(The Guardian) -- After 20 years of casting a ballot in every US election, I’m now done with the electoral system. For many Americans, it’s not difficult to find a reason to stay home, be it inertia or unappealing candidates. But I’m not voting because I cannot participate in the electoral system of a government that doesn’t care if black people live or die.
I cannot continue to ignore the historical and present-day reality: black people do not have basic human rights in the United States. Even after fighting for citizenship and political autonomy for our entire existence in this country, we still do not have the basic protection of life and limb from the US government. Police shootings and suspicious deaths of black people in state custody make this frighteningly clear.
As black Americans, we’ve grown up with the mantra that our ancestors died for the right to vote, so we should never take voting for granted. This was especially true for black Americans like me, who grew up in Southern states where white-dominated legislatures denied their black neighbors access to the ballot for nearly a century.
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