Contributing to one’s own poverty

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

I find it interesting that some of the poorest southern states are classified as Republican states. Now someone or some group must be benefiting financially, but from statistics it is not the bulk of citizens in these states—especially in states where a large percentage of the citizens are African Americans. States such as Alabama and Mississippi (where the majority of the citizens fall below the poverty line) are red states. Many people find something disturbingly wrong with this picture. Many southern states are red such as Tennessee, Georgia, South Carolina, and Kentucky—leaving many to wonder why. After years of being subjected to blatant physical discrimination and dehumanization, some of these states are now subjected to continued economic deprivation.

States that fought so hard to overcome abject racism and discrimination are now the poster children of economic oppression. Evidently, the direction of the public representatives elected in these states hasn’t proven effective in financially uplifting the standard of living for the masses. Now either the majority of those at an economic disadvantage enjoy their plight, or they are so hopeless they see no purpose in voting to promote positive productive change. One is left wondering after 50 years of the civil rights movement, what has changed—especially in states that blatantly suppressed African American voting rights.

Sad as it may be, statistics show that many of the disadvantaged people in poverty stricken states are still opting not to vote. By not voting, they are willing victims contributing to their own individual economic downfall. They are allowing representatives to be elected legislating bills and policies that continue to affect them in a negative manner.

I wonder if the inhabitants of these southern states realize the sacrifices many made to make it possible for African Americans to exercise the right to vote so they could be empowered to have a say-so in their future? By not voting, it is an abomination to those who fought so hard, losing their jobs, being subjected to physical and mental abuse, and even death. If for no other reason, one should show respect by voting for those who worked so hard to make voting a reality for all citizens. Don’t sit back complaining about negative situations if you made no attempt to vote to make a difference.

Voting is a right and an obligation that all citizens should partake of to make this a better country. You can bet that companies and corporations with self-serving agendas have lobbyists working full time influencing legislation that often works against the common man trying to survive daily. Business interests need not be a discriminatory practice. But when greed and lack of respect for public interest dictates, the public generally loses. All too often, the economically advantaged seek more and loathe equal distribution of the wealth, thus alienating the majority of the public. Unfortunately, that is the role many see Republicans manifesting—a position where they may be privileged socially or economically and are insensitive to helping uplift those with less. Some find that altitude down right unchristian.

In fairness, many Republicans (like Democrats) share some of the same overall objectives for this country but just have different ways of achieving these means. I for one feel that insensitivity and a disregard for promoting justice, equality, and opportunities for all Americans is cruel and unrighteous. Maybe by changing the color of some of these red poor southern states to blue could make a big difference. It may be the start of promoting positive productive change for all people, not just for some. Refusing to vote makes one a victim to the whims of others who may not necessarily have your best interests at heart. Stop being victimized. Vote to help change your situation.