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5 Reasons Black Men NEED to Vote in 2022

The 2020 election was a close one. With a record-breaking number of ballots cast and several key states coming down to the thousands, it’s safe to say that every vote mattered. People of all different races, religions, and backgrounds went out of their way to make sure that their voices were heard. That is, except for Black men.

According to NBC’s exit polls, Black men only accounted for 4% of the total national vote. Black women, on the other hand, accounted for 8%. Despite being close in population, we only contributed half as many votes as our female counterparts. The reason for our low turnout is still unclear, but one thing is for certain. This is a problem.

Black men don’t seem to value the right to vote as much as other groups, which is a very dangerous attitude to have. Especially considering that midterm elections are this year, and there’s a lot on the line concerning this country’s future. We need to step up and help our women represent the Black community at the polls, and here are five reasons why.

1. To Help Mold Local Policy

Historically, Black people have been victims of American law instead of beneficiaries. But thanks to those who fought for voting rights in the Civil Rights era, we now have the ability to influence local law and stand in the way of policies that might harm our communities. These proposed bills can range from minor issues like funding for a public park to more serious ones like the legalization of marijuana.

Regardless of the importance of the issue, it would be irresponsible of Black men not to get involved in deciding what goes down in our cities and neighborhoods. The law of the place you live in will be decided with or without your vote, and once the polls are closed and it’s all said and done, you will feel the effects of the outcome.

2. Selecting National Lawmakers

You always see congresspeople on TV arguing, standing up for their beliefs, making bold speeches, and getting absolutely nothing done. This can be insanely frustrating for the common American to watch and is one of the most common examples non-voters give for why voting is pointless. But believe it or not, even the actions of congress are relevant to African-Americans.

Though they move slowly, Washington politicians still make big decisions that affect the whole country. Issues like prison reform, tax laws, and reparations are all decided by these men and women. It’s important that when our states choose senators and representatives, we vote for those who would be sure to represent the Black community as well.

3. Choosing Local Officials

The importance of choosing local officials cannot be overstated. City and state politicians have the ability to affect your day-to-day life even more than those in Washington do. From the school board members who’ll decide if your child’s school will receive more funding, to the district judge who’ll decide the fate of those convicted of a crime in your city. These people are much more likely to help or harm you than those on the national scale, which is why it’s vital for the Black community to make sure we support candidates who would make decisions with the interest of Black people in mind.

4. Strengthening the Black Vote

Politicians primarily care about the opinions of only two kinds of people, voters, and donors. Meaning if Black people want lawmakers to care about Black issues, we have to become one or both of these. Obviously, most Black people aren’t in a position to give large amounts of money to their favorite candidate. However, as demonstrated during the last presidential election, there are numerous ways for Black people to vote, no matter your situation.

It’s important to remember that those in office will do whatever they can to keep their job, even change their stances on key issues (i.e., Obama’s stance on gay marriage over the years). If a Georgia state senator has to drop their tough-on-crime attitude and start championing prison reform to appeal to the Black voters in Atlanta, best believe they’ll do it. But without Black men stepping up to match the voting numbers of Black women, it’s questionable if we can achieve this level of relevancy.

5. To Encourage Other Black Men to Vote

There are thousands of articles like this one that urges and begs people to vote, but there’s nothing more persuasive than the actions of friends and family. Despite how much people (especially Americans) pride themselves on being individualist, sometimes a little peer pressure is all that’s needed to convince a person to take action.

So this year, talk to your friends about voting. Tell them how easy it is to register. If they can’t make it to the polls that Tuesday, let them know about the other simple ways they can cast their ballot.

Black men need to vote in 2022. If not for ourselves, then for the Black community as a whole.

Check out the full magazine below.


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