Voting, getting an education, nor assimilating makes life better for Black people collectively thanks to racism.
Inequality Is Rooted In Racism
Structural racism is the root of systematic inequality, and no amount of voting has cured White people of their racism. Voting hasn’t deconstructed racist systems meant to keep inequality in place. Voting hasn’t improved the quality of life for Black people, and voting has not closed the black-white wealth gap from the Great Recession. The wealth gap persists regardless of a Black household’s education, marital status, age, or income. I would like to end the myth in 2020 that voting is going to help Black people inch at a snail’s pace toward closing any gaps. We have made sincere efforts towards attempting to catch up to White folks, doing everything possible White people insisted we do in order to be like them, including being anti-Black and racist.
Still, there’s been no change in our collective standing or our overall financial wellbeing.
In fact, because of systematic and institutional racism, we’re almost as poor as we were after slavery collectively. Since 1989, Black people have steadily loss wealth despite voting, regardless of our concentrated income levels. The chart below illustrates how wealth gaps are not and will not be closed by our voting.
Not having wealth is problematic in America for anyone, but especially Black people, because without wealth comes social and political power and opportunity. Black people don’t have any power because historically we have no wealth. When we make small gains, White Supremacy steps in to tip the scales of injustice and inequality in favor of Whiteness. It’s like playing whack-a-mole. We were never grandfathered into the racist fabric of America like other ethnic groups so that we can accrue the wealth of other non-White groups. There is a reason that we’re at the bottom of the barrel, and it’s not because we don’t vote or advocate for our interests. Racism continues to injure Black people despite us voting, so please don’t lecture me on voting for Biden-Harris or not voting for Trump-Pence.
No matter who is in office, my Black son’s must still be careful and cautious while living doing the same things White men do freely every day of their lives. No matter who is in office, banks like Wells Fargo will still continue to overlook Black talent in favor of White talent because their CEO is racist as hell. Our votes don’t put him in his position or take him out of it, but his actions play a huge role in our daily lives. White men like the CEO of Wells Fargo keep Black men down.
Can White people do something about him? Is there a hashtag or movement for racist White people to fix White people yet? That’s what Black America really needs from them. Maybe that would cure Black voter apathy we all have. When will White liberals lecture their racist White family and friends and opening after-school programs for racist White kids to stop being racist? Are they planning on opening anti-incel academies that prevent the next upper-middle-class or wealthy White kid from shooting up a White school? Any serious plans beyond education to fix racism which drives inequality? Crickets…
Voting Legislation Hasn’t Helped Us
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 hasn’t stopped White people from being racist, and it hasn’t stopped White people from preventing us from voting. In fact, it White folks have worked harder to dismantle the act that halfway protected the rights of Black people. Racist White men like President Trump and Senator Mitch McConnell get great pleasure from taking the right to vote away from Blacks and other disadvantaged minorities. They do so because they know we have no power to stop them. This year, a lot of White people care because many of them living to close to Blackness have also been disenfranchised by White men cheating to maintain White power that drives the inequality noted above. Black = inequality.
Black people voting doesn’t stop White people from gerrymandering to ensure they keep power. Gerrymandering also helps keep the scales of justice unbalanced, which makes it impossible to close the inequality and wealth gaps. Republicans have spent 40-years playing chess while Democrats were playing Uno to stack state and federal government positions with racists who will maintain White people and systematic racism. White Liberal Democrats do not understand voting is not really fighting for Black people. They do not understand what equality looks like because they’ve never lived in a society where equality was centered. Pointing to temporary changes and things that once were is not how you get Black people inspired. How do you expect Black people to feel inspired about voting when there really is nothing in it for us? The courts are stacked against us for at least two generations with lifetime GOP appointments. What have been Democratic politicians been doing for the last 40-years?
I’ve been voting, but I’ve felt nothing positive or transformative about it. It’s like drinking water.
Black people have nothing tangible to show for our votes, unlike White people as the chart below shows. Nothing we do helps us catch up. Telling me I need to get out there and vote, promising things will get better when they won’t to me is fraudulent. I’m tired of hoping, and I’m tired of White people pretending they are going to do better when they know they have no intentions to. I can’t keep teaching my children and grandchildren to believe in America and trust White people when I see how things really operate. Voting doesn’t translate into anything for Black people. While we vote, we need to plan to make ourselves better.
Voting to White people is like turning on a light switch on. Just like flipping the switch gives White people electricity for lights, voting is the switch that gives White people the power to run America.
Voting doesn’t help us Black folks. Voting helps you White people.
Even when the economy is bad White wealth still stays a head of Black folks’ wealth.
