alcalloway.jpgIn addition to most of the 60,000-plus registered black Republicans in Florida and others elsewhere, the black vote, along with non-white Cuban-American and other Latino voters, can help keep Mitt Romney out of the White House.

Be assured, though, that Mitt Romney is president if that combination of the electorate does not overcome voter- suppression strictures and vote early, vote absentee or vote Election Day, Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Lines could be long at polling places, especially in Florida, due to a long ballot with 11 pretentious amendments, so wear sneakers, bring water, an umbrella and a folding chair, if need be.

The only way a struggle can be won is to prepare to win. Defeatism is not the route to success. Anticipation of misinformation, harassment, difficulty getting to the proper polling place, long lines and weather issues are integral to the winning process.

What looms starkly clear in these waning days before our fateful national election is the minimalist role played by most black elected officials and political shills, civil-rights and other community-based organizations, including an overwhelming number of churches, in voter education and mobilization.     

To the extent that therein lies irresponsibility can be viewed from a cause-and-effect perspective most appropriately. After all, every participant and non-participant, to whatever extent, vows membership within the group. (Then, again, we may really be mostly little more than an amalgam.) Ultimately, Americans of African descent must bear responsibility for institutions and leadership that emerge from a quasi-stratified existence.

Theoretically, Barack Obama’s 2007-08 pre-election mantra, “Organization is from the bottom up not the top down,” seemed workable. However, Obama did not keep boots on the ground, did not invest his large pre-election army in actually making it happen nationwide. Instead, the Obama administration played an “all in” poker hand on what is now called Obamacare, leaving bottom-up organizing theory to community-based application throughout the country.

Apparently the 2008 Obama machine thought that, because millions
withstood the bitter cold for hours to witness Obama’s historic inauguration, the people would go back home and organize. They didn’t. They had no leadership. There was no bottom-up organizing before Obama called for it. There would be none unless he led it, and he didn’t.

Clearly the impending collapse of Wall Street and the American and world economies was the great crisis left by the Bush administration.

Whether Obama’s White House thought about organizing from the bottom up or not is moot but, obviously, Main Street went on hold while Obama averted a depression and dealt with two wars.

Attacks on 1960s gains made through lives lost from bombings, shootings, lynching and beatings, sufferings from endless police brutality, harassment and threats are being waged through a neo-conservative/fascist regime within American political and economic spheres.

What do you think will happen if the white nationalist Romney/Ryan ticket wins the White House?

Historian and NAACP co-founder W. E. B. DuBois said, “The power of the ballot we need in sheer defense, else what shall save us from a second slavery?”

And today, the power of money is taking the American political system away from any resemblance of a real democracy and making America merely a playground for plutocrats.

When the Republican neoconservative-led U.S. Supreme Court unleashed unlimited political spending by corporations in its Citizens United ruling, it gave awesome — no, frightening — political power to the super-rich, Romney’s folks.

Do not allow Mitt Romney to become president of these United States of America. Cast your vote for President Barack H. Obama and do all that you can to get others to vote. Get your church busy helping people to the polls with the right information about the ballot and the process.

Here’s something to remember from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that is not often quoted: “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.”

Al Calloway is a longtime journalist who began his career with the Atlanta Inquirer during the early 1960s civil rights struggle.

He may be reached at