Voting While Black: Why It’s Time To Hold Leaders Accountable

Election Day is upon us, and while every presidential race is important, the stakes are sky-high for this one — and Black women, per usual, are linking up and mobilizing.
In the latest episode of Go Off, Sis, the podcast from Refinery29’s Unbothered, the hosts talk voting and activism with Yandy Smith-Harris, the founder of YELLE. Skin Care, entertainment manager, and star of reality TV show Love & Hip Hop: New York. While Smith-Harris has been moving the culture for more than a decade, the Howard alumna has also been using her platform to voice truths and protesting in the name Breonna Taylor, criminal justice, and voting rights. But, like most people in the spotlight, Smith-Harris has also been the target of haters attempting to discredit her efforts because of her reality TV fame.
To those social media trolls, she says: “It’s time for people to stop being lazy and making ignorant comments. If anything, praise people like me for being at the table because just maybe there’ll be a difference. Just maybe democracy will look different.”
The truth is democracy will look different if Kamala Harris becomes the first female VP of color. But the engaged, reliable Black women voters need reassurance that all these skin folk are their kinfolk. “It’s about accountability and holding folks accountable for the things they are saying right now — that they will do in the future,” says Danielle Cadet, Go Off, Sis host.
Smith-Harris agrees with Cadet. She says if Harris is elected, it’s time for some “closed door conversations” with powerful Black women leaders. “When she is [elected] vice president, I hope our leaders in our community, our leaders in activism, have a moment," Smith-Harris continues. "I hope [activist] Tamika Mallory has a moment with Senator Harris to talk about the needs of Black people."
For more talk about how voting, especially at the legislative level, can start to dismantle the oppressive laws and give out-of-touch leaders the boot, listen to the full episode, below.

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