I’ll still complain about politics even when I don’t vote – fight me.

I am a non-voter who has the audacity to still be upset that my people are dying. I have been told innumerable times that I am not supposed to be allowed this. “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain” is perhaps the most common non-voter shaming refrain I’ve heard, right up there with “your ancestors died for the right to vote.”

But I am not generally one to accept what society allows me to do as gospel.

I learned this from those very same ancestors, who, as even non-voter shamers acknowledge, lost their lives so that I could do what they weren’t allowed. Some say their deaths were only for my right to vote, but I know they died to get closer to freedom. I know they died also to be able to refuse the vote if it does not work towards that freedom. I know that my people are still dying–still died even when I did vote–and, if anything, my ancestors lost their lives so that I would never let anything get in the way of raising hell about it.

Black people not voting is logical, and vote pushers are usually anti-Black

For most of my schooling, I was treated as somewhat of a golden child. As an advanced placement student in a majority Black district, where most of the other Black kids weren’t surpassing their white peers scholastically like I was, the fact that I seemed destined to follow in the footsteps of my ivy-league older siblings did not go unnoticed by the approving adults in my life.

Not only did my “achievements” translate materially in the form of scholarship money, I received an enviable range of post-graduate opportunities, as well as positions of authority offered to me while still in school. I was also told flat-out many times and in various ways how different I was from the average Black student. It was never an insult. The average Black student was not someone to desire being in community with, apparently. My differences were always pointed out as if not being like them other niggas was the biggest compliment I could ever receive.

Black Hollywood Wants Black Voters To Go To The Polls Today

Every now and again Black stars use their star power to make a statement about the political conditions in America. We recently saw it with Beyoncé, Jay Z, and Chance the Rapper endorsing Hillary Clinton for president at mass concerts in Cleveland and Chicago. Similarly, this star-studded PSA includes folx like Cedric the Entertainer, Meagan Good, Chris Spencer, Tisha Campbell-Martin and many others who want to emphasize the importance of voting in this year’s general election, specifically where Black voters are concerned.

Chance the rapper march chicago

Chance the Rapper Literally Marches Hundreds of Fans to the Polls

Chance the Rapper yet again showed out for his city by organizing and headlining a free concert in Chicago’s Grant Park to encourage people to vote. But the more impressive part came immediately after when he led hundreds of concert-goers through the streets, with the help of Black Youth Project 100 organizers, to an early voting facility. The event was dubbed as a “Parade to the Polls.”

Not voting is not a ‘privilege’

I hate the term “privilege”. Its flatness allows it to facilitate spurious claims masquerading as the work of liberation, which is why it’s so overused in neoliberal social justice spaces. It promotes dangerous assertions lacking any sort of nuance whatsoever, like “third-party voting is the height of white privilege” or “refusing to vote for Clinton & risking a Trump presidency is a privileged choice.”

“Privilege” is often code for “something that someone with more (perceived) social capital than me does and I do not like, so will therefore disregard.” The charge is self-satisfying and cannot be argued against. At the same time, it ignores that there are many practices people with “privilege” partake in that they have not initiated, and many causes they adopt for which they are not remotely sole representatives.

I Might Be ‘With Her’ For Now…

This article was originally posted at Water Cooler Convos.

I am reluctantly writing this piece. Both because I am still unsure about my exact sentiments on Hillary Clinton as the preponderant answer to our nation’s lingering political issues and simultaneously dissatisfied with the notion that her candidacy has been reduced to what lies “between Donald Trump and the presidency.” But, I think its time to move beyond that.

Flickr, voter id

Minority Voters Sue Georgia County, Charging Vote Dilution

Gwinnett County, Georgia is 53.5% minority, the most racially diverse county in the Southeast. The county’s minority population is comprised of a mixture of African Americans, Latinx and Asian-Americans. However, according to a lawsuit filed in Atlanta on Monday, August 8, no minority candidate has ever won a seat on the Gwinnett County Commission or Board of Education due to district lines and at-large voting rules that prevent minority groups from electing candidates of their choice.

Georgia Town Attempts to Suppress Black Voters

According to the New York Times, counties across the nation are attempting to intimidate and prevent black voters from participating in elections. In Sparta, Georgia, the local sheriff’s deputies questioned nearly 180 individuals and demanded they prove their residence and summonsed them to appear in court. If they could not appear, they would lose their voting rights.

Voting Laws Targeting Poor and People of Color Struck Down In Three States

Last week, federal courts declared North Carolina, Kansas, and Wisconsin state voting laws to be  unconstitutional and guilty of contributing to the disenfranchisement of low income and black voters.

The North Carolina law, particularly, was found to to violate racial discrimination in voting, as Republican state legislators enacted the laws specifically after receiving data on African American voting patterns.

The November Election Is Much More than Trump vs. Clinton

As 2016 rolls on, the upcoming presidential election is shaping up to be a showdown between former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and bigoted billionaire Donald Trump. For left-leaning voters who don’t find the prospect of another Clinton presidency appealing, or who are disillusioned by the entire two-party system itself, skipping the polls on November 8th appears to be a better alternative.