 are JUST registering to vote when they could and should have done so more than 20 years ago. I am disappointed that some people are basing their vote on just the fact that Barack Obama is black (Not finding out that he IS actually qualified to do the job) and no other reason. I am STILL disappointed that there are STILL people out there who WON’T vote because they assume that, with the polls saying Obama is in the lead, they don’t have to vote based on that!
I feel that if we, as a group, would be taken much more serious to candidates of ALL political offices, if we have the same enthusiasm for politics in general. And NOT just every four years in the presidential elections but in EVERY election from voting for our assemblyperson, congressperson, mayor, governor and, yes, even judges that are elected. We have to take as much interest in who is responsible for making decisions for us as we do with how many units our favorite artist will sell his/her first week! We MUST follow politics the way some of us follow sports. What good is knowing that your favorite football team made a trade that may take them to the Super Bowl when you don’t know the person responsible for a law that will affect you directly! We should also find out the names of our politicians and what is on their agenda, the same way you research to find out when that next Denzel Washington movie is coming out. We have to be as knowledgeable about the political process and who and what is involved so that way we WILL have a voice in laws and provisions that will have an effect in our daily lives. I can go on and on with analogies and examples, but it all boils down to one thing. Let’s not stop at electing the first black president! Let’s make sure that our voices are ALWAYS heard because we are actually concerned about what is going on and not only when one of us gets in trouble or has no understanding of what is taking place around us! The more knowledgeable and involved we are, the more informed we become and the more serious our voice AND votes are counted!