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Black Folks Know Exactly What We Need to Do in This Election

And it’s not playing to political ethics

There are very few systems in this country where equality is all but guaranteed for black people. In the *criminal justice system, if you can make it to court without being shot by a police officer or wrongly jailed, a jury or a judge can levy arbitrary imbalanced sentencing against us.

Primary, secondary and higher education in predominantly black spaces is unequally funded, and unfairly judged by standardized testing and performance metrics.

Financial institutions screw us, Hollywood screws us, (until they let Atlanta on the air) and now healthcare has been added to rent on the growing number of things that are too damn high to get by in America.

But the one thing we do have is voting. It’s the one system that they can’t put a bullet through, can’t jail (unless you are among the 1.5 million brothers who have been wiped off the map by *that system) and can’t erase without eliminating the record of the millions of white folks who vote as we do. Just like the last three times we’ve done this, black folks again are going to have to approach this election like everything counts. Because it really does.

In 2016, most black millennials get that not voting will make us outcasts in our group chats, and weigh us down internally as failures to the race. This isn’t like ‘Birth of a Nation,’ where we could justify sitting out yet another slavery movie, because of that whole ‘Nate Parker raped somebody’ thing.

We can’t hide behind ethics and morality on this one. This ain’t the time to try and play by the politics by which white voters with money and opportunity can play. They can elect Trump, and will still be able to secure small business loans, to attend which ever colleges they want, to live where they want and to only have to worry about nuclear war and massive espionage from Russia.

If we sit it out, we’ll have to worry about the same things, but won’t get the loans, education and the land we’ll need to afford and secure the licenses necessary to build these bomb shelters we’re going to need in the hood and the back woods.

We aren’t voting for the most trustworthy candidate, because neither one of them passes the muster on that notion. We aren’t voting for the one who will do the most for black people, because there are few policies a president can advance that a Congress largely comprised of white male baby boomers from the south and midwest will actually pass.

We are voting for the candidate who is most likely to inflict the least amount of damage. And that’s a tough prospect to digest when you live in a city like mine, Baltimore, which under black democratic influence at city and state levels, remains among the poorest in the nation for prospects of better health, more wealth and longer lasting educational outcomes for black people.

We are voting for the president that is most likely to use the platform in talking up causes from which we can demand accountability from mayors, city councils, governors and state legislators. That was the big issue with Barack Obama; we rarely heard from him on issues most pressing to black people, so we had little ammunition to say to local and regional elected officials, “see this is the stuff we’re talking about — and now the POTUS is talking about it, too.”

Maybe these things will improve under the next president, maybe they won’t. Maybe the system is that rigged against our interests, and maybe our votes can fix it.

But none of it will matter if we let the ethics of two bad candidates get in the way of voting the only way that keeps us safe, even if just for a few more seconds.

A vote for Hillary Clinton is a vote for a few more seconds. Otherwise, its an endorsement for Trump letting the clock run out on any chance we have at any hope of prosperity in this country.