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    on young people not voting in the last election.

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    by , 11-11-2010 at 04:17 AM (1248 Views)

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    This is from a conversation on another site. The topic was based on Michael Dyson's youtube message to young voters that didn't vote.. [nomedia][/nomedia]

    User X is a 68 year old man in Philly.
    He says:

    Quote Originally Posted by userx View Post
    i spent my youth registering black people so they could vote. sometimes at some small risk to my person.
    not once then did i ever imagine i would hear some of this nihilistic garbage come out of the mouths of young black people.
    maybe if you have never risked anything you have a different attitude.

    i see that when we won the physical battle, the system of white supremacy went to the mental war.
    young black people have been brainwashed into submission.

    we now have a generation that thinks all the things that are self destructive are cool and those things that will build black people are not cool.
    And I responded with this:

    Mr. userx

    I'm going to guess that you spent your youth registering black folks to vote
    because you had the independent thought that things were not as they should
    be. You saw black folks marginalized, brutalized, wrongfully imprisoned,
    murdered, unprotected by police, under-educated, economically repressed,
    etc.. And you said to yourself, " I have to do something to help bring about
    a change to this situation for my people
    ". So your generation focused on the
    political component.. you guys said, "they won't let us vote so, that must be
    why our situation is how it is
    ".. and you guys were partly right but you were
    also partly wrong. You underestimated the burning hatred that white america
    had for you and you also underestimated the lengths that the white power
    structure would go to in order to preserve the status quo. But I would think
    that after all the murder, exile and imprisonment of the era that you would
    understand that the solution you guys sought after was incomplete.. not
    wrong but incomplete.

    an 18 year old in those same philly streets today is saying the same thing
    you were saying then, "black folks are marginalized, brutalized, wrongfully
    imprisoned, murdered, unprotected by police, under- educated, economically
    repressed, etc... I have to do something to help bring about a change to this
    situation for my people"
    According to his education, black folks won civil rights
    and have been voting for almost 50 years now.. but the situation for black folks is,
    as far as he can see, the same. Of course some things have changed but he can't
    see the solved problems, he can just see the remaining problems.

    So,it goes to reason that the young man is going to look in different places
    for a solution than you did. To tell him to "just vote" is not really a responsible
    answer. Not if you wish to reach him. When you were 19, one of the 60
    year old dudes that had survived the south might have told you to "just leave
    them white folks alone"
    and you would've thought that that old man was
    wrong. You may have even partially blamed that old man's attitude for the
    current condition of your people. And, of course, you would have been
    wrong and right. Wrong to blame him for doing what he had to do to survive..
    and right because the situation had changed and it was time for a
    renewed attack against the white power structures strangle hold on the fate
    of your people. Young folks are you and you are becoming that old man.
    "just vote".. you're wrong but you are also absolutely right.
    Young folks need to keep what we have gained while simultaneously striving for more and
    different ground through a variety of means.. not just by voting.

    I voted, but Oscar was still murdered and his killer was still protected.. I voted but the
    Oakland Unified School District is still under-educating our children.. I voted
    but the banks still won't loan money to develop black areas.. I voted but judges
    are still throwing the book at black folks.. and the for profit prison system is
    still booming.. But I voted. What that tells me and the youth is that voting
    is not enough. So, when folks offer up voting as the cure for all of our ills,
    they just lose credibility with the young.


    I'm posting this here because I think this is an excellent angle to take in these
    kinds of discussions. It's an angle that makes it possible to show both sides of
    the debate where their unity lies. It also shows them how to respect the
    experiences and perspectives of the other. We can't have our youth disconnected
    from their elders.. both sides have to recognize the plight of the other.

    I really think the fundamental question is, "How do you wage a multi-generational fight against an enemy that is constantly on the move?"

    I think the answer has to do with the Family unit and family culture.. the passing down of knowledge.. of purpose.

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    1. edwins's Avatar

      i agree that voting is NOT enough- voting must be combined with aggressive action in the homes of our people as well as in the streets... if we are being attacked on multiple fronts then our response must equal the attack... and then counter attack- on multiple fronts. if we have learned anything from being here all these many years, it should be how to FIGHT BACK...!!!

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    2. skuderjaymes's Avatar
      exactly.. what's daunting is how deep each of
      those multiple fronts can go.. to master them all
      would take a few lifetimes.. That's why we need
      cultural institutions that can outlive us and allow
      us the ability to institute 100 year plans.. We
      need a system for waging a multi-generational
      fight against white supremacy and any other
      force that would attempt to wipe us from existence.

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    3. edwins's Avatar
      alright brotha-

      you are the first brotha i have ever heard offer such a strategy- that is deep. i am beginning to think that we are taking our plight much more seriously than we used to. i offered a suggestion a while back- that we should pick an issue relative to nationhood and study it. now i am thinking that we should develop study groups and each group should study a different subject. whatever we do, we should do something...

      peace be upon you

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    4. DarkManJah's Avatar
      The entire political system is a scam. Democrats. Republicans. Both are alike. How come nobody voted for the Afrikan and Latina candidates who ran for the Green Party? Give me anytime an enlightened Afrikan and Latina sister, than a server of the Elite, like Obama and Biden. Politics ain't narrow for nothin. They propagandize us into either Dems or Republicans, which is why i have never, ever met, in the classroom, an Afrikan student of voting age who heard of the Green Party (and recall, i been substituting for 15 years!). Voting is for the birds, the brainwashed. And just the notion, the insane notion that local or state or federal candidates, all of whom are either lawyers or elite college graduates -- just the notion that THEY will represent the oppressed and disenfranchised is, well, insane. Politicians do what is natural, which is represent their OWN nterest, which is to keep the poor and oppressed just where they are, poor and oppressed, giving them a little somethin-somethin to keep them from revolting. The political system is a joke and its time we stop laughing on our way to the same poles from which they continue to hang us politically.

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    5. edwins's Avatar
      true that, DarkManJah-

      if we examine our political system carefully, we find no difference between democrat and republican- obama is a sad occurrence in our lives; a brotha, who is serving the interests of our oppressors. what a sham...

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    6. Im The Truth's Avatar
      Right we need generational institutes. Our focus must be on nation building issues. We have to stop thinking and moving from a wanting to be equal mentality. If we just focus on being African (black) we'll solve far more issues. Our fundamental mistake during the 50s-70s is we focus on change an imposed system instead of building a system. Those are two dramatically different ways at looking at things. Rather you ask, demand, or fight for change from the system you are still coming from the mindstate that you want to change the system rather than build a system.

      Ask yourself how many of us are fighting for change rather than to fight to build & maintain? If you look at the immigrants in ameriKKKa they don't vote or participate in ameriKKKan issues all they do is build until there is a community controlled by themselves. Some obvious examples of this are Chinatowns, Mexicantowns, areas where all the signs are in a different language, areas where you see culture based grocery stores, etc.

      Check out my blog post on black folks and voting: Blacks: Have to Vote....?

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