Education Doesn’t Make Things Better
As I noted earlier, even with education, we still don’t receive the same opportunities to have the wealth of White households, education or no education. Education being the equal opportunity way maker has been the biggest lie both Black and White people have pushed onto Black folks to make us pursue things that don’t help our group collectively. All efforts made by Blacks apparently benefit Whites.
After 50 Years of Voting, Equality Is Still Elusive
Black people have been voting for decades and no matter how much we vote, we can’t seem to close the wealth gap. No matter what we do, we can’t seem to catch up to White people. Liberal White people love touting voting as a cure all for Black people. I’m here to show that it doesn’t, so stop patronizing us. The only thing that’s going to close the wealth gap and help us achieve equality is addressing the racism of White people and capitalism. Capitalism’s origins are rooted in slavery and racism, and both racism and capitalism are grounded in inequality.
In order for Black people to see any change that would give us confidence in the America, it would require us to abandon capitalism and racism. There is no scientific reason to engage in racism except its to exploit all of us. Getting those souls to the polls won’t save us or improve the conditions of the Black community, so save the platitudes. I’m not telling anyone Black not to vote. I’m just saying not to expect anything other than more oppression if you’re Black when you do. We can’t keep going to the polls with the generic idea of things getting better by voting. Like, what in the hell does that mean? We need specifics, and those are the things White people don’t want to get into with us. Just vote and hope.
Education won’t help us achieve equality, so you can get into debt getting the higher degrees all you like. It’s likely not going to help you because there is a Karen or Bob to kick your ass back down to your rightful place in the social hierarchy which is always beneath them. It doesn’t matter how hard we work to send your kids to school with White kids, they’re still going to call them the N-words and antagonize them for being anything other than White. You Black butt getting a White education does not equal the playing field, it just makes living under racism and inequality a little more tolerable.
At some point, Black people are going to have to awaken from the music of the White Pied Pipers in both parties to understand the voting myth is all a lie. Manipulative people lie, politicians will lie, but the data doesn’t. Racism and capitalism are inextricably linked, and education won’t get rid of it as long as the racists are allowed to be educated, vote, and go home to indoctrinate their children to continue their racist ways of life. The only way for America to live up to what we say we are on paper is to uproot anyone and anything that is capitalists and/or racists. America hasn’t been willing to do this. We must have an egalitarian state where cooperation, not competition is the norm. Voting doesn’t achieve this, because we’re voting for the status quo, the same thing we already have, and we’re saying that it works. It doesn’t.
At what point do we grow up and stop competing and exploiting one another? It’s the only way we can achieve equality. In an egalitarian society, we regard every human being and care about every human need regardless of color, gender, or nationality. Voting can’t achieve this in America, because of the two-party system, we vote to win what we want, and in the process, someone has to lose in order to have the other group win. Such a system doesn’t give each person the opportunity to become all they can be. This is the problem Black people run into. We cannot be all that we can be because the system set up by White people requires racism, discrimination, exploitation, and inequality for it to exist. Trump represents everything wrong and broken in America.
Black voting is for White power. Period.
Voting does not make life better for Black people, because America has always had an anti-Blackness agenda. The Electoral College is racist. Its sole purpose was to give Southern Whites more power than their treasonous asses ever deserved. The entire purpose of the Electoral college was based on its support of the three-fifths compromise.
The three-fifths compromise was about slavery. The Electoral College gave South an advantage of bonus electoral college votes for maintaining slaves, even though they wouldn’t allow slaves to vote. The White people in the South rule American politics. Everything about our system is convoluted. Our national politics at their very core is about nothing more than controlling Black people. Voting in our current system is about controlling Black progress, ensuring Black people don’t access power, and making sure White people always have more opportunities. As long as the Electoral College exists, White people will continue to receive unearned, undeserved privileges just for being White and racist. Voting rewards for racism and gives advantages to grim reaping White men like Mitch McConnell, ensuring he’s in position for 40–50 years to keep the institution of White power intact.
That’s why most of us Black folks with common sense are frustrated. Freethinking Black people see the conditions of their communities not improving, and they are doing what intelligent people do when they find problems. Sane, freethinking Black people are looking to see what went wrong and looking for ways to correct the problem. Urging us to vote with no tangible benefits will not work anymore. If White people don’t want to have a civil war, they’re going to need to examine how they sustain inequality instead of urging us to “vote blue no matter who,” because Black voting isn’t the problem. White folks’ racism is our problem.
