If you live in California and watch television at any point in time, one can’t help but notice the number of political ads you have seen for a particular set of propositions.
Since Labor Day has become the unofficial kick off of campaigns leading up to the Nov. 8 General Election, the ads for issues and candidates will increase to the tune of billions of dollars seeking to reach and sway voters across this country.
The question is: Will you vote to increase our power to change the present oppression, or not vote, increasing the status quo?
The Black Press, now in its 195th year, is the most “Trusted Messenger” in the Black community. We must learn to question people, candidates and issues that say they want our support while spending their campaign dollars and tailoring their issues to gain the support of others – while ONLY paying lip service to our needs and concerns.
When we look at a campaign for a person or an issue, we must decide whether they are addressing our DIRECT issues or just asking us to support their cause. If our track record is one of not voting, then why should those who are seeking votes be concerned about what we either think or want?
Without our votes being cast, we are not in the game.
The campaign dollars being spent to win an election are directed to those who vote. We must once again prepare to demonstrate that Black Votes Matter just as we did in 2020 in electing Joe Biden to the White House and two U.S. Senators from the state of Georgia. If we say Black Lives Matter, then we must be prepared to only elect those individuals who understand our issues of voting rights, Civil Rights and protection from illegal and inhumane police conduct.
If media campaigns can spend billions across this country supporting conservative candidates and issues that rollback our democratic gains of the past 150 years, then we as Black folks need to see how much of their dollars are being spent with Black media and organizations to get our political support.
We must prepare to out vote their dollars. Even if they are not spending dollars with our media to seek our support, we must question the promises being placed before us. Without such examination, we might be purchased by the highest bidder, just as we were on the auction block during slavery.
The presence of candidates and people seeking support for their issues at our churches the LAST Sunday before election day, should be ignored.
All roads lead back to reclaiming the ballot as Dr. King stated in that May 1957 speech in Washington, D.C. We remind you once again that he said if you give us the ballot, we will elect the right people to judges and legislative offices. Well, we have had the ballot and we are about to lose it because we are not fully using it.
Something to think about before the real politics get started.
Dr. John E. Warren is the publisher of the San Diego Voice & Viewpoint Newspaper.
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