Vote or Die versus FREEDOM or Death

In hoods all across America, there’s a war going on in tha streets, nowhere to run too. People are standing up and willing to die for their colors. Either you ride wit the boyz in red or the boyz in blue. Being neutral is not an option unless you want to get a beat down […]

In hoods all across

America, there’s a war going on in tha streets, nowhere to run too. People are

standing up and willing to die for their colors.

Either you ride

wit the boyz in red or the boyz in blue. Being neutral is not an option unless

you want to get a beat down courtesy of both groups.

Contrary to what

some may believe, we aren’t talking about the Bloods and the Crips fighting

to rule a small city block, we are talking about the gangsta Republicans and

Democrats fighting to rule the country.

The late, great

full time THUG and part time REVOLUTIONARY, Tupac Shakur once made a brilliant

analogy of how the Republicans and Democrats are rival gangs. While this may

be written off by some of the elders as nothing but that ole Hippity Hoppity

mumbo jumbo, this analogy makes perfectly good sense when analyzed within a

discussion of the color wars that have been waged within the Black community.

Especially when

it comes to politics.

The division over

colors has long plagued the Black community from the infamous Willie Lynch light

skinned slave, versus the dark skinned slave diabolical divide and conquer plot,

to the (red) Bloods vs. (blue) Crips street battles, to the current battles

over political colors. The color thang has always divided the Black community.

One color argument

that is rarely examined is the conflict between Black folks who represent the

Red, White and Blue and the Black Nationalists (affectionately known as the

AFRIKANS) who represent the RED, BLACK and GREEN.

This beef started

back in tha day between WEB Dubois and his crew and Marcus Garvey’s RB-G Unit.

One representing an integrationist point of view (i.e. working within the system)

and the other reppin Universal Afrikan Nationalism. Unfortunately, this beef

was never squashed.

The integrationists

went on to become part of the American Dream and thusly, gained all the benefits

of that dream including the role of gatekeepers of the Black media able to create

a pseudo black nationalism and smooth talkin pseudo Black Power activists that

have as their strongest hold card, voting for the lesser of two evils.

We’ve been

used and abused Brothas and Sistas! (Yes!) We have no jobs! (Right On!) We have

been reduced to second class citizens! (Chuuuch!) We are on the verge of being

destroyed as a people! (Go head and tell it!) So the solution, my Black Brothas

and Sistas is to register to VOTE!!!! (Huh??) The Black Nationalist views voting

as just another chapter in the By Any Means Necessary Handbook.

For members of

the Black Nationalist community it is not a matter of voting or not voting,

as probably 90% of Black nationalists are not political atheists but political

agnostics. The issue is the emphasis that is put on voting as a solution to

the problems facing Afrikan people.

It must be noted

that according to the tenets of Afrikan spirituality, we cannot separate our

spirituality from our politics. So the question ‘would Jesus (YESHUA)

vote?’ is more than rhetorical. Also, the Black Nationalist idea does

not mean that all Black folks have to necessarily get on a big boat and go back

to Africa. But Black Nationalism is a state of mind that says that above all,

Race First! And this philosophy has survived for decades, even though many have

worked to turn the possibility of Black Nationalism into an improbability

The question must

be asked, if thousands of Black folks under Marcus Garvey with little money

and resources could have a vision of Black Nationalism in the early 1900s, how

is it that thousands of Black folks in 2004 with fat pockets have lost that


What if Marcus

Garvey had been rollin with Russell Simmons type money? How much closer would

he have been to his dream? So, I guess it’s better to have a vision but

no means, than to have the means but no vision.

It is much too

easy in a critical political year (When is it not critical for Black folks?)

to write those off who question the value of voting as being stupid, apathetic

or just plain lazy and the Vote or Die folks try to put us in the same box as

those folks who think that the Electoral College was the school that won the

Sugar Bowl last year. It’s not that simple.

While there are

often debates among Black folks during an election year over different political

strategies, those who represent the RED, BLACK and GREEN are never invited to

take a part in these discussions. We are treated like that crazy cousin who

you lock in the basement when company comes over at Christmas.

This year, even

the Hip Hop gangtas have been invited to the discussion and it is not unusual

to turn on the radio and hear your favorite THUG yelling ‘Yo n####, you

betta vote or I will come to your crib and personally, beat your @ss!’

Maybe if there

was some dialogue between the two ideologies some common ground could be found.

Could it be that with all the ill stuff that has happened to Afrikan people,

globally, over the last four years, even the most militant Black Power activist

could be persuaded to disguise himself in a pair of old Humpty Hump glasses

with the fake nose and a fisherman’s hat and sneak into the polls early

Nov 2 and vote before tha Brothas see him and charge him with selling out?


could there be a compromise made by the Get Out to Vote folks that before they

bum rush the next Brotha coming out of the grocery store to register him to

vote, that they will take a solemn vow that what they do, they do in the name

of BLACKNESS and then break into a funkdafied version of ‘Say it Loud, I’m

Black and I’m Proud?’ The possibility is there.

We all must all

admit that these are crucial times for Black folks and if the Vote or Die folks

feel that voting will help give the masses of poor Black folks the basic needs

of food, clothing and shelter, more Power to them. But for the Black Nationalist,

no election can drown out the voices of our ancestor that can still be heard

saying FREEDOM or Death, Brothers and Sisters FREEDOM or Death!

Minister Paul Scott

represents the Messianic Afrikan Nation in Durham NC.

He can be reached at (919) 949-4352 email

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