Colored People Time, also known as CP time, is often used jokingly when Black folks are late to an event. Most of the time, when CP time is in full effect, the stakes are low, and the only thing at risk if you are late or don’t show up is running out of mac and cheese. However, as it relates to politics, CP time can get us in a whole lot of trouble. Let’s look at some facts.
According to the Pew Research Center, in 2016, Black voter turnout rate declined for the first time in 20 years in a presidential election, falling to 59.6 percent after reaching a record-high 66.6 percent in 2012.
If you think this number is scary, grab your pearls! People of color, in general, stayed home in 2016. Again, Pew reports that only about 27 percent of Black, Hispanic, Asian and other racial or ethnic minorities voted in 2016, a number that is unchanged from 2012!
What do these two numbers mean? Basically, people of color are observing voter CP time and missing out on voting. We cannot afford to be late to or miss the voting party!
In his groundbreaking book, Brown Is the New White, author Steve Phillips points out that, “Progressives cannot win going forward without large and enthusiastic support from people of color.” The bottom line? If people of color want to see any kind of real change in education, health care, housing, and economic policymaking we need to get our hind parts to the polls.
You may be thinking, why is WE CAN harping on voting now? We have over a year before the next election. Well, here are some more numbers for your consideration.
During the 2018 mid-term election, more people of color turned out to vote than was expected. Reports of long lines in polling places located in communities of color were confirmed by images in the media. But while some people of color turned out to vote, some did not. For example, since 1996, the number of Hispanic eligible voters who didn’t vote is more than the number who did vote.
But guess who did show up at the polls in 2016? Trump supporters. What’s even scarier is that some are counting on a surge of non-college-educated whites, the base of support needed to give those who would continue their reign of terror on democracy more time in office.
The ONLY way to drown out the vote of those who support policies that will harm people of color, the poor, immigrants, women, homeless, Veteran’s, and other at-risk groups, is to show up at the polls and vote for candidates whose values and policies reflect your own.
Simply put, we cannot afford for CP time to be in full effect going into 2020. We cannot wait until the last daggone minute to register to vote, find out where your polling place is located, learn about the issues on the ballot, pay attention to what the candidates are saying, or do a ‘power check’ on our family and friends.
Power Check: Make sure that everyone in your circle is registered to vote and turns out at the polls, demonstrating their political power!
Take action TODAY and make sure that you and your family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers are registered to vote.
Don’t let CP time interfere with your exercising your power in 2020!
Stephanie McGencey, Founder and President