The bottom line is that voting will never lead to equality. Achieving equality requires our nation to collapse or voluntary redesign our entire system to allow everyone to develop within their potential with the access to everything this nation has to offer equally. It would require of generations of White people and their offspring to die off. It would require America giving American descendants of slaves reparations. Wealth, property, and land gained because of unfair advantages, slavery, and inequality. We must figure out a way to return wealth to the people exploited. That’s a conversation no one wants to have. Giving us scholarships, grants, opportunities to apply for loans, etc. are patchwork solutions to avoid dealing with White wealth, White inequality, and White injustices specifically targeted towards Black people.
America is ready to turn a page and move on. Most Black people are not, and most of us are tired of being silenced about voting. It doesn’t work, ya’ll. Voting only works for White people.
Black Politicians and Elites Won’t Save Us
Please stop touting President and Michelle Obama, Tyler Perry, LeBron James, Beyonce, Oprah, or other rich Black celebrities, entertainers, politicians, actors, or athletes as the shining examples and guiding lights for all Black people to model to help close the wealth gap. They can’t save us because they are too busy playing the same capitalism game as White people.
These types of Black people are like crabs in a barrel. We (notice how I say “we” and not try to do the “not all Black people”) keep the White master’s gates, ensuring not too many Blacks can pass through them. Racial gatekeeping helps ensure Blacks keep hoping while not moving. That’s how rich elite, educated, and wealthy boule Black folks are. Voting is not required for gatekeeping either. Elitists Blacks’ gatekeeping is another effective tool in White Supremacy’s anti-Black arsenal to motivate Black people by luring them with unattainable wealth.
Black people have no more wealth (see the charts above) despite having a small elite class of Black people. Elite Blacks having wealth and power doesn’t equate to the rest of having. Without money, property or transferred wealth, we can’t afford to take risks. Without family and friends with wealth, being White, or having proximity to Whiteness, it’s impossible for Black people to become upwardly mobile. Black folks voting has nothing to do with any of this. Boule Blacks, Jack and Jill Blacks, and Black politicians understand this. There is also a degree of selling out that must take place, a tradeoff of sorts. To be rich and in order to play ball, elite Blacks gotta sell themselves out. Sometimes they sell us out too. (see Kanye, 50 cents, Daniel Cameron, and Ice Cube). Black people will not save us because they don’t really have any political power and White skin, they just have money.
The only thing that makes Black elites and Black politicians appear to be Black like me are their skin tones. Other than that, nothing about these elite Blacks is like the rest of us average Black folks.
Their mindsets are capitalistic instead of egalitarian, and their end games are either to exploit their Black social and/or political capital to get Black dollars, lead Black dollars to White corporations, or to disown us altogether in preference of all White pastures. Black elites and politicians can’t and won’t help us, because they really don’t want us where they are. There is only a limited amount of Blacks allowed in White spaces, and the elites enjoy their privilege. They sell us bootstrapping just like White people when they know bootstrapping has nothing to do with Blacks accruing wealth and power. Accruing wealth is about appeasing Whiteness.
The same applies to mosts Black employed by White mainstream media, Black academics in White academia, Blacks educated in White schools, Blacks who work for nonprofits that help Blacks led by White, wealthy donors, Black feminists using anything to split Black families created by White feminists, and Black politicians working in a White Supremacist system. These people will never save us. They’ll never help the rest of us close the wealth gap. Their sole purposes are to tear Black people down in front of mixed company, divide us so that White people can continue conquering us, and lie to us to keep us believing that we’re the problem. Black people love Black people so much that we’ll allow Black people to mislead and destroy us too.
A Black Seat At The Table Doesn’t Equate To Power
Representation doesn’t really matter anymore, because we use representation as tokenism. Nothing made this more apparent than listening to President Obama’s half-hearted conversations with Black men this week in his sad, last-minute get out the vote (GOTV) efforts.
President Obama didn’t come into office and create specific policies with targeted funding to lift Blacks out of poverty, he gave us grant-funded charity programs that funded racist stereotypes that directly result from racism and generational poverty associated with racial discrimination and slavery. He came into office and took care of the White corporate and America (the auto industry) and Wall Street (White banks). President Obama didn’t lift us up, he did the same thing all the other Black people of his ilk with platforms do; he minimized or tore down Black boys and men. From his little off-the-cuff remark about our Cousin Pookie, to creating initiatives to improve Black fatherhood (despite studies showing Black fathers are the most engaged of all fathers) and Black juvenile delinquent prevention. Instead of advocating for us, he reinforced racist tropes right on code.
President Obama didn’t offer any solutions for juvenile delinquent White boys shooting up our schools or the White domestic terrorism he sounded the sirens about during his tenure. Instead, he chose to focus on the Muslim community which represented only 2% of America’s domestic terrorist incidents. President Obama was the White people’s President, just like all the rest of the Presidents this country has ever had. He was the biracial token who let his Black side down like so many other Black representatives. I loved Obama at first. I worked for his campaign, the first one. I believed in him. But it became clear during his first term he wasn’t our President. President Obama symbolized all of us being the only Black in a White space. He was the Black CEO with a White Board of Directors. President Obama no longer shines like new money.
