Who Will It Be?

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Who Will It Be?

Emroyana Caesar, Reporter

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In the race for the upcoming November 2020 election, the stakes were high. What started with twenty Democratic candidates for nominations, and one possible Republican nominee, to say there was stiff competition was an understatement. This year, the nominees prior to elimination, ranged from Senator, to District Attorney, and even an Author, which goes to show the determination to remove the current President, Donald Trump. At this present moment, there are no longer twenty nominees, but there are now five candidates based on their polling average, and policies, who who have a fighting chance at being selected for the ballet. Not only do these candidates have this opportunity, but they also have a high chance of getting the votes of African Americans, specifically males. These five candidates are Joe Biden, with a twenty seven percent polling average, Elizabeth Warren, with a eighteen percent polling average, Bernie Sanders, with a sixteen percent polling average, Kamala Harris, at six percent, and Pete Buttigieg, at five percent. The other candidates have less than a five percent polling average, so unless there is a drastic change in campaign, style, or message, there wont be any hope for them.

On February 26,1869 the 15th amendment was passed, and then later ratified on February 3,1870. The average American may not know exactly what the 15th Amendment was, so to clarify, it gave African American males the right to vote. The 15th Amendment was in great timing, considering slaves were emancipated five years prior. Although African American males obtained the right to vote, it wasn’t an easy process. In many Southern states, things such as grandfather clauses, literacy tests, and poll taxes were placed to disenfranchise them. In this current day and age, that is very much illegal and states aren’t allowed to do those things. One may ask the question, why wouldn’t African American men vote?                                                                                                                                            There are several reasons why people don’t vote, specifically persons of color. These reasons include the candidate not fitting their quota, or the ideal person they want. Basically, the candidate isn’t a reflection of themselves, their financial status, and their first priority. Most commonly, they believe their votes have no significance. Commonly people like to refer to the United States as a democracy, which by definition isn’t incorrect. To be specific, we’re a Democratic-Republic. We vote for a representative, and that person carries out the things we want done (usually). However, at times the candidate, like most politicians, sell dreams to the general public, but once they’re elected, all their promises are  forgotten. This minor revelation shouldn’t dis-encourage anyone from voting, because in voting, you have the opportunity to make change. Again the question is asked, why aren’t some African American males voting.

The reasons listed previously are definitely apart of why, but there’s more. Many of the problems rooted within the African American community aren’t being touched upon, for example: African American are more than four times more likely to be arrested for marijuana than a white person. Statistics show there is more than a ten percent usage increase, within the white community, than in the African American community. However, African Americans are the ones who are arrested, and charged. Petty crimes such as the one mentioned, mistaken identity, false prosecutions are some of the other issues African American men have to face. In my opinion, if some of these things were looked into, there would be more of a turnout in the African American male population.

Candidates such as Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris will have that perfect opportunity to persuade them to get off the couch and go vote. Kamala Harris is an African American women, who during the first presidential debates, made mention to it and the effects it has had on her life. This is something African American males can relate to, the challenges or struggles that may come, and have come. Now for Bernie Sanders, he’s a special kind of candidate, who cares deeply about civil rights issues and human rights. Sanders has been doing this for years, even marching with Dr.Martin Luther King Jr during the 1960’s. That tid-bit of information, can set him apart from the other candidates, who like most politicians, make empty promises. He’s actually one of the few who makes good on his promises.

In conclusion, in the upcoming election the candidates who have a chance at getting the black vote, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders, are the top two most likely to get it. Based on their backgrounds, and political campaigns, naturally African American men and women should gravitate towards them. Although it may be rather difficult to win over the votes of African American males, considering the lack of attention, and care to the issues within the black community, these candidates show promise.

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