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— By Tamika Mallory

If we’re being honest, most of us don’t feel particularly inspired by either the Democrats or the Republicans. But, until we have a “Justice Party” that really stands up for our values, and until we demonstrate real unity — by doing things like boycotting the restaurant where our sister Chikesia Clemons was assaulted — we have to make choices within our circumstances. Let’s be clear, we are living under the laws of the people who were voted into office, whether we like it or not.

While there’s nothing funny about Kanye West’s clout-chasing antics, one thing he is clear about is that the president of the United States has power. You can bet that is what he’s looking for. I’ll share my conspiracy theories in a later piece. But for now, we have to deal with the fact that Trump has taken over all three branches of government.

Unless you live under a rock, it was difficult to miss the controversy surrounding Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court. Conservatives are excited that Kavanaugh is essentially a ticking time bomb for women’s reproductive rights. However, it is black and brown women who are now at the greatest risk.

The Supreme Court has been our legal recourse to win equal rights for people of color, as well as equal rights for women, under the law. For black folks, whether it was desegregating schools in 1954 with Brown vs. the Board of Education all the way to protecting college affirmative action programs in 2016, the Supreme Court has been a place where we can hold the nation accountable for equal protection under the law.

Don’t get me wrong, this court is nothing more than the nine justices it empowers. It has also handed down decisions that denied Dred Scott his humanity in 1857 and ruled in favor of southern states with poll taxes during Jim Crow. It isn’t a stretch to see how close we are to sliding backwards in time.

To make matters worse, Trump and his Republican buddies have also appointed 84 new federal and circuit court judges, a historically high number. Working together with the Koch brothers and conservative think tanks to create legal challenges for our communities, nothing stands in Trump’s way to roll back the clock to a time when white supremacy was protected by law and women were the property of men.

Nothing stands in their way, but us. That’s why we have to vote like our lives depend upon it because right now they truly do.

During Obama’s presidency, the criticism of many from disadvantaged communities was that he didn’t do enough. I dedicated much of my activism to pressuring the administration to take action on the issues of police brutality, criminal justice reform and gun control. But, the Republicans understood that to block President Obama’s priorities, they had to take control of Congress. And so they did.

After that, the president’s attempts to make important shifts were met with stubborn rejection. His move to automatically commute old charges from the “War on Drugs” was blocked, so he did the extra legwork to extend individual president pardons to nearly nearly 2,000 people. Obama appointed the first black Attorney General, Eric Holder, followed by the first black woman Attorney General, Loretta Lynch, and convened a task force on policing that gave us the consent decree, allowing the Department of Justice to investigate police misconduct. But, with a Republican-controlled Congress, legislation was stuck.

The game is being played around us. Voter suppression should have been our alarm bell because the denial of our vote is precisely how white supremacy was enforced as law to begin with. If your vote was not powerful, they would not be so hellbent on taking it away.

As vital as our vote is, we also need to donate what we can to the candidates who will fight for us. You’d be surprised how far a $10 donation goes for a person from the hood who’s running for office to change their local community. Elections cost money, and we don’t have to raise the highest figures to win, but our candidates do need the resources to compete. If passionate and committed people can’t afford to run on our issues, we won’t make it very far.

For the next few weeks, I’ll be writing to you about several important states and races that we need to focus on winning in November. You can ask me any question you want by going on REVOLT TV’s IG story and submitting a question.

There is no question, this midterm election will be the most important of our lives. So, stay tuned.