Monday, November 7, 2016

Chidike Okeem — The Black Case Against Voting

 The only obligation of a responsible citizen is to remain informed about the political issues and political candidates. Voting should only occur after acquiring information and seeing a candidate that best represents one’s political and moral worldview.

Quadrennially, blacks are subjected to the tedious and ethnically manipulative fib that voting is obligatory in order to respect black ancestors. The right reason for voting is to elect someone who one believes has the policies and the character worthy of holding higher office. Voting should not be done just to unthinkingly “fulfill a civic duty.” If, after careful deliberation, one finds that there are no candidates that represent one’s politics and morality, then abstaining from voting is a perfectly principled option. It is an utterly puerile conception of civic responsibility to maintain that voting in every election is necessary — especially for black Americans.

It is a scandal that black Americans are inanely guilt-tripped into voting for pitiable, odious presidential candidates under the intellectually flimsy pretense that not doing so is a colossal betrayal of the many black people who “died for black suffrage.” This is not only transparent poppycock, but it is also an immoral twisting of the historical record. Those who push this line of argument operate under the pretense that attaining the right to vote is akin to climbing Everest — a task of mammoth proportions that only the most fastidious and disciplined of athletes can accomplish.

The reason why black suffrage was only realized by the Voting Rights Act of 1965 is because American racists presented relentless obstacles to it. Is the right to vote a fundamentally good thing that should be exercised with caution? Certainly. However, the assertion that blacks in America “died for the right to vote” is casuistic drivel. Black people died because racists refused to accept their humanity and ultimately killed them. It is a statement of historical fact that voting was an infinitesimally small part of that denial of black humanity in America. To fail to comprehend, or to deliberately ignore, this bigger picture of American anti-blackness is unacceptably dehumanizing.

Read the full article HERE.