African Americans; Do Votes Really Count: The Whole Truth.

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(ThyBlackMan.com) I could start off by saying there is no such thing as the “black vote” because black is the color of our car tires, not the color of our skin. And though I would be factually correct, that is a pineal gland discussion for another time. So let’s assume that when we say “black“, we mean all those African Americans who are of primarily African descent and go from there. The answer to whether black votes matter or not is both yes and no, though most people fail to realize these answers can both exist at the same time without neutralizing each other. If you don’t want to go deep into the truth, go back in the cave and go back to sleep or stick your head back in the sand. Our brains need to be active and our minds were made to think so let’s think.

Black votes do matter but not for the reasons you may think and not for some of the reasons you are being told.

Voting matters because it is your right. Voting matters because our ancestors fought and even died for that right. Voting matters because once you give up a right, you may never get it back so use it or lose it. Voting matters because in many cases the people have the opportunity to select those who are “supposed” to represent our principles, values and wishes. And voting matters because it is at least a chance, no matter sometimes how slim, to change things around you for the better. All of that is the good news. So in those cases, black votes matter.

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Now for the bad news, the other side of the coin.

Our political system is set up to give the illusion that the people have the power. Our governments have never really been of the people, by the people and for the people – at least not black people. Our U.S. senators and congressmen are often persuaded to vote based on the corporations who send lobbyists to contribute millions of dollars to re-election campaigns, foundations and pseudo-causes. We do not live in a democracy, even though our country seems bent on spreading democracy to other countries, ironically whether they want it or not.

In a true democracy the people have the power. In America we live in a republic (and to the REPUBLIC for which it stands).

In a republic the people elect representatives who are supposed to protect their interests. But the problem is that all too often this does not happen. From local to state to federal government, politicians are bought off by corporations and special interest groups. These powerful groups impact how our political officials vote, where their allegiance rests, what laws are made and whose interests are represented. Private citizens like you and me are often left behind in the dust. And because many local political offices do not have term limits, the same people get back on office, protect the elite and powerful special interests or simply do much of nothing. All you can do in such cases is vote them out when the time comes. But until then, the impact of your vote is useless, unless the politician blatantly breaks the law.

In Atlanta, for example, the Mayor does not run much of anything. The city is largely influenced by people like Arthur Blanks (owner of the Falcons) and Sam Massell (Buckhead Business Association). Foolishness like this is why we have a dumb Ferris wheel with VIP carts in the middle of the city, an expensive trolley car system that nobody rides, needs or wanted, a higher crime rate than they are saying, hidden wealthy areas and re-gentrification, eminent domain, hungry people we are not allowed to feed, state mental health facilities closing down, new stadiums opening up and homelessness that the city tries to hide. All of this at the figurehead hands of those voted in as mayor, city council, county commissioners and so on, most of whom are “black”.

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Your vote must be coupled with ongoing watchdog functions in order to hold the politicians accountable.

You have to know and access his or her voting record and make sure it is consistent with the platform he or she promised when running for office. But that also often quietly changes as politicians notice that constituents are not paying close attention. The mayor of most major cities, for example, is often influenced by chambers of commerce, corporations, major contributors and local wealthy or well known people with money, clout or both. These are the facts, like them or not.

On a federal level there is only the illusion that the people elect the President of the United States.

There are two systems running simultaneously and the election can be pushed in either direction. There is the popular vote or your vote at the ballot box. Then there is the electoral college vote. Whomever wins the electoral college vote will be the next President of the United States, regardless of what happens at the ballot box. This is how Bush beat Gore. This is also how Obama was declared the winner before the polls even closed and before all the ballots were even counted.

Without going deep into a discussion of who really controls nations, governments, banking systems, healthcare, the media and so on, I can simply say it is neither the citizens of this country nor your vote.

Presidents are selected, not elected. They are chosen carefully based on bloodlines and told they are going to run. The grooming process goes on for decades, far ahead of the public’s knowledge of a rising candidate. Those in power think long term and far ahead. The likely winner, even from a young age, has his or her political career carefully managed. Schools are chosen, secret societies selected and mentors are furnished. If you think I am talking conspiracy theory, I suggest you do your research on any of the last 5 president and see for yourself.

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American Presidents are not gods, magicians or kings. They are more of a figurehead than you may be aware of.

Foreign and domestic policies are often set far in advance and presidents often hire the same people employed by their predecessors. They often hire the very people who caused the problems the candidate says he/she wants to fix (Wall street insiders). They are often recipients of the very things they say they want to fight against – the rich, the privileged, the elite, the corporations. Coincidence? No not at all. Simply look at where their campaign contributions and support comes from and you will see what I say is correct. And this is true for both democrats and republicans, two sides of the same coin – neither of which represents you or your wishes. Ouch!

So there you have it, the whole truth – the good, the bad, the ugly and the unbelievable. It is true if you don’t vote, you don’t count. It is also true that if you vote, you don’t count like you think you do. Some of you who are voting and registering others to vote should be running for those positions yourself. But have no illusions about how the system is run or who actually runs it. Change can be made by any proactive person, in any community and whether or not you sit in a political office.

There is one final thing we all must remember. Stop begging your elected officials to do the right thing or simply hoping they are listening. The day they stop representing the interests of the people is the day new candidates must rise up through the political process to replace them. Change starts with you, right here, right now.

Staff Writer; Trevo Craw