In the months leading up to election season, I challenged myself to make sure that the candidates in my district understood my economic interests. We hear it all the time…”It’s not about Black, or White, or Red or Blue…it’s about Green!” So if that’s the case, let’s put our green interests first on Tuesday.
Election Day is here, and now we get to see if we are really serious about flexing our muscle at the ballot box. From coast to coast, we’ve heard the pleas, the talks, the exhortations…seen the Facebook posts, the tweets and non-stop political ads. So what are we going to do?
Will we sit at home and grumble? Will we volunteer to drive others to the polling place? Will we ignore it all and say, “What’s the use?” Well, we’ll see the results on Wednesday morning.
There’s nothing like a “Get Out The Vote” campaign to show how serious America is about government. And there’s no place like Black America to see how crucial it is that citizens exercise their rights as voters.
No other group of Americans has literally fought, bled and died for the right to vote. No other group has seen the ballot be used as effectively as a bullet to kill aspirations, stop access to education in its tracks, obliterate whole communities, and – quite literally – take bread from our mouths.
Against this backdrop, I can’t imagine that there is any question about what we need to do, not just in this critical mid-term election, but every single time the polling places open in local, state and national elections.
I hope you’ve noticed that not once have I suggested that you vote for any particular political party’s candidates, or hinted at any particular policy that you should support or vote against. And while it may be tempting to do so, at this point I’ll be happy if you just get off your couch and make your voice heard.
From the moment we opened our office in Washington, D.C. five years ago, the USBC has reconciled itself to the fact that regardless of which political party is in power, the hard work of opening access to opportunity for Black-owned businesses has to go on. Democrat, Republican, independent, liberal, conservative…all or any of those labels mean nothing if we are unable to earn a living and support our families.
We are not so naïve that we’d suggest there is no difference in the priority that different political parties place on opportunity for Black business. You and I both know that race continues to play a central role in the policy-making process in our nation’s capital. We need look no further than the recent history of the Obama Administration to see the impacts of obstruction — based solely on race – and the disastrous effects that obstruction has on public policy.
Black America consists of nearly 50 million citizens that spend nearly a TRILLION dollars every year! It is mind-boggling that this many people — whose influence on popular culture, from sports to entertainment to fashion to language – can’t muster up the clout to influence the government we pay for.
So take this reminder as a last-minute plea to get out and vote! But don’t vote Democratic, Republican, liberal or conservative…VOTE LIKE YOURECONOMIC LIFE DEPENDS ON IT! Because – like at no other time in our history – it truly, truly does.
In the Spirit of Success,
Ron Busby, Sr.
U.S. Black Chambers, Inc.