A black (male) protestor/resident of Ferguson, as quoted in Newsweek.
Here is where the “talking-head”/op-ed bent of our media and culture has failed us. While they all want to bemoan the “12% voter turnout at the last election,” no one has the sense to ask about the structural forces that contribute to that low figure. Instead they (and I’m including Al Sharpton in this category) yell at black voters to do their part, or, when they’re being nice about it, try to get protestors to register to vote. But listen to those protestors who cannot vote. They’re telling us they never stood a chance.
See also: It’s a privilege to throw out “Just go vote! Get your voice heard!” because everybody doesn’t get that.
"In my experience, people who have been incarcerated rarely have difficulty identifying the parallels between these systems of social control. Once they are released, they are often denied the right to vote, excluded from juries, and relegated to a racially segregated and subordinated existence. Through a web of laws, regulations, and informal rules, all of which are powerfully reinforced by social stigma, they are confined to the margins of mainstream society and denied access to the mainstream economy. They are legally denied the ability to obtain employment, housing, and public benefits—much as African Americans were once forced into a segregated, second-class citizenship in the Jim Crow era."
Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness