What Is Your Alternative Strategy to Voting? One Response..
To my brother, Brandon
If black people are going to vote – and I do not recommend it – before they do, they need to organize themselves around “group interests.” We should ask ourselves (if we are talking Presidential politics) “what can this person do for our people?” (Addendum: What will that person do to address the criminality of the federal government and its illegal, imperialist wars?) “Who OWNS that person, meaning what special interests is that candidate beholden to?” Votes are the means for that person taking office; dollars determine how that politician BEHAVES in office.
Now, if we repeatedly vote for candidates who say they are going to do “X” for us; and those candidates are owned by “Y,” and they end up doing “Z” as in Zero for black people, then we need to do a couple of things:
Begin building another grassroots movement that destroys the current electoral system and creates another – that removes big money, eliminates electronic voting, allows candidates of principle and of little means to compete with anybody, public funded election, free advertisements on television (remember, the airwaves belong to us; but they’ve been handed over to corporate entities. This must be ended as well). The two party system monopoly must be abolished, and of course, money is at the root of it. The two parties cooperate to prevent more participation, prevent third parties. More importantly, there is general conspiracy to prevent “alternate perspectives,” like the fact that many countries have far more progressive political-economic-healthcare configurations than we do in “the land of the free.” The rules to become a “legitimate” party on the ballot are weighted to make it almost impossible to get one going. And again, requiring the purchase of airtime on the “public airwaves” means that the rich get their message across and the poor are fucked.
Now, forget politics. What else can black people do? As I said, voting can’t make us organize our communities to fight crime, drug dealers, the influx of drugs dropped into our community by the government, police brutality, abandoned children, unsafe sex practices, tutoring, mentoring. Obama can’t do that shit for us, right?! So we, in our hometowns MUST get organized.
Study the Black Panthers. They weren’t perfect, but they got some things done. Study SNCC, SCLC, the Montgomery Boycott. How were they able to get black people to rally around a cause or causes? How did they move people to sacrifice for a larger goal or goals? See, politicians, to quote Malcolm, are like novocaine; they tell you, “don’t worry, send me to Washington and I’ll take care of everything.” And we are dumb enough to believe them. They put us to sleep with their promises and symbolism. “Make a woman president/make a black man president.” Meanwhile, they are bought, sold and paid for by white capital.
Voting is the science of teaching people to outsource their liberation, their autonomy. These devils promote all of this rhetoric that they don’t believe in (yet we do) talking about how wonderful democracy is and alladat. They’ve never practiced it at any time in the existence of this country. Yet, we are going to “buy in” and hope that its gonna work for us, hope that that man or woman we “send” away to the Congress is gonna “work on our behalf.” That’s a fairytale by definition. We’ve been sold out in every form imaginable…and still we rise and claim voting is gonna set us free.
No, these strong black women and men got some serious shit done back in the day that can be a template for OUR WORK… why can’t we see this?
If you believe in our people then you should ask yourself, who taught you to look at voting as the holy sacrament. Voting is a tool, nothing more and a weak one at that. To keep using a tool because, “our people died trying to get it,” when it doesn’t work?! Our people in their graves would look at that like, “fool, what the hell are you doing?! We won’t you to win, not fetishize something that keeps you on the plantation!”
All of these “strategies” or “options” that I have described are the work that is necessary whether you walk into a voting booth or not. And this is by no means a comprehensive list, nor was it intended to be.
Vote if you want to but understand that it is of limited to no value. Until there is revolutionary electoral reform, the puppet masters, the ruling class, whatever you want to call them, will continue to bleed voting of any relevance or any usefulness to us.