If you ever hit the streets to drum up support for your chosen political party, you’re going to hear a whole lot of “I don’t vote” and “my one vote isn’t going to make a difference.” It’s frustrating. For some, the choice not to participate is a political statement in and of itself.
But the majority of people who choose not to vote, do it out of laziness or ignorance. They’d rather stay home and watch sports or go for pizza than decide how the school district their children learn in develops or which leader will advocate for their viewpoints – on everything.
For the Caribbean and the black community in general, the right to a say in the political process didn’t come cheap. Several hundred thousand of our ancestors fought and died so we would have that right, and now there are in fact a number of Caribbean people at every level of politics and government here in the US. But even after all that sacrifice we’d rather go for pizza than take the few minutes required to help decide the direction of our community for the next two or four or six years.
On this week’s episode of The Caribbean Diaspora Weekly, I won’t try to sway you on which way to vote, but I’ll discuss some of the things to consider if you do decide to participate in the electoral process. Issues like the fact that small elections are more important on a local level than big ones; the fact that the less money you have, the more valuable your vote is, and the fact that there are people trying to take the right to vote from you.
Think about the fact that some rich guy doesn’t think you deserve a choice in what happens to the community you live in because he owns more property than you do, then tell me you’re okay with that. Elections are the great equalizer. Black, white, rich, poor, American-born or Caribbean-immigrant, we each have the right to a say. So let’s think about the things we should consider in choosing to acquire (for Caribbean immigrants) and exercise that right.
To watch the extended perspective and much more on Caribbean America, set your DVR or tune in to each Sunday’s episode of The Caribbean Diaspora Weekly on SFL / The CW Network (Ch 39 / Comcast 11). Catch replays on the website at www.thecaribbeandiaspora.tv.