Stop Saying Black People Died To Vote

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If a “Black” non-voter is approached by a voter who happens to also be black, one of the first criticisms he or she will receive is the famous:

“But Black people died for the right to vote. How could you? Your people lost their lives so that you can be where you are today.”

First of all, contrary to popular belief, this is not truth. Yes, I said it. Black people did not die for the right to vote.

While African Americans did struggle to be part of the political process, we did not die for the right to vote, we died for the right to freedom. We sought to vote because we thought it would lead us to freedom. We thought: If only we could elect our own people, they would go on to fight on our behalf. This was not just in relation to voting, but to everything else as well. And with 15-20 thousand Black elected officials and finally a Black president, the ballot box has long proved us wrong.

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Our people didn’t come to the United States for the American Dream. No one voted to bring you here. You were not invited to the Grand Feast. You were brought here as servants: as male and female slaves and sold into captivity. Therefore, this political system was never set up to include you. When the founders of this country signed the Declaration of Independence you were not included. When the constitution was conceived you were not included. In fact, we are the only group of people on the planet named after Continents (i.e. African American) and the only group of people whose nationality changes with the census. African American is not a nationality. It does not have a culture, a language, land, etc; it is the joining of two continents: the continent of Africa and the continent of America. Furthermore, Black is not a nationality, it is a color. White, Black, Red, and so on are colors applied to mankind, they are not nations of people.

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Why are you named after continents and colors? Why have you helped to build this country and yet basic human rights escape you? Your right to sit in the front of the bus is not a privilege symbolic of freedom. All it means is the fact that due to civil rights added, or amended, to the constitution you can sit in the front of the bus. It is not a human right it is a civil or social right; an amendment that can be repealed or abolished anytime the U.S. feels like turning you into niggas again. I’m not trying to be negative I’m just being real: stop saying our people died for our right to vote when that is simply not the case. All men created equal is a lie. At the time the constitution was written your people were literally held in chains and shackles by men who were slave owners themselves, and who in turn never fashioned the founding of this country to include you as citizens.

As a result, your people fought to attain the same kind of freedom they saw the rest of the world had that they felt was due them. So if voting meant a change they fought to vote, if sitting in the front of the bus meant a change they sought to resist going to the back, if sitting into restaurants meant a change they sat down, and if freedom rides meant moving closer to freedom they were willing to die for it. This is what black people fought for and have always fought for: Freedom. Before it was The Civil Rights Movement it was The Freedom Movement. Voting was just part of a much more complex journey of black people and their road to Freedom.

Disclaimer. Due the level of controversy and attention of this article, I think it’s important I clarify some things. I am not saying that black people did not lose their lives in the process of attaining certain rights they thought they deserved. What I am highlighting is the deeper meaning behind those deaths. Sure, blacks lost their lives in the process of casting a vote, ordering food from the front of the restaurant, interracial marriage, and so on down the line. However, these deaths were not for these things individually but for one thing: Freedom. Our people fought and died because they thought having these things that they did not have would make them free as a people. However, only the truth can truly set us free as no people without true knowledge of who they are can ever truly be free. A  tree without roots is a tree that does not exist.

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11 thoughts on “Stop Saying Black People Died To Vote

  1. Though I haven’t heard this particular phrase used much in my own experience, I still found the article enlightening. Just as individuals have difficulty being completely honest about their own worst behaviors, nations of individuals have a hard time seeing it when their history reflects evil and ignorant actions.

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  2. My people perish for lack of knowledge.
    Our people have not only died for the vote but women also have died for the vote. You enjoy whatever freedom you have because generations were willing to die so that you have a better life. How much better is up to you. The most powerful thing in existence is the word. Words can cripple or rally. Can inspire or enslave you take a man for one year shut off all other stimulants and say to that man you can not walk stay in the corner if you try to walk you will die over and over again repeating the same thing you will cripple a man with two healthy legs.
    Don’t condescend to the stereo type and separate a nation in their minds with discord, that is job one in the self destruction Manuel historic. This could be our darkest hour or our greatest opportunity. We can rise to the challenge or fall in confusion. My favourite piece of literature is letter from a Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King jnr I recommend that you read it.

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    1. You’re right, my people do perish for a lack of knowledge (Hos 4:6), and it is because of my people not knowing who they are as a people that we were and are in the conditions that we’re in today. It is because of our lack of knowledge that we’ve been brought into captivity and sold into slavery to endure everything MLK and others fought against:

      Duet. 28:68

      48 you shall serve your enemies whom Yah sends against you, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in need of all. And he shall put a yoke of iron on your neck until he has destroyed you.

      49 Yah shall bring a nation against you from afar, from the end of the earth, AS SWIFT AS THE EAGLE FLIES, a nation whose language you shall not understand,

      50 a fierce-looking nation, which shall show no regard for the elderly nor show favour to the young,

      What freedoms exist in this land for the so-called black man and woman? What kind of freedom continuously gun your men and women down in the streets? Why is it that you spent over 50 years marching and protesting and you’re still doing the same today?

      True freedom is not what exists in this world today, it is knowledge of self, of which my people have none.

      Yes, the word is powerful and it is because of our negligence of the only word that matters that we’ve had to endure the kind of mediocre conditions which you’ve listed (Duet. 28:15).

      America speaks of a freedom from the basic laws and principles of scripture which we as a people have made a vow to uphold and to distribute as chosen priest of the most high (Ex. 19:5-8). Instead, we abandoned him for a chance to be just as wicked as those who’ve enslaved us. We have abandoned the only word that matters.

      Since we have forgotten the law of the most high, he has allowed this to happen and have forgotten our children, so says the entirety of the scripture in which we’ve started this discussion (Hos 4:6):

      “My people have perished for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I reject you from being priest for Me. Since you have forgotten the law of Yah, I also forget your children.”

      (I do have that book and have had (and read) it for years, but the truth is that as a people we’ve neglected the only book that holds our true history, true knowledge, true wisdom, and true understanding. Its called the bible. I recommend that you read it).

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      1. Thanks for your recommendation I have read The Bible; from Genesis to Revelations (more than once ) and look forward (as charged) in the sure knowledge that there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus. I’m sure that thousands of my brother’s and sisters have also not neglected God’s Word. I trust The living God through Christ Jesus to continue to transform our lives and leave it to the work of His Holy Spirit to present us without spot wrinkle or blemish to a Holy God Amen.

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        1. “I am YAH who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You have no Gods against My face. ( Ex. 20: 2-3)

          YAH is the proper name for the most high (Psa 68:4) and Yahoshua is the proper name of his son (Matt. 21).

          Sadly, our brothers and sisters have neglected the living YAH of host, for it is written:

          “And it shall be, when they say, ‘Why does YAH our father do all this to us?’ then you shall answer them, ’As you have forsaken Me and served foreign Gods in your land, so you shall serve foreigners in a land that is not yours.’ – Jer. 5:19

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    1. As stated in the post, our people, to include these men, spilled their blood because they thought voting would bring them freedom. Our struggle and our fight is deeper than the actual act of voting itself. We’ve been, and we’ve always been, on a quest for who we are as a people. I am not going to go back and forth as I’ve said what is necessary. All I’m offering is the truth. Nothing more. You can accept it or you can reject it, your choice.

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  3. Thank you once again sista, very well written and the comments …. In the words of mc Donald’s, “I loving it”! These are the conversations that brings change! HalleluYah!

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