I found myself watching a bunch of campaign ads these last two days and one thing I noticed is the politicians running for whatever it is they’re running for were always in front of or beside white people, even if it was an ad where it showed “working class” and “true value” Americans they were white. It hit me, we have a black President, we had a Mexican Democrat candidate running for President, we have Indian politicians in Louisiana and South Carolina, a host of African American and Latino American politicians across this country but when we see ads it reverts back to seeing nothing but white people as the ideal American?
Then there is the langue in which these news networks and political shows use when speaking on minority voters. Somehow they have regulated us to be only useful in the presidential election process. When you hear them talking about the Latino vote it’s always in the context of presidential votes, what the percentage was for Obama as opposed to Bush? How will these states new immigration bill affect the presidential race for Latino votes in those states? How will African Americans vote in 2012? It’s as if we don’t or aren’t expected to vote any other time. Now there was some vote that took place a couple of weeks ago here in MO and you could blame it on the heat or just call it a fact that minorities aren’t urged to vote unless it’s the presidential election because minority turn out was low. That’s the problem we as minorities don’t vote on the smaller things. Maybe we as a people think it’s not important as voting for a president candidate but it is. These smaller votes in all honesty are more important than voting for the next president all together. These local to state wide votes impact your community, your city and your state.
The sad part is neither the Democrats nor the Republicans make a strong effort to acknowledge how important those votes are to minorities. There are no ads urging minorities to go out and vote for local government state or city wise. Even on a smaller and much more important level when it comes to school districts minorities of a certain economic level and residential area take no part in the every week to every month procedures until something bad happens with the school their children attend comes up. You hear this all the time a community now rallying against a school closing or fighting because the school will not be getting something that can be beneficial to the students. Those parents never went those school committee meetings at all to voice their opinions, once the news hits that things are bad for that school parents come out to speak up. It happens in city hall meetings too. Most people have no idea who represents their local area , there are people who have represented areas for decades and know one really knows who they are, what they look, what they stand for or how are they helping your area if helping at all. Some areas because of the lack of knowledge end up worst off, their representative don’t fight for them to get better roads, better zoning to have grocery stores in the area or a stronger police presence. Most of the time when you have those kind of representatives they don’t even live in the area they represent, they got their name on the ballot and people voted. That person gets a government job and the area really sees no change for the better and again since the lower income areas aren’t even truly considered in the local races those people really have no idea who to talk to or actions to take to make a change. That all starts from attempting to make minorities a bigger part of the political process on a local level.
You could blame it on local news networks, you could blame it the local area in general really. But one thing is obvious white people know who they’re voting for. Now is that saying white people are more politically aware than blacks….No not at all. What I am saying is black people talk about politics a lot and yet somehow the voting process eludes them. I know people who didn’t vote for Obama, or McCain, who knows how a person would have voted, for no real reason than the line was too long. (?) During the election for Mayor here in Kansas City a lot of minorities didn’t turn out either. Again people knew what was going on but didn’t bother to vote. So it’s not that minorities don’t watch the news or read what newspapers are left, like I said it has become a thing of local issues not being deemed as important, so minorities really just overlook them. Unless your local politics has something happen and it gets national exposure like the Green situation in South Carolina no one, sometimes even the local news doesn’t cares about what happens. That then trickles down to the people who in turn put no real effort into voting.
Then there is the fact unless a politician is looking for the “black” or “Latino” vote they don’t even come around to speak to us. You see and hear how these politicians are at churches or town squares and somebody’s local hall and or community center all the time are in rural, small town and suburban areas. There are no scheduled black and Latino dates if they’re not looking for those votes. So then we as a people become discouraged, if we’re paying attention, and don’t even pay the local races any mind at all. That in it self becomes a cycle because politicians will say they don’t reach out to minorities for votes because they don’t vote regularly, minorities say they don’t vote because politicians aren’t speaking to them and addressing their concerns. So what happens is you might if you’re lucky see a billboard of someone running for something in your area, most likely it’s old, but when going into the areas that have more of a suburban culture to it you’ll see the signs for so and so for Sheriff, District Representative, Treasurer, and District General all over the place. You might see that in a minority populated area if the candidate is a minority. Then that plays out wrong because it comes off as if we as people of color only deal with politics if people of color are running for some kind of position.
Things need to change because I’m really starting to consider the most outlandish idea of these states trying to move Mexicans out of their state to ensure the Republican strong hold on those states. Minorities need to be a part of all, let me say it again ALL aspects of the political landscape not just the presidential elections. The fall will come down to The Tea Party Movement and whether or not minorities feel it necessary to vote in the senate races. I’m hoping that everyone who can vote votes this fall.