His few words and silence over the last 3-years as Black people all across America caught hell was a prime example of how Black men like Obama, the ones raised by White mothers, have almost zero connection to Black life, Black suffering, and navigating conversations on race that aren’t middle of the road. When things get rocky, they lean into their Whiteness and do nothing, paralyzed by fear. President Obama didn’t fight because Barry really isn’t one of us. President Obama spent his childhood trapesing the world living in different countries with his mom and biracial siblings. Having a White mother and White grandparents gave President Obama an advantage that Black people will never have, and that’s a permanent proximity to Whiteness. White folks are happy to claim him too. They get to say they aren’t racist while voting in the racist infrastructure instead of tearing it down.
***Eye rolls go here***
A lot of Blacks don’t have the same story. President Obama didn’t have our same struggle. He really isn’t like us. He just looks like us. Looking like us but not being an American descendant of slave Black is just how most of White America likes their Black people. Blacks like Senator Harris and President Obama are the kind of Blacks that look out for and save White folks first, then people of color. They never save Blacks, they just ask Blacks to save them. Just look at Vice-Presidential candidate Harris’ response on reparations. Her words on reparations are in lockstep with White people’s thoughts on reparation. While her responses to the reparations question have wavered after much backlash, she still has the attitude that most people of color have about Black business.
President Obama was no better with his decision on reparations as the first Black president, not even considering a commission a study on the possibility on reparations. In fact, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was happy to agree with President Obama about not giving Black people reparations. Therefore, voting for Blacks won’t improve anything for Black people. A vote for Black people is still a vote for White Supremacy. Too many White people who are allowed to reach the upper realms of our corrupt government do so because they agree to maintain the White Supremacy status quo. If you think a Kamala Harris Vice-Presidency or Presidency will do something for Black people, you’re a brand new fool. She may help get Trump out of the White House, but she won’t improve the wellbeing of Black people, you can take that to the grave. Once elected, she’ll be the President of White people just like Obama was.
Whiteness only allows us to do so much. Black people who make it love their comfort and cannot rock the boat. In order for them to keep their comfort, the Benz, the nice house in the suburbs, the book deals, and the paycheck that allows them to live like White folks in their good suburbs, they must give us hope. The Black man’s hope has run out, our gas tanks are on E, and disappointment is here to stay until something we’re able to believe in comes through for us. We want change, not promises. Black people want what everyone else has, and we don’t want to be told to keep doing the same thing when we know nothing new or better is going to happen for us.
Jordan McGowan articulated beautifully why Black elites cannot and will not save us. Making things better requires a sacrifice, and none of these people are willing or capable of walking the talk. No one wants to sacrifice for us, not even our own people. Black people and biracial people from across the diaspora are as addicted to White Supremacy as White people are.
Ending Racism Is The Only Way To Close The Black Wealth Gap
Voting will not solve our wealth problem. More education won’t solve our race problem. Having more degrees won’t close the wealth gap for Blacks.
Check out Yvette Carnell’s commentary below. She’s a gem, providing us all with ugly, unvarnished truths about the state of Black America and the emptiness of Obama’s surrogacy for Blacks on behalf of Biden’s campaign to rally Black men. It’s a hard pill to swallow if you love Obama. Yvette Carnell was in rare form this week when she gave a funny yet sad commentary on President Obama’s legacy as viewed by many of us in Black America if you are unclear about the impact Obama’s presidency had on the Black community.
Her video will help those of you confused about Black voter apathy understand why the Democratic Party is bleeding Black voters and why their typical way of fishing for Black voters won’t work anymore. The only thing Black people have gotten from either party are empty promises with no substantive methods that move us towards closing the wealth gap. What are we voting for? Please don’t tell me voting will improve my life.
The data says otherwise.
America hates equality. That’s why we can’t close the wealth gap. So please stop patronizing Black people with disingenuous platitudes about getting to the polls. White folks concerned about Blacks folks getting to the polls are concerned about White power remaining as is.
If White people want to fix America, fix racism, then create a new, tiered type of governance structure that ensures all people are represented equally, because voting in the current system simply doesn’t work.
Marley K in Winter Quarantine 2020
If you enjoyed this thought, you may enjoy some similar freethinking, intelligent, and sometimes controversial Black thoughts here on Medium:
Jordan McGowan- “The Black Elite Won’t Save Us”
Anastasia Reesa Tomkin- “Hey White Liberals, The Black Community Doesn’t Need Saving”