By Roy Douglas Malonson
Recently, I found myself wondering why people seem to be so easily addicted to bad habits, but- for some odd reason- find it very difficult to make a habit out of doing positive things.
My first choice for my editorial headline was, “Black America should treat voting like a crack habit.” Need I tell you where I’m coming from with that questionable analogy? If so, I guess you’ve never heard the line, “one hit off that crack pipe and you’re hooked.” (I’ve always considered that B.S. was used to brainwash folks into thinking that crack cocaine was the most powerful drug to hit the streets, but I will save the drug talk for another column.)
The reason I used that analogy is because it has always amazed me how lazy and unmotivated folks will do whatever it takes to feed a habit that’s destroying them. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Black folks would treat voting like it was a bad habit and find a way to get to the polls by any means necessary, like addicts do?
Over the years, I have heard every excuse known to man for Blacks not to go to voting locations. Black folks voted long before the 1965 Voting Rights Act. This was provided in the infamous 1856 Dred Scott decision in which a U.S. Supreme Court observed that Blacks “had no rights which a White man was bound to respect; and that the Negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit.” How many of our folks fought and died to the right to vote? Yet, we prefer to sit around, shuck and jive and act like voting won’t affect us in the long run.
We don’t have methods that kept Blacks from voting back in the day such as poll taxes, literacy tests, etc. We are simply just too dammed lazy to get up and vote because we think it won’t count. Despite of what you might think, your vote DOES count. Don’t let anyone push you to believe otherwise. Exercise your right to vote. Perhaps you might experience such a (self-worth) high, until you get hooked on the political process and you become a electorate addict.