REFLECTIONS ON DISENFRANCHISEMENT IN 2002
By Alicia Banks
"...a New Democrat is no
different from an Old Republican."
"Clinton guillotines Guinier"
Live From Death Row
"Many people say it is
insane to resist the system, but actually, it is insane not
I am very proud of every person who voted last
Tuesday, even if we all did so in vain. I know that millions of
voters, of all races and classes, were denied a chance to vote.
They were deliberately sabotaged by incompetence, error, and
And, unlike in 2000, when the exact same voter
abuses were exposed en masse, in 2002 all national news agencies
decided to simply ignore these travesties. Millions of us are
reading about voter outrage and municipal lawsuits in our local
papers. But, this news will appear nowhere else....
“News” has become synonymous with
“omissions/lies”. Rather than expose or rectify national
voter abuses, media have chosen to blatantly censor and ignore
them. Collective silences are fatal consent.
With very few exceptions, I am disgusted by
the entire national fiasco of Election 2002. But, I am disgusted
with elections for the very last time. Like my rasta warrior
brothers chant: “I will no longer
play the twisted games of
politricks in a wicked shitsym...”
I will no longer defend
“losers” who do not challenge
opposing “winners”. I will
never accept narrow victory margins that are created by broad
voter abuses. Elections have become synonymous with
disenfranchisement in selective places, primarily those
populated by urban voters with diverse populations.
Now better than ever before, I can understand
those wiser citizens who refuse to bother to vote at all,
although I can never make that same choice. But, I will no
longer allow myself to be deluded into believing that my voting
is anything more than an honorary ritual. I now regard my civic
action as a symbolic tribute to my ancestors who fought and died
for the former privilege of voting.
In the future, my visiting a poll will be akin
to visiting a gravesite. I will vote to celebrate the memory of
what once was, knowing that I will never revive it, no matter
how much I cherish and revere it.
I will now vote to exercise a right that has
been nullified by injurious laws and sophisticated antics. Those
of us who are not felons or absent are equally discounted. Our
votes are nullified by sabotage and design. From pollsters who
curiously run out of ballots to Supreme Courts who brazenly
sanction such gross ineptitude without redress, my vote is
increasingly meaningless and worthless in an increasingly
corrupt and ruthless political system.
My ancestors never dreamt that the
constitutional amendment they coveted would be erased by
political fiascoes, institutionalized hatred, and methodical
madness. I will continue to vote only in honor of their eternal
warrior spirits, which are indeed as restless as my own...