Erika Totten, 33, co-creator of the District Black Lives Matter group, and Courtland Cox, 75, head of the SNCC Legacy Project, joined Post staff writer Krissah Thompson for a Facebook Live discussion. In the 1960s, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee went South to register African Americans to vote. It was dangerous work. Black Lives Matter has sparked a national debate on policing. This is an edited excerpt on voting.
Krissah Thompson: Some in the Black Lives Matter movement are saying that they may not vote [in 2016] to show their dissatisfaction with their choices. How does that sit with Mr. Cox?
Courtland Cox: You know, I think how we accumulate power is probably the most important currency that we can get. I want to quote Dr. King, who said that all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing. And, you know, what we face at the end of the day is people using power against us, economic, police and political power. ... So I think that you have to ask yourself, I’m not going to be involved, and then what? What does that get you?
Erika Totten: Our two-party system is corrupt and is not something that serves us anymore. And thinking about voting the lesser of two evils, there are many people that feel I’m just not going to vote for evil at all. But what I am going to do is how to impact and change my community on the ground level. ... So I am not about shaming black people that choose not to vote. ... When we do vote and ... hope for someone to make changes for us, not much happens.
Thompson: And what do you all think about the new museum opening on the Mall?
Totten: To be able to walk into a space that is expansive and intentional, thoughtful that really talks about our history of being black in this country, it’s really important. ... It’s really powerful.
Cox: I am really surprised that it’s right next to the Washington Monument. ... I not only want my conscious self to have it, but my unconscious self. I want it to be part of my being.
For the full video: http://bit.ly/2cm3lGl
The full conversation is at:
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