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In this week’s “Associate Editor’s Message,” I opened it up with a word on “To Vote or Not to Vote.” Here’s what I said:

“Some say there’s no difference between the two major U.S. political parties. Not true. One party too often takes us for granted. The other wants us dead. One is horrible at messaging. The other is excellent at lying to foment anger, fear and division, and blaming us for all U.S. problems. One fights, though often ineffectively, to save the little piece of democracy this country has left. The other openly moves to destroy democracy. One is for protecting the environment, criminal justice reform, a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body, universal healthcare, student loan forgiveness, etc. The other is against all of that. One is relatively for human rights. The other has over 70% of its members saying violence is justified to keep power. One is for “one person, one vote.” The other is led by gazillionaires who want a “president” with dictator power to go along with the Supreme Court they already bought off. One wants to make voting easy. The other is shutting down voting locations by the thousands in our neighborhoods, and is constructing more voting roadblocks as we speak. “To vote or not to vote” is NOT the question. The question is WHEN are you gonna vote, and how many folk are you taking with you to the polls?”

Why am I repeating this word in this week’s Community Channel Message? Because if you haven’t noticed, there’s a serious, in-your-face, unashamed move by folk who believe with their whole heart that Black Lives DON’T matter, to maintain the myth of white supremacy and the reality of the power that comes with it, by any means necessary.

They are saying 1) to hell with democracy . They led a violent insurrection to attempt to throw out Black votes from the cities of Atlanta, Milwaukee, Philadelphia and Detroit because those Black votes allowed Biden to win Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan and thus win the presidency. In other words, they look at Black folks as non-citizens… as unworthy to have our votes and voices heard. Hence, they unashamedly remove thousands of polling places from Black neighborhoods because they want to silence us.

They are saying, 2) to hell with their Christian faith . If you don’t believe me, look it up for yourself. There’s an entire tidal wave of white evangelical “Christians” who are actually saying that Jesus’ focus on the poor and oppressed, loving your neighbor, being kind to the immigrant and the stranger, is outdated because it’s “woke.” They have created their own version of Jesus, and he is here for white, heterosexual, American, “Christian” males, and gives less than a damn about anyone else.

They are saying, 3) to hell with law and order . Regarding fighting to maintain political and social power, nearly 3/4s (75%) of these MAGA-leaning folk say violence is an acceptable item in their political toolbox. They are willing to bomb, torture and kill those who hold a different political view than theirs.

And even though every social metric shows them on the statistically better end of wages, wealth, life expectancy, healthcare access, job hires, job promotions, positive media images, outsized political representation and voting power, etc., millions of them actually believe they are the most oppressed and mistreated demographic in the U.S. And they’re looking at us as the reason for whatever isn’t going right in whiteworld. Hence, white domestic terrorist attacks on Blackfolk have skyrocketed, and show no sign of slowing down.

I keep hearing the “I’m not voting” crowd list the reasons for their stance. But in the words of Howard University’s Dr. Greg Carr, they are suffering from “the loss of the momentum of memory.” Too many of us have either forgotten or never known and thus can’t fathom things going all the way “leff.” The crazy thing is, there are a gazillion examples of countries all over the world (and cities and counties here in the U.S.) moving forward in some semblance of normalcy and “democracy” and social calm… until all hell breaks loose, and one group loses all its rights.

These are dangerous, dangerous times, and as long as we have access to the power of the vote, we have a major tool/weapon we can use to fight for what we want. I’m not saying voting is everything, but when you have zero vote and zero voice, you have what the Palestinians have right now – a reality where they are less than second-class citizens in their own land, treated (mistreated) any kind of way and have no legal or political recourse whatsoever.

That’s what’s on the ballot with every election in the foreseeable future.

I'm originally from Cincinnati. I'm a husband and father to six children. I'm an associate pastor for the Shrine of Black Madonna (Houston). I am a lecturer (adjunct professor) in the University of Houston...