coard

A traitor is someone who commits treason, which is defined in Article III, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution as follows: “Treason... shall consist... in... adhering to... enemies... [by] giving them aid and comfort.” It’s also defined in the U.S. Code at 18 U.S.C. Section 2381 as follows: “Whoever, owing allegiance to... [one’s own nation],... adheres to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort....” is guilty of treason.

Racist white America used the “Slave” Codes to make it illegal for enslaved Blacks to vote. Racist white America used the Black Codes and Jim Crow laws to make it nearly impossible for Blacks to vote. Racist white America uses gerrymandered districts to make it basically ineffectual for Blacks to vote. Racist white America uses discriminatory “Voter ID” laws to make it frustratingly difficult for Blacks to vote. Ergo, racist white America has been and is our enemy.

There are three main reasons Blacks must vote. The first- which applies to the aforementioned treason accusation- is that the fundamental rule of warfare is to find out what your enemy doesn’t want you to do and then you do that very thing. If your enemy doesn’t want you to attack by air, then you send your Air Force. If your enemy doesn’t want you to attack by sea, then you send your Navy. If your enemy doesn’t want you to attack by land, then you send your Army. Racists in America did not and do not want Blacks to vote. They are our enemy and non-voting Blacks give them “aid and comfort.”

The second is our Black ancestors didn’t merely die in their selfless crusade for voting rights. Instead, they were murdered by white America in that crusade.

The third is potential jurors are called for duty in part as a result of being on registered voter lists. Jury duty puts us in a position to impose justice upon an unjust system in cases like those involving the more than 2,500 incarcerated men and women who were later exonerated (meaning completely cleared because of their actual innocence) since 1989. One of those men is Richard Phillips of Detroit who was finally released in 2017 after having spent over 45 years in prison for a crime he absolutely did not commit. He was 26 when he was wrongfully convicted and nearly 72 when freed. Tell Mr. Phillips why you choose not to vote. And while you’re telling him, tell the 35 other exonerees who spent between 30 and 41 years in prison following wrongful convictions by mostly white juries. Also, as a Black juror, you can do something about Blacks being 12 times more likely than whites to be convicted of drug possession, seven times more likely to be convicted of murder, and three-and-a-half times more likely to be convicted of sexual assault.

Those are three of many reasons why Blacks must vote. By the way, it’s not just a matter of merely voting; it’s also a matter of intelligently voting. That’s why I’m doing this Black community service by announcing my June 2 primary election endorsements here.

Why me, you might ask? Who do I think I am, you might ask? Why should you accept my endorsements, you might ask? Here’s why: To whom much is given, much is required. I have been an adjunct college professor teaching racial history courses for over a dozen years, a legal/political-based radio show host for more than 15 years, a civil rights and criminal defense trial attorney for more than 25 years, a cultural and political activist since my college days, and a Black person throughout my entire lifetime. As a result of those blessings, I have been able to easily access and uncover enlightening information that can help bring about justice, equity, and eventually liberation for Blacks.

Accordingly, prior to each primary and general election, I use that information to compile my endorsement list. Why? First, because literally hundreds of Black voters always specifically ask me to do so. And second, unlike the average voter, I have the time and resources to thoroughly research the candidates. Therefore, I am able to distinguish the good candidates from the bad ones- as well as the not-as-bad candidates from the truly bad ones- particularly in regard to what they have done or not done for our community.

And I must make it crystal clear that I neither request nor accept any financial, employment, or any other compensation from any local, state, or federal candidate or official. In other words, I am beholden to nothing- except the avenging of my ancestors.

Before I list my endorsements, I have to make another point crystal clear. Malcolm X ain’t running for office. Neither is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nat Turner, Gabriel Prosser, Harriet Tubman, or Sojourner Truth. But there are still gonna be presidents and congresspersons and governors and lieutenant governors and state legislators and attorney generals and auditor generals and state treasurers and mayors and councilpersons and district attorneys and sheriffs and city controllers and registers of wills and commissioners. And Black folks are still victims of America’s so-called “white supremacy.” That needs to change. As a very wise man once said, change comes about only from “the ballot or the bullet.” Consequently, since you ain’t firing bullets (and for tactical as well as legal reasons shouldn’t be) to bring about that much-needed change, you gotta be casting ballots.

You must realize that somebody’s obviously gonna be in influential local, state, and federal political positions with the authority to create and enforce policies and laws that control every aspect of your entire life from the time a birth certificate is issued until a death certificate is issued. Stated differently, you’re not officially alive or officially dead until elected officials or their appointees say you are.

And since Malcolm and the others ain’t running for office, we gotta use the system to change the system. For example, I didn’t like the mostly centrist/sometimes right wing-leaning Senator/Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in 2016. But I nonetheless voted for her, albeit dispiritedly but pragmatically. Black folks who did not directly vote for her (or who didn’t vote at all) indirectly voted for and ultimately helped elect Trump who is definitely the most obtuse presidential candidate in American history and absolutely one of the most racist. Therefore, even though Joe Biden is politically worse than Clinton was, he’s the only vaccine available to immunize us from the Trump virus. In other words, vote for Biden or die.

By the way, when it comes to Biden-type candidates, progressives like me have to apply the football analogy of punting. In other words, if we “Leftist All-Stars” are on our own one-yard line and it’s fourth and nine in a tied game with two minutes on the clock in overtime, should we go for the long first down and risk giving the “Fascist Deplorables” great field position for a chip-shot field goal to beat us? Or should we punt and thereby pin our opponent’s back to the wall because losing the game is much worse than not winning it? A strategic tie is better than an emotional defeat. Bottom line: sometimes what you want (e.g., getting progressivism) must give way to what you need (e.g., avoiding fascism).

Now here’s my complete list of endorsements for pertinent (but obviously not all) contested offices and for the two local ballot questions:

President:

Joe Biden

U.S. House of Representatives:

5th District- Mary Gay Scanlon

10th District- Eugene DePasquale

11th District- Paul Daigle

18th District- Jerry Dickinson (Lifetime progressive activist & a law prof!)

PA Senate:

1st District- Larry Farnese

17th District- Amanda Cappelletti

PA House of Representatives:

175th District- Vanessa McGrath

182nd District- Brian Sims

185th District- Maria Donatucci

188th District- James Roebuck (Strong soldier in the battle to save Cheyney!)

190th District- G. Roni Green

192nd District- Morgan Cephas

198th District- Darisha Parker

PA Auditor General:

Nina Ahmad

City Ballot Questions:

1. Shall a “department” of labor be created to protect city workers? YES

2. Shall city officials/employees be permitted to volunteer for certain state and federal political campaigns when off-duty as private citizens? YES

The location of many polling places has been changed due to the COVID-19 quarantine. Therefore, you should call the Election Protection Hotline at (866) OUR-VOTE to find out exactly where you should go to cast your ballot.

For more information and greater nuance about my personal endorsements, listen to my “Radio Courtroom” show on WURD96.1-FM/900-AM or at WURDradio.com on May 31 from 11:00 a.m. t0 1:00 p.m.

Michael Coard can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as well as at AvengingTheAncestors.com. His “Radio Courtroom” show can be heard on WURD96.1FM and his “TV Courtroom” show can be seen on PhillyCAM/Verizon Fios/Comcast.

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