Friday, September 19, 2014

Ferguson The Aftermath: Why Voting and Voter Registration is a Non-Solution

By Rev. Dr. Earl Trent,

The fires are now out. The looting has stopped. Michael Brown has been buried. The militarized occupation forces have been withdrawn, the media storm has begun to subside and the investigations have begun. Media pundits are scrambling to deliver lessons learned and strategies are being offered and promoted to insure justice and “not let this moment pass.” The widely embraced strategy is to embark on a massive voter registration drive and get out the vote campaign. Chiefly this is in response to the fact that the largely black town of Ferguson has a virtually all white local government and police force. The idea is voting can remove the bad folks from office and help to ensure justice is done.

Conducting voter registration drives and turning out the vote on an election day is like using a wrench, pliers or rock to hammer a nail. It will "make do" but voting alone will not make the kind of systemic changes in Ferguson, MO or anywhere else in Black America if we want justice and a better way of life. I know this goes against what many of our civil rights leaders and politicians tell us but the numbers tell a different story.

In the 2008 election 96% of African Americans voted for Barack Obama. In 2012 election analysis by the Pew Research Center discovered that not only did President Obama garner more than 90% of the Black vote. Blacks voted at a greater percentage of their population than any other group including for the first time whites. In other words not only did we register and turn out in a hostile environment, we aggregated our vote and the result - not one piece of legislation specifically targeted to the economic well being of Black Americans was passed.

Read the rest of this KineticsLive article.

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