Wednesday 7 December 2022
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Decisive Role?

Op/Ed By Dr. E. Faye Williams, Esq.


Dr._Faye Williams( – I listen to the news about the 2016 Presidential election religiously. What amazes me is that so many have just discovered that Blacks and Latinos will play such a decisive role in the 2016 election.  Didn’t we do that in 2008, 2012 and many other elections?

Okay, so Blacks and Latinos know how to vote in our best interest time and again.  Unfortunately, many who’re not Black or Latino get credit for various victories the day after elections. They know they have fallen short in the best interest of our people.

Doesn’t it make sense for those who give resources for voter registration and get-out-the vote efforts to rush to get those resources to Black and Latino groups? We’d vote as we always do for justice and human rights. With more resources, we’d be in a better position to get more voters like ourselves out on Election Day.  Wouldn’t it also make sense for those who pay millions of dollars for newspaper and electronic media advertising to give the bulk of that money to Black and Latino media?

I get disgusted listening to the daily drum about how our vote is key to somebody’s victory while I look over the record of those candidates and find how short their memories are once they’ve won on the strength of our vote.  We have to take some of the responsibility because too many of us commit our votes because we like somebody without understanding the person in question has a history of doing little or nothing to help our communities.

It’s not too late for us to do our homework.  Let’s not be one issue voters.  Let’s really study and examine the record of people for whom we are voting. We shouldn’t limit our examination only to how they have voted, but look at what they’ve done. Look at the entire record of candidates when they weren’t trying to get elected.  We must ask what kind of consistent service and support they’ve provided in our community.

Did we see them in our community before the election in question? Did we hear them speaking out on issues where we’re heavily impacted all the time?  Let’s look at a few examples.  Where were they during the British Petroleum Oil Spill?  The underserved of that event haven’t yet been compensated.  What are these candidates doing to make that happen?  Flint, MI, is not the first city that’s had toxic water or toxic fumes damage the health of our people.  Where’ve these candidates stood historically to correct these problems?

Where’ve these candidates stood on criminal justice reform?  Where’ve they stood on restoring the Voting Rights Act? Promises alone are insufficient to make us run to the polls to give them our vote if they’ve done nothing to address or correct the problems.  It may sound like I’m speaking only about candidates running for President, but I’m not.  In every election, we must examine the record of all those for whom we are asked to vote.

I am deeply saddened when I examine the presidential nominating process and see how many so-called leaders are endorsing candidates for reasons other than how that candidate can serve and improve the quality of life for the masses.  These leaders violate the trust placed in them by misleading others into casting votes which may not be in their interests.

In both major parties, I see people, including Black people, shamelessly disavowing the good done by President Obama while supporting candidates who have never and will never do anything for the good of our community.  I vote in every election, but will never give my support to anyone who has not demonstrated a consistent record of speaking and acting on behalf of our underserved communities.