Representation is what makes America’s system of government work. It’s how we kicked off the American Revolution. No taxation without it, remember? But representation is necessary for far more than just taxing us. Representation is how we decide what laws are necessary, what actions need to be taken in our communities, and when we don’t feel represented, what options there are to remove our representatives. It is an active process.
Look at the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage. It took away representation. By democratic process, the rights of the LGBT community to marry were set to be established. Instead, a group of five people in black robes made the decision for the entire country, using a means that violates the very nature of the Constitution. The Supreme Court does not write law. It reviews it. They did not review a law, but rather set by judicial fiat a new law for us all to comply with.
The gay community is not a large one, when looked at among all the demographics of the United States. However, they fought for and won major political battles. They found representatives that would represent their cause fully, and they got what they have long wanted. Whether you agree with the outcome or not, they played the game well.
The black community, however, struggles with elections and getting representatives who reflect their causes. Whether or not I agree with some of the causes is irrelevant. This is a matter of making the representative form of government work for you and your community. Blacks are not represented at the same percentage within government as they make up the American population, and then they are upset (rightly so at times) that they don’t have proper representation. Political party doesn’t matter, either. South Carolina is represented by their first black U.S. Senator, a Republican by the name of Tim Scott.
To my friends in the black community of Natchitoches Parish, ask yourselves: Are your representatives in local government representing your interests? Are they making your community better? Are they doing right by you and your families? Your children and their schools? If not, what are you going to do to fix this? It starts with voter turnout, which (Barack Obama’s elections notwithstanding) is low in the black community time after time. It takes voter registration, voter education, and Get Out The Vote efforts. I know there are several groups in the area who try. But going to meetings isn’t enough. At the end of the day, are you going out to vote?
Joe Cunningham is a conservative commentator, Front Page Editor at RedState.com, and a teacher in south Louisiana. You can find him on Twitter at @joec_esquire.