In one of my “Freedom’s Journal” articles in May prior to the primary election, I upset several of my revolutionary Black comrades when I wrote, “Non-voting Blacks are traitors.”
In response, one of my close revolutionary friends respectfully challenged me on social media by accusing me of being judgmental and offensive. He said Black folks can be politically and culturally “woke” and still refuse to vote. I told him that I might have been judgmental and offensive and therefore would reconsider such language.
After much thoughtful reconsideration, and now that the Nov. 5 general election is quickly approaching, here’s my conclusion: He’s completely wrong and I’m completely right. It’s as simple as that.
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 is attempting to use discriminatory and unnecessary “Voter ID” laws to make it frustratingly difficult for Blacks to vote. Ergo, racist white America has been and is our enemy.
There are many reasons, including the following three, why Blacks must vote.
The first reason- which applies to the aforementioned and valid treason accusation- is that the primary 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 your enemy and you give them “aid and comfort” by not voting.
The second reason is that our Black ancestors didn’t merely die in the battle for voting rights. Instead, they were murdered in that battle.
The third reason is that potential jurors are called for duty in part as a result of being on registered voter lists. Jury duty allows us to impose justice on an unjust system when, for example, innocent victims like Freddie Gray, Sean Bell, Anthony Lamar Smith, and far too many others are murdered by police and when, for example, innocent defendants like Michael White, Cyntoia Brown, the Central Park Five (aka the Exonerated Five), and far too many others are facing or did face long prison sentences.
In this week’s edition of my “Freedom’s Journal” column, I’m announcing my Nov. 5 general election endorsements.
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 race-based courses for over a dozen years, a radio show host for more than 15 years, a trial attorney for more than 25 years, a cultural/political activist since my college days, and an African throughout my entire lifetime. As a result of those blessings, I have been put in a position to 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? There are two reasons. One- Literally hundreds of Black voters always specifically ask me to do so. Two- 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-so-bad candidates from the truly bad ones- particularly in regard to what they have done or not done for our community.
By the way, 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.
Although it’s important to cast your vote for all available political offices and referendums, the judicial offices are by far the most important. Why? It’s very simple. A judge has dangerous powers that a mayor, a governor, and even a president doesn’t have.
A judge can take your property via seizure/forfeiture orders, your children via custody orders, your liberty via incarceration orders, and your life via death penalty orders. That’s some serious power, actually some absolute power. And remember what Lord Acton said, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” And it gets worse when you factor in the reality of racism and classism.
Now here’s my complete list of endorsements:
Superior Court (2):
Common Pleas Court (3 of 6):
City Council/At Large (5):
(David Oh, a Republican, is a surprisingly good choice as well.)
City Commissioner (1 of 2):
Register of Wills:
City Ballot Questions (3):
1. (So-Called) Crime Victims Rights/Marsy’s Law — No!!!
2. Bond Money/Capital Purposes: Transit, Streets, Parks, Etc. (190431) — Yes
3. Charter Amendment: City Procurement Procedures (190290) — Yes
For more information and greater nuance about my endorsements, listen to my “Radio Courtroom” show on WURD96.1-FM/900-AM or at WURDradio.com on Sunday, Nov. 3 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are his. View more opinions on phillytrib.com.