This contradiction is also true as it relates to Kwame's legacy around fighting for the vote. People today who are heavily influenced by bourgeois ideology are determined to make voting within the capitalist system a principle. They are convinced that if you refuse to do it, you are violating your oath to humanity to protect it. In taking this a-historical approach they are playing right into the hands of imperialism because this analysis accepts the notion that the only legitimate form of struggle is that which is done within the context of the capitalist system. This way, there can never be a legitimate form of struggle that seeks to overthrow this system and anyone who suggests so, is criminally insane. This logic ignores the basic fact that historically, most eligible people have never voted and this past election is no different. Almost 46% of eligible people didn't vote at all. 26% voted for Clinton. 25% voted for Trump, and the rest voted for Skippy and Donald Duck, etc. These people who are blaming people who didn't vote are completely missing the point. Those people are not expressing that the wrong candidate won. They are expressing that the system itself is invalid. The people who refused to participate are not all apathetic. They are telling you that they refuse to endorse a system that doesn't represent them. They are telling you that a vote for Clinton is a vote for heart disease. They are telling you that a vote for Trump is a vote for cancer. They are telling you that a vote for Stein, Johnson, and Mickey Mouse is a vote for diarrhea. They are saying the entire system of capitalism is rotten and that they reject your pressuring them that they have to choose between heart disease, cancer, and diarrhea. They don't want any of those things and people are telling them they are insane for feeling that way. This logic only benefits the capitalist system, not the people making the decision, because it continues to validate this system when it has demonstrated long ago that it has no credibility.
Meanwhile, someone who sacrificed so much so that Africans, Indigenous (Latinos), Asians, and women could vote, is ignored. He is not even known to those who benefit from his sacrifice. If Kwame, Ms. Fannie Lou Hamer, and others had not bravely and successfully organized the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party to boldly disrupt the Democratic Party's lock step, ironclad, positioning of European men only within the Party, there would never have been anything other than White men in the electoral process. So, all of these people owe people like Kwame Ture at least to know who he was and what he had to say about voting after he risked his life to get it so you can sit up today and perpetrate as the moral expert on voting rights. What Kwame said about the vote in the 90s is that it is not the principle some of you who are attempting to shame people who didn't vote into believing. What he said is that he and the others who fought for the vote never saw it the way you are trying to falsely present it today. What he said is the vote was always simply a tactic. He explained that when he helped launch the Lowndes County Freedom Organization in Lowndes County, Alabama, in 1965, the first Black Panther Party for Self Defense, they clearly saw the vote as a tactic. And if you know Kwame from Youtube, you should view it closely enough to follow how he clearly explains the difference between principles, which you never compromise on, and tactics, which you change depending upon their effectiveness. The vote is a tactic and since no one even bothers to assess what work the people not voting are doing, which is often much more substantive and consequential than a capitalist vote once every couple of years, then don't you think its time to listen closely to, and think ever so carefully about, what people like Kwame were trying to tell us? If we could discipline ourselves enough to quiet down our egos so that we could listen, could we possibly develop an understanding of what's actually going on in this society? Could it be that maybe SNCC was on to something with their organizing models? Since we all reading this have benefited from their work, isn't that at least worth a look or two?
This is all food for thought. You see, we are all going to die. The only question is what you are doing now so that you can build the type of legacy for yourself that Kwame Ture has. So that people are talking about you 18 years after you are gone. You can't do that with money. Nobody cares. As soon as you die they spend all the money and you are quickly forgotten because no one wants to give anyone else any credit for their material gains. You can only do it with integrity and principles. With consistency and selflessness. Kwame Ture had all of those things. He also had courage and heart. That's why I'm writing about him 18 years later. Because maybe if we start looking at people like him, instead of the blowhards that seem to be attracting all of our attention these days, we can develop models that can give us insight into how to stop all this madness. Since we have no control over when we are born and how you are born has nothing to do with how your life will go. That's why it makes sense to me to think of someone when they die because how you die defines what your life was about. No matter how scary things are today, there are always people who faced conditions much scarier. No matter how much anxiety we have today, there's always been more. No matter how much we get overwhelmed, there are always others who figured out how to manage that and keep moving. Kwame was one of those people. That's why we remember him, study him, and try to learn from his message. Its there for a reason. For you, during times like this.