By Mecca Fowler
Black America needs to have an internal conversation that is long overdue. This has been made abundantly clear this last election cycle. Allow me to explain.
Never in my life have I been made to feel like I was ‘less than’ by my family. Growing up, I had always been known as the ‘smart one.’ I was always relied upon to be a ‘sane’ or ‘rationale’ person when having discussions about anything. I was the kid in the family that read during the summer even when it wasn’t required and had a genuine thirst for knowledge. My family and friends knew my nerdy side was just me being me.
Yet, by summer 2020, all of that had changed. Suddenly, I was left at a point where I thought that I was irredeemable.
Despite the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, I attended family gatherings and tried to get a semblance of balance in my life. However, I soon found that having honest conversations with people about the upcoming election made it seem like they were living in a completely different reality than my own. As I would talk to different people about who I saw as a better candidate, I was met with angst and even hostility.
Opinions on the election became a big elephant in the room for some of my close interpersonal relationships and it bothered me. How did Joe Biden and Donald Trump drive a wedge between people I had known all my life?
I began to wonder why their influence had such a stronghold on either side. Or why I couldn’t meet in the middle with some folks to just not even vote at all and keep the peace?
That is when it dawned on me that my people were under a very heavy spell cast by the Democratic party. I would later take a deep dive into the equal spell that was on the right-leaning side of Black people as well, but the Democratic Party was the party I was most familiar with at the time.
+Eventually, I realized that most Black/African Americans had been primarily voting blindly for the Democratic Party for at least the last sixty years. I started to read into different thought leaders that were advocates for Black people and entered a new stream of consciousness that I was unaware of before. I went through several stages of awareness before I concluded that we can no longer allow either party to exploit or pander to us. We are better and we deserve better.
That is why I wrote this op-ed to Black America, to carve out my role in the fight for justice on a societal and economic level. I have since put myself in positions where I can help better our people, including aligning with organizations that truly show up for our people. Black America desperately needs to have an ultimate meeting of the minds, across political spectrums, so that we can truly address the best way to advance our people in this country.
We have tried organizations such as Black Lives Matter, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Black Panther Party, and many more. It’s not a secret that each time we have ended up in the same ever-lasting struggle. It has become apparent that to get what we have never gotten; we must do what we have never done. We need to unite across all fronts, despite our liberal or conservative values.
As I view how our widespread reach is used as allyship and how we show up for other races, I want to acknowledge that we need to take better care of each other first. Black people are the first to show up for other races, as evidenced by the media’s calls for us to lead the anti-Asian hate, but we have not even mastered being there for other people Black people regardless of their political affiliation.
Some days, it seems like when we do reach a consensus, a new gender war erupts that no one can even figure out where it came from. This is an open letter for anyone who has felt the same way and is ready to finally unite with every Black person regardless of the political spectrum. The time is now.
We have exhausted all our political options. We have asked for representation, and we have put people that look like us in high places, only to be disappointed later by their actions. It is time for something new. This is not so much an open invitation as it is a warning that it is only a matter of time that if we don’t reconcile with each other, the nature of this world will force us to. Let us be proactive in love.