As happy as I am that I’ve witnessed the election of a Black president, the struggle is FAR from being over! My primary concern and fear is that the number of people who were finally energized to actually go out and vote, will feel like their job is done and they can become complacent. That is too far from the truth! I am almost embarrassed that some of my friends, who are around 40 years old, have finally exercised their right to vote. Yes, it’s good that they did it as opposed to never doing it but to not have done it is still something that amazes me. Not being involved in who is making decisions for your well-being is not a wise decision. Allowing others who have no interest in you or your concerns, to make laws and decisions that do affect you, doesn’t sit well with me, especially when these rights were fought for our benefit.
What people still don’t understand is that there is still a lot on the table, even in local elections and we must not stop at the presidential election every four years. I’ve stated this almost yearly that we can’t just be concerned about candidates and politics when there is a presidential election. We must have the same energy and focus when it comes to electing our mayors, governors, congressmen, representatives, councilmen, judges and every office in between all of those!
The parties are good, the celebration is great but the struggle is still here. As you look on TV, listen to radio, search the internet, you will see that other factors out there mad as hell about what has transpired. Violence is being committed on innocent people based on their skin color because of the outcome of a major election and you think the struggle is over? We are having the SAME fight we’ve had for years, our parents have had, our grandparents have had and most likely our children will have! We cannot rest on our laurels now and not in the near OR distant future! I still have a great chance of being arrested based on the color of my skin, not my actions. I can still be assaulted by these ignorant racists who are trying to make a point. I can still be denied a job based on how I look, not my abilities.
I know this should be happy times but I have to look at the realistic painting being drawn. There is still a lot of work to do and we cannot think that by having a Black president that we are about to see a breakthrough immediately! This includes continuing to vote, finding out about every candidate who is running for political office. Finding out WHO your politicians are and what roles they play. Knowing what laws are out there, what your rights are. Organizing OUR communities and stop looking for others to help us or bail us out. TEACH our children, GUIDE our children and LOVE our children. Stop the blatant ignorance that is being shown, specifically in the Hip Hop community, where the voice may actually be the strongest for us. These are just a few examples and we ALL need to first look at ourselves, then after we realize how we can help, reach out to help others.
The struggle is NOT over and shouldn’t be treated as such!