You would think
this would be something that is clearly understood, but we obviously fail in
this area political accountability more often than not. We refuse to hold
people accountable for the decisions that they make concerning our interests
and consistently trust them to do a better job the next time around.
At some point,
we are going to have to pull receipts and demand honest answers. The days of
being content with seeing Black faces in high places with no tangible benefits
talk about how valuable our vote is and who all died so that we would have the
right. But how valuable is something that you give away without demanding
anything in return? Spending your vote on someone who has no specific agenda or
policy plans to support your interest is worse than spending your money on a
lottery ticket. At least with the lottery ticket, you stand a chance of
We must also
develop a lucid perspicacity of the difference between the right to vote and an
obligation to vote. There are times in which withholding your vote (money,
endorsement, and support) adds to the value and power of what you are
We can’t keep trusting people who
have no accountability to us to do right by us. We rally around the idea of
voting when the truth is that voting has produced no reasonable gains. We are
still in last place socioeconomically, politically, etc. We are still incarcerated
at a rate disproportionate to our representation in the population. Our
neighborhoods are being gentrified at an alarming rate, and the resulting serial
force displacement is wreaking havoc on our mental, emotional, and physical
health — a truth that is rarely visiting when discussing the plight of Blacks
In the 50 plus years since the
passing of voting rights legislation, we have not closed the wealth gap. In
fact, when placing our current wealth median in juxtaposition to our wealth
median in 1960 (giving consideration to inflation and the variance in the
valuation of the U.S. dollar) we are in a worse position now.
Let us not gloss over the
miseducation of our youth and the inequity that exists in the manner in which
schools are adequately resourced or not. Additionally, we cannot lose sight of
the disproportionality of special education referrals aimed at little Black boys
as early as five years old — the entrance into the school to prison pipeline.
As early as five-years-old, young Black boys are designated as suffering from ADHD,
Oppositional Defiant Disorder, or other learning disabilities — alienating them
from their classmates. There is a wealth of empirical and pragmatic data that
reveals the deleterious impact of funneling young children into the special
education machine. To further exacerbate the situation, many of these boys are
medicated with psychotropic drugs like Ritalin, Vyvanse, Concerta, and more.
These Schedule 2 drugs cause far more harm than good.
Our vote has never netted us anything
of intrinsic or measurable valuable because we have demanded nothing in return.
We have reveled at the notion of advancement based on seeing Black faces in symbolic
positions of power and authority. Even when it comes to Barack Obama, we were
lost in the presentation and refused to acknowledge what was painfully obvious
to all who were willing to see through a clear lens. While the office of the
presidency is primarily a vassal position, what power that is afforded to the
person holding the position can never be used to advance a specific group —
Blacks. Presidents are allowed to have pet passions as long as those passions don’t
involve giving firm footing to ADOS and fundamental Blacks.
We must develop our own agenda
and create think tanks that will develop solutions to the enigmatic issues that
plague our communities. It is imperative that we abandon the foolish notion
that we will find allies outside the collective. We have no leverage or anything
to bargain with to create true allies. What we have are thieves and wolves who
show up at the door disguised as allies for the purpose of exploiting our
weaknesses for their benefit.
To create allies, there must be an
exchange of benefits that serve the interests of each party. ADOS and
fundamental Black Americans have to develop and build amongst ourselves to establish
enough force, power, and influence to attract genuine allies. At this point,
anything we have of value is simply targeted and extracted by one of several
means — primarily consumerism.
As much as most Blacks claim to
hate Donald Trump, the gross reality is he is likely to be elected if the
Democratic party does not rethink its approach. His numbers are actually
climbing when they should be falling, but the fact that there is no present alternative
to Trump has caused his approval rating will grow.
We cannot afford another four
years of rhetoric without followthrough. We must hold every politician that
seeks our vote accountable. We must vocally challenge lies and deception at every
turn. We must be the voice of truth and reason. It is time to take back our power.
~ Rick Wallace, Ph.D., Psy.D.
Support the work of The Odyssey Project and its community programs, including the Black Men Lead rite of passage program for young Black males, Restoring Ghettos Forgotten Daughters, Music is Life, Financial Literacy 101 & Beyond, and more at https://www.theodysseyproject21.top/donate or you can contribute directly through the Cash app at $TheOdysseyProject21