‘Power Concedes Nothing Without A Demand. It Never Did And It Never Will.’ – Frederick Douglass
A portion of a quote from a revered Black leader who understood how the push and pull of political power works in America. Douglass spoke those prophetic words almost 200 years ago.
To be sure the retail entry to political power can only be achieved through the ballot box.
HBCU students as well other non-college attending young Blacks must know the sacrifices that their fore-parents and elders made in blood and treasure so that this present generation and well as future generations could have the right to vote.
In Ferguson, Missouri young Black folks have come to know how not participating in the political system can negatively impact their lives. The death of Michael Brown made a lot of people in Ferguson realize just how helpless they were-their city elected and city appointed leaders virtually ignored them for almost an entire month before calling a meeting to hear their cries and pleas.
Ferguson is sixty eight percent Black. But in the last election, only six percent of the registered Black voters bothered to vote. So in a power vacuum , the incumbent politicians held on to their seats, as only one Black person would run for an office, and the low voter turnout among Blacks made the regressive politicians in office feel rather smug in their ‘don’t give damn about them’ attitude.
Just now, community leaders and other erstwhile leaders Ferguson understand that change will only come to Ferguson when unconcerned politicians are voted out of office. An all-out effort is underway to register Black voters, and particularly young Blacks who are of voting age, but have never bothered to register.
Frustrated as many in Ferguson and elsewhere may be, the electoral process is a three-part equation. To make the changes necessary, each part of the equation must be worked through in order for the ‘demand’ to be realized.
The equation of the electoral process works as,
- you must register to vote,
- you must actually vote in each election, and
- you must engage elected officials after the election.
The public policies and laws you want to see implemented will only occur if stay engaged and focused on changes.
Let no one tell you otherwise — your vote does count.