Non-voting Blacks could help make USA a shame again

Dr. Barbara A. Reynolds
Dr. Barbara A. Reynolds

At a time when African-Americans – especially millenniums -should be running even pole-vaulting to the polls because not voting could help shift the race to Donald Trump. But so far this isn’t happening. Early voting polling shows a decrease in turnout from 2012.

Perhaps the apparent lack of enthusiasm can be explained because in 2012 President Barack Obama was running for a second term. Nevertheless, it would be awful if blacks sit nonchalantly by without voting their strength to stop a hateful, bigoted move from making America a shame again.

As an African-American woman, I feel only one-half liberated by Obama’s election. With a black man being the world’s most powerful leader, I saw the walls of racial caste come tumbling down. The other half of me– the female– still yearns to be set free, to believe the glass ceiling is finally been shattered.

Racism and sexism are parts of the same coin. So with all the hell blacks have gone through fighting institutional racism, for the life of me, I can’t see why we aren’t the first to rush to the polls in defense of Clinton after seeing how the deck is stacked against her. Even Obama and husband Bill admitted that she is more qualified for the presidency than either of them when they ran.

When South Carolina Rep. Joe Wilson yelled, “You lie!” at Obama during a joint session of Congress and when Trump pushed the birther movement trying to deny Obama’s USA birth status, my spirit sank. Now as I see Hillary whipped worse than a battered wife or a downtrodden slave and watching the parade of women accusing Trump of sexual assault my spirit is down in the dumps again.

Hillary’s treatment is unprecedented and unfair. Here we have the FBI, some high-rolling Republicans along with the Russians who Trump speaks so well of and reportedly has business interests with teaming up to bring Clinton down with hacked e-mails that only maliciously target Trump and seem oblivious to the many shady deals of Donald Trump.

I need convincing that somehow Trump or one of his billionaire friends did not slide millions over to FBI director James B. to write a well-crafted letter of innuendo that slammed Clinton without producing any facts against her. It is also incredible that Comey could get so hot to trot over investigating what could be on the computer of disgraced former Congressman Anthony Weiner, whose wife is Clinton’s top aide, but say nothing about the hacked emails of Democrats which intelligence officers have blamed on the Russians. Russian involvement with U.S .operatives is a serious crime possibly bordering on treason.

If blacks are not voting because they have bought the line that both Trump and Clinton are two bad apples that is a myth. Hillary had dedicated her life to defending the rights of the dispossessed from the time she was working to expand opportunities for children as a young college student. On the other hand, Trump has worked hard to enrich himself and other millionaires even racking up a record of housing discrimination against people of color.

Instead of joining the off-key chorus against Clinton, we should be astute enough to ask different questions from the mainstream on the issue of fairness.

For example, why isn’t the media focusing on Trump’s email mess? According to an October 31 Newsweek article Donald Trump’s companies have engaged in tactics much more deceptive than what Trump accuses Clinton. The magazine says it has exposed through a review of court cases over the decades that Trump’s companies “have systematically destroyed or hidden thousands of emails, digital records and paper documents demanded in official proceedings, often in defiance of court orders.”

Yet, this bombshell against Trump is hardly a whisper compared to the roar against Clinton.
As African-Americans we must be disciplined enough not to lose our focus obsessing over e-mails when our very survival is at stake. Unarmed black men are habitually gunned down by police, an issue Clinton has promised to address through reforms in the criminal justice system, while Trump just promises more law and order to aid police.

Flint Michigan is not the only city where people are suffering from toxic chemicals. Other predominately poor and black areas are being sickened by toxins, which is the expressed concern of Clinton but not Trump, whose views are so attractive to anti-black militants the KKK has come out in support of his candidacy.

Even more urgently the next president could possibly appoint three Supreme Court justices. With Clinton we have the best chance of finally having a black woman on the high court, but in the hands of Trump, someone who mocks the disabled, derides immigrants, devalues women and blacks that would be a serious mistake not just for African Americans, but for others who believe in justice and fairness.

As it was hard for a nation to survive one half-slave and one half free, it is difficult for a person to thrive with the dream of the black side advancing but the female side stagnating. For me, Hillary Clinton ties the nation and the promise of individual equality together. It would be a shame if we did not use our vote to achieve that.

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