Our One Black Job: Cape Up And Save America From Itself — Again

AI image created by J. B. Nix

In 1964, Malcolm X stood before two packed congregations and delivered what would be remembered as one of the best speeches of the 20th Century. 

“1964 threatens to be the most explosive year America has ever witnessed. The most explosive year,” he began. “Why? It’s also a political year. It’s the year when all of the white politicians will be back in the so-called Negro community, jiving you and me for some votes. The year when all of the white political crooks will be right back in your and my community with their false promises, building up our hopes for a letdown, with their trickery and their treachery, with their false promises which they don’t intend to keep.”

He blasted both parties for doing little to improve the lives of Black people in the U.S., pointing to how Democrats had courted the Black vote—and Black folks were actually the ones who got Lyndon Baines Johnson elected—and then he failed to pass any major legislation to benefit Black Americans, whom he pointed out were still not fully in receipt of the rights and benefits of American citizenship. Sound familiar?

When white people are evenly divided, and [B]lack people have a bloc of votes of their own, it is left up to them to determine who’s going to sit in the White House

But he urged the audiences to vote, saying, “The ballot is more important than the dollar,” and it is still the ticket to freedom and political power.

“When white people are evenly divided, and [B]lack people have a bloc of votes of their own, it is left up to them to determine who’s going to sit in the White House and who’s going to be in the dog house,” he said. 

(Or, as I put it on the day of the January 6, 2021 insurrection, America continues to look to Black people to save this country from itself.)

And here we are again:

  • with all of our freedoms and liberties at stake.
  • with Roe v. Wade overturned and presidential immunity as a new precedent.
  • with a corrupt and biased U.S. Supreme Court and at least two court seats up for the next president to appoint.
  • with Project 2025 and Republican leaders openly promising a looming second American Revolution will remain bloodless only if liberals don’t oppose their plans.
AI image created by J. B. Nix

Sixty years after Malcolm’s famed speech, Black Americans again find ourselves in a situation where “the ballot or the bullet” are the most imminent choices. With two undesirable candidates in the presidential election, an old (possibly demented) establishment Democrat and a disgraced felon and insurrectionist on the Republican side, it is being called “the most dreaded election in U.S. history.” And despite overwhelming dissatisfaction with both candidates, it has never been more imperative that we get out and vote and do whatever it takes not to allow Donald Trump to resume power.


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