The clock continues to countdown: around 50 days remain until voters return to the polls and choose the next president of the United States – along with members of Congress, judges, school board members and even “dog catchers.”
And in heartfelt words from President Barack Obama as reported by The New York Times earlier this week, our first Black president, and probably the last Black we’ll see in the White House in our lifetime, urged young Black voters, in particular, to vote for his party’s presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton.
He said in what he described as his personal campaign message, “it’s about me,” adding that he’d take it as a “personal insult” if Black voters did not consider and then give the nod to his former Secretary of State.
“My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot,” Obama said during his remarks at last Saturday evening’s Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc.’s gala dinner.
Let’s consider our options. We can vote for Clinton, we can vote for Trump or we can stay home – watching reality TV, catching the latest episode of “Greenleaf” and “Empire” and sipping on our favorite beverage.
But let the record show, that to choose not to vote is tantamount to giving Donald Trump our endorsement. And while our publication is not in the practice of endorsing candidates, it has to be obvious who we support.
Some political experts are saying that the millennial vote will make the difference in the 2016 elections. And we believe those predictions have merit. What’s more, we assert that failing to exercise our right to vote is like saying to Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, Jr., four little Black girls in a Birmingham church and so many others who died in the fight for equal rights, that their sacrifices meant nothing.
And we all know that is far from the truth. Perhaps the problem is for many young people, the shedding of blood, numerous examples of physical and mental abuse and the loss of lives that occurred during the Civil Rights Movement, and in times before and after, are little more than episodes in American history. However, for those of us old enough to remember, either because we lived through them or because of the tales our parents and grandparents shared, we know how dark and dangerous those days were. So, let’s heed President Obama’s words.
Have you registered to vote? Have you studied the candidates up and down the ballot? Are you prepared to exercise your civic duty?
Come on brothers and sisters, be the example for today’s children who will one day become our future leaders – VOTE!