Everyone needs to vote!

James Clingman | 8/19/2014, 8 a.m.
This is a call for all eligible black folks to register and vote in every election from now until eternity, ...

— Cornell Brooks, the new president of the NAACP says his plan is to focus on criminal justice issues, fight the rollback of the Voting Rights Act and diversify the NAACP’s membership. In his answer to Roland Martin’s question, “What is your top priority?” Brooks said, “Well, the top priority would be to listen and engage a membership which reaches hundreds of thousands of members, but certainly in audience and the coalition of inclusion that stretches across the country.” Say what!

(Note: On July 30, 2014, the NAACP announced a partnership with Dunkin’ Donuts to increase black franchises. Kudos to Brother Dedrick Muhammad for that initiative.)

On her radio show, Bev Smith discussed this issue with George E. Curry. They asked why there is less emphasis on economic empowerment than on political empowerment among our major organizations. They called for an Economics Report Card and for the best and brightest among us to devise and execute an economic plan for black people. Bev Smith lamented, “Where are the voices like those of the past?” Both agreed that we have the “professional expertise to help ourselves” in the economic arena. I concur, but we must first get this voting albatross from around our necks.

In my best James Brown impression, “Please! Please! Please!” All black people register and vote so we, the “patients,” can finally spend our time getting well.

Jim Clingman, founder of the Greater Cincinnati African American Chamber of Commerce, is the nation’s most prolific writer on economic empowerment for black people. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati and can be reached through his website: www.blackonomics.com.