Southern Politics: The State of Louisiana Will Pay for Not Voting.

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( This voting season was terrible in terms of participation, and overall turnout. May of us that pay attention to voting trends in Louisiana were concerned where early voting seemed to be forgotten. There was literally too much at stake. Yes, I could say Shawn Wilson [a Black Democrat] running should have been enough to make sure everyone was focused on the election. We had the opportunity to make history yet again by electing the first Black governor. Clearly, that did not happen. Maybe, enough citizens don’t understand who Jeff Landry is, so maybe they thought it would be okay if he was elected. Honestly, I have no idea what Louisiana was doing, but rest assured we are about to pay for our inactivity this voting season. It’s time to address the Black vote, and what it can and cannot do in Louisiana. There are two conversations that need to be had in separate spaces.

The State of Louisiana Will Pay for Not Voting.

Black communities within this state are going to have a come to Jesus regarding civic duty, and why we must go to the polls even if they don’t see the immediate change they need. Then there has to be an open conversation with the state as a whole; most of this state that is White and votes Republican benefit nothing from doing so. Maybe they need to evaluate their allegiance and the tropes used to rope them in every single election season. Black voters are not the only ones being sold a dream…they just might be the only group painfully aware. The lack of turnout at the polls will jeopardize everyone regardless of race.

Those that paid attention to the campaigning for this election are more than likely angry, and trying to figure out how we’re going to get through four years of foolishness. Black people in Louisiana, we should have owned early voting for no other reason than we can’t afford to be criminalized any further. Too many of us were at Homecoming games, and arguing about how voting doesn’t matter nor benefit us. That argument was being made while a Black man was running for Governor. To be fair, I’m aware that if every single Black person that is eligible to vote did so…Louisiana might still be in trouble. However, at the end of the day it is important to make sure we are showing up at the polls for the interests of our community. Yes, there was the race for governor, but there were other state seats being voted for and propositions all over the state that affect your quality of life. This matters! It’s hard to listen to some of our people complain privately while remaining silent when it matters the most. No, voting won’t solve everything, but it needs to happen as a part of a solution as we do the work hands on in our communities. If you knew you were going to be at Southern University’s Homecoming then you should have made it to the polls for early voting, or before the game so that you could use your vote to help protect Southern University as a public institution that needs state funding.

Louisiana Black people are about 32% of the population, so we can not make the change the states need at the polls alone. The problems that face this state in the areas of employment, education, housing, criminal justice, policing, climate change and so much more effects everyone. While some were at homecoming, others were in Houston at a Saints game while the state was going up in smoke on election day. No one is absolved from the danger we are all now facing. Some are so busy trying to prove they are conservative, and right winged, that they would make voting choices that go against the wellbeing of their children. The people you are supporting are not supporting you…they are for themselves. Why is it that those of us that are in situations can’t come together? Part of the answer if you still feel you are better than the rest of us when you vote for the Republican that looks like you, and claims to be tough on the crime you only associate with Black citizens and minorities. Newsflash, he will be unfair to your family members also.

This pence Louisiana is about to embark upon will be painful for all of us. Yes, it will hit our communities is various different ways, but we will all be suffering as Louisiana aims to become just another poster child failure for conservatives even moreso than it is. My hope is that communities, cities, and the state as a whole can come together to make change that pushes us past the greedy limitations of our leadership. We can’t look to one region, city, nor demographic to save the state, must be all hands on deck if we want life to get better in the state we love.

Staff Writer; Chelle’ St James

May also connect with this sister via Twitter; ChelleStJames.