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Naturalised Americans be woke and vote


Citizens of the United States of America who come from Africa, the Caribbean, or South America have a responsibility to be conscious of social injustice and racial inequality issues. The term ‘woke” is a wake-up call to many naturalized citizens to use their newfound status to secure their civil rights.  The implications of which are far-reaching.

The political default stance of many persons who migrated to the United States of America from the above-mentioned regions is to keep their heads down, don’t rock the boat, make do with whatever opportunity may come their way, and thank God for America. However, this stance may no longer be a practical option for the well-being of these new citizens. America is changing, and with it could very well be the benefits you have become accustomed to having living in America.

To get involved in American politics is part of your citizens' rights, and opposing laws and legislation in your state is not unpatriotic. Voting is part of your citizens' rights. So, whether you call yourself Ethiopian-American, Nigerian American, or Caribbean-American as a naturalized citizen of the United States of America, you can defend your access to social justice and equality with your vote

Why should Africans, Caribbeans, Pacific Islanders, and South Americans who are US citizens need to sit up and take note? The American Right has begun to use the law and litigation to undermine the economic status of people of color.  There is a developing strategy by the politically conservative to seek to reverse the Civil Rights gains of the 1960s and 1970s. These policies were put in place to respond to the systemic barriers faced by historically marginalized groups.  Many of these civil rights gains and affirmative programs benefit not only African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians in America, but they also benefit those who have migrated to America and have become naturalized citizens and migrant communities.

These affirmative action programs secured preference for protected groups based on race and or ethnicity, especially in areas of employment and education. If these Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion policies are changed, they will negatively impact the employment of African Americans and many naturalized citizens born in Africa and the Caribbean.  

What should be of great importance to these naturalized citizens is the impact that these affirmative action policies can have on their employment opportunities and their ability to send remittances to family members who still live abroad. Remittances are financial or in-kind transfers made by migrants directly to families or communities in their countries of origin.

To put it bluntly, many African countries’ strategic interests are at risk if the politically right should have their way.  Here is a clear example as to how domestic American policy can have an impact on foreign nations. The United States of America is the top remittance-sending country in the world, with a total outflow of USD 79.15 billion in 2022.  Remittances are, therefore, a critical source of external finance for many African countries. 

One of the single greatest threat to the short-term development of African and Caribbean nations is the onslaught taking place in law and litigation against the established policies of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion in America.  These changes would have a negative impact upon Jamaica and Haiti whose countries are heavily dependent on remittances.  Some estimates place remittances to these countries as high as 25% of their gross national product (GDP).

A decline in remittances in several Sub-Saharan African nations where presently almost 40 percent of the population live in extreme poverty, and 200 million persons would literally mean no food on the table and the children unable to go to school.  Over the last decade, remittance flows to Africa doubled, reaching $100 billion in 2022, more than funds given in Aid and or foreign investment loans.  

Therefore, it is important for all naturalized US citizens to be woke. They need to register to vote, know how to use their vote and place their vote in the ballot box. Black Voters Matter and Project 100 are two of several initiatives available to assist Black voters with voter awareness and voter registration information.  Every election is important, be they local, state, midterm, primary, runoff, federal and general.  Every vote counts and every vote is critical in an election as they influence present and future policies of the nation.

Black Voters Matter, Naturalization, Project 100, Remittances, Woke


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