H O W A R D   U N I V E R S I T Y

Faces & Voices 5
An Anthology
of Verse and Prose

the Composition
for Honours Class,
Howard University,

E. R. B

Faces & Voices 4


Am I A Democrat?
By Tracy Hunter
     I remember the excitement of registering to vote like it was yesterday. By then, I had been interested politics for a while. I understood what it meant to vote and I appreciated my right to do so. When it came time to fill in what party I wanted to be associated with, I chose Democrat just as easily as I can spell my name.
     Why? My mother is a Democrat. My father is a Democrat. Thatís funny; just about every black person I know is a Democrat. I guess that meant I had to be one too!
     Well, that was then and this is now. You see, Iíve grown a little. Iíve experienced a little. When I was able to cast my vote for the very first time, there was no doubt that every Democrat on that ballot was getting my vote. The sad part is, they knew it too.
     Do Democrats really campaign for the black vote? Perhaps the better question is do they deserve it? When most Blacks look at the Democratic Party, they see a group that is likely to be more sympathetic toward us. They see a group that is willing to help us. They see a group that has the most to offer to black folk. My question is: ďAt what cost?Ē
Iím sure youíve heard the expression ďNothing in life is free.Ē Yes, Democrats are most likely to support things that appeal to the minority population: welfare, affirmative action, gay/lesbian rights, a womanís right to choose. Sounds good huh?
     Yeah, I thought so too! Let me share what Iíve come to realize. I donít deny the fact that as a historically misunderstood and under privileged group, sometimes we need help. Help is not a bad thing when youíve tried first to help yourself.
     Letís look at welfare for instance. I believe that this one of the most abused systems in this country. The people who really need it, often canít get it and those who have it usually donít need it. I understand that sometimes times get hard. Got fired, got pregnant, canít find a job. It happens. But, must times be hard for five, ten, fifteen years? I believe that welfare makes us lazy. The last thing we need, as a group that has a lot of catching up to do, is to be lazy. Donít you realize that as long as we count on the government to be our substance, they will maintain control over us? People, that sounds like slavery to me!
     Affirmative Action! What a touchy subject. I am truly a strong advocate for affirmative action. However, I also recognize that whether we like it or not, affirmative action will not always be here. Now, we can sit around and complain. We can go to marches, get all fired up, then go back home and do nothing. Or, we can prepare ourselves. We can come to realize that weíre going to have to work hard. Weíre going to have to truly begin to support each other. Think about all the Blacks who are basically running some of the top companies in this county while other folk getting the credit. Thereís potential for more of that to happen. There is potential for these people to start their own companies. If and when affirmative action does take a back seat to other values in this country, we have to make sure that weíre qualified to overcome that.
     Gay/Lesbian Rights. Now, I believe in loving all people and being tolerant of their differences, and thatís ok. Most Democrats in this country are willing to totally embrace this segment of our population. They should be able to marry, adopt, and just be recognized as everyone else right? Wrong! By completely embracing this group and claiming to ďLove Thy Neighbor,Ē youíre not really loving them at all. Youíre preparing to watch them miss their blessings. Let me direct your attention to 1 Corinthians 6: 9-10 ďDo you know that the wicked will nor inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters not adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanders nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.Ē Thank God for his grace and mercy in that that doesnít have to be the final say!
Finally, a womenís right to choose. Iíve heard over and over again ďI donít want ďThe White ManĒ telling me what to do with my bodyĒ or ďI donít want a nation telling me what to do with my body.Ē Presently, Democrats are very supportive of a womanís right to choose and that sounds good. As a woman, I feel somewhat compelled to agree with those arguments, but I canít. Abortions not only kill babies but in essence, the abort responsibility. A child is a blessing, not a mistake. Each child has a destiny and by killing that child youíre disrupting Godís will. God said ďI knew you before you were in your motherís womb.Ē
     So, what does all this mean? Am I saying that Blacks should no longer be Democrats? Am I saying that we should have this incredible transformation? Of course not, Iím simply saying that we need to think about what drives our decisions. We need to focus more on the person not the party. We need to think about what things are really for the best. What looks good isnít always good and whatís good doesnít always look and feel good. 
     The more I think about the political parties in this country, the more I donít want to be associated with either one. 
     We need to think about whatís really happening when we get upset at some type of political action that takes place. Is your anger really anger toward one party or another or is it anger towards God?
Are You A Democrat?

© 2001 Tracy Hunter

© 2001 Howard University.
(First Published in limited print edition, An Anthology of Verse and Prose, by the Composition for Honours Class, Howard University, Spring 2001. Professor E.R. Braithwaite)
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