Activism By Way Of The Ballot: Why Voting Is A Necessary Means Of Resistance
The urgency for Black and brown voters to participate in the 2020 election cycle is no longer disputable.
July 06, 2020 at 7:28 am
In this polarizing climate, there has been an outcry to address something that Ta-Nehisi Coates describes as the “bloody heirloom” of this country — racism. Racism has permeated the news and political cycle more heavily than most have experienced in this lifetime and has left millions of Americans scratching their heads for a solution as to how we can leave the year 2020 better than we entered it.
Companies, like Netflix, have pledged hundreds of millions to HBCUs, Bandaid has finally come out with varying skin-tone bandages and Amazon has given us access to free Black movies and documentaries. However, all of these initiatives have somewhat fallen upon deaf ears. Tone-deaf at best and placative at worst, many of these solutions do not dig into the jilted core of the racist foundations upon which this country was built.
Politically, we look to our leaders for solutions as we see the death and plunder of Black bodies and grow desensitized from the trauma pornography that saturates our timelines daily. And while marching in the streets to keep the memories of Elijah McClain, Toyin Salau, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Sean Reed, Tony McDade and countless others is essential, it is not the only thing we can do.
The urgency for Black and brown voters to participate in the 2020 election cycle is no longer disputable. The media’s preoccupation with white, working-class voters at the start of the cycle has led us to believe that our vote is not largely relevant. Since the inconsequential Iowa caucuses, Black and brown communities have faced institutional genocide, economic recession and deadly pandemic. Nonetheless, candidates have not articulated the competent crisis management plans that our communities desperately need.
Black and brown voters have the largest issue-based presence in the 2020 election cycle. We are disproportionately impacted by the issues that all voters find to be most important, such as healthcare, terrorism and education (according to Gallup). In fact, it is somewhat puzzling that candidates like Joe Biden (Lift Every Voice Plan) and Pete Buttigieg (Douglass Plan) introduced “Black policy” proposals as ad-hoc agendas — particularly when mainstream America’s issues impact us the most.
The dissonance that exists between our suffering and the policy proposals of those vying for an official seat has never been clearer. Too many elected officials and candidates have failed to show genuine concern and knowledge about the plight of Black and brown people to support our needs during this perilous time. It is imperative that we show up on Election Day to let candidates know how unacceptable that is. Furthermore, it is imperative that we show up informed.
Politicking is the tool that American’s can use in the 2020 Elections to hold these officials accountable. Politicking is an informative mobile application with the central aim of providing information to disengaged constituencies. The smartphone application (found in both the Google Play and App Store) includes information pertinent to municipal, state and presidential elections, respectively. Information presented through the app highlights presidential candidate platforms and their relevance to key issue areas as well as user’s local polling and voting information. The premise of the application is improving the access of officials to the votes of millennials of color, as well as improving and galvanizing the minority vote through easily accessible information about micro and macropolitics.
Although Politicking is non-partisan, we believe racism is a human rights issue. It is one that candidates should be forced to address. By using Politicking, we as constituents can hold candidates accountable and ensure that a better tomorrow is just around the corner. That tomorrow starts with voting.
Jordan Wilson and Wen-kuni Ceant are the co-founders of Politicking.