Bobby Seale talked extensively about the power of the black vote, last weekend at the Black History and Culture Showcase.
He said, “institutionalized racism, backed by law, is only undone by voting.”
Thinking about the idea that a man in a uniform can evoke harm until death on camera and face no punishment – I know that we are more than aware that institutionalized racism is rapid and rampant throughout these United States.
I was awed by the eloquence with which Seale spoke.
I was awed by his ability to recite, with enthusiasm and passion, poems and works from decades ago.
I was awed by the conviction in his voice.
And, most importantly, I was inspired.
It is often easiest to find ourselves overwhelmed by all of the wrongdoings that we hear/see/live daily – but, I couldn’t help but feel, last weekend, that Seale has had the answer all along.
The power of the vote.
Infiltrating the system by populating the offices of those that make the decisions that govern the country is the answer. And, it’s the method by which the BPP worked years ago.
Definitely easier said than done; but, an answer, no less.
I find nothing radical about this notion; for, common sense should tell us that it is inherently right that a group of people should be governed by a group of his and her peers. And, even still, this is a notion that occupies, though in variation, many of the laws that govern the land.
So, it hurts my feelings when people that look like me say that they refuse to vote because none of the candidates are representative of them or their values.
And, it scares me senseless, worrying about the worst case scenario reining true and leading the country.
It feels like we’re starting from the ground. Fortunately, the idiom tells us that, the only way to go is up.
Perhaps it’s time to return to those foundations and principles that struck a chord with us so many years ago.
If we can organize and educate, we can run for and win elections in order to make better lives for ourselves.
*Check out Julia’s reaction to the Black History and Culture Showcase.