I Vote Because…
I remember Mama working the Poll Tax table at the Heights projects in Houston in the 60s – AND because in 2012 black voter suppression tactics have become more insidious, sophisticated and sinister.
I remember graduating high school in the 70s when Jimmy Carter was President and he signed a bill to guarantee equal employment for everyone – AND because in 2012 black bodies face modern racism which finds any way to rend blacks underqualified for equal opportunities and women still make 30% less than men.
I remember coming of age in the 80s when blacks were still achieving firsts in their professions and in populating the criminal justice system – AND because in 2012 the first black President of the United States of America has fielded some of the most malevolent vitriol from the media, non-black citizens, and politicians ever in the history of American democracy.
I remember giving birth to my son in the early 90s, only a week before acquittal of white officers who beat Rodney King , a young black man, like a rabid dog threatening life and limb of a playground of white children – AND because in 2012 on the way to work this morning I witnessed a white State Police officer take a second look at the Range Rover ahead of me entering the HOV lane, overtly unusual diversion from his behavior of waving on the dozen or so cars I could observe ahead of me. Although I could not see the occupants through the tinted windows, my mother’s gut took note and commented to my passenger that the officer’s behavior was odd – as if he was noting tag and taillights. As a former law enforcement officer, I knew the tactic to be the base act of determining probable cause to stop a car aka racial profiling. Something just didn’t sit right with me. Imagine how loudly I cussed and prayed a few minutes later upon pulling alongside the Range Rover, with tinted windows, current tags and no taillight malfunction to discover it was occupied by two young black men!
I watched, called and prayed through 2008 when then Senator Barack Hussein Obama was campaigning for the USA Presidency. I watched and covered in prayer, Daddy J (Rev. Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr.) and his family as he was maligned by the media for preaching liberation of the politically captive. – AND because in 2012 with no Daddy J in the opposition’s arsenal, baboonist editorialized cartoons, attacks on the First Lady’s fit and fabulous black body, PhotoShopped slavery caricatures, and insipid insinuations of ineffectiveness of President Obama’s leadership threaten to confuse and dissuade participation in the democratic process of which America has justified occupying Lybia, Iraq, Iran, Palenstine, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Japan, Cuba, and other global friends.
I vote because if I didn’t my silence would be complicit agreement that all is well for humanity in America and the world. I am many things, but silent is not one of them.