June 14, 2021

Mondale Robinson and the Importance of Black Male Voters

ur guest this week is Mondale Robinson, my friend and a hero of electoral activism. Mondale is the founder and Principal of The Black Male Voter Project, an organization dedicated to overcoming systemic disenfranchisement of Black voters, and Black men in particular, in the electoral process.


Since the inception of the United States, Black men have been the recipients of inequitable treatment as it pertains to the ability to vote. And since the enactment of the 15th Amendment in 1870, the powers in this country have been exacting strategies to prevent the full enfranchisement of Black men.

These practices continue today in many forms, like voter ID laws, felony disenfranchisement, and misinformation campaigns just to name a few. Our goal at Black Male Voter Project is to increase the number of Black men who participate in electoral politics. The United States of America has failed Black men in nearly every aspect of social life and access to the ballot is no exception.

Our work is wherever Black men are, and the urgency is now. Currently in this country, nearly half of the Black men who are registered to vote have not voted in the last five consecutive elections. This fact should not be misconstrued as a critique of Black men, because we know that voting is a habit that is only formed when resources are spent on it.

For this reason, Black Male Voter Project exists. We have thrown out the traditional way of campaigning, because of its transactional nature and lack of ability to reach “brothas” where they are. In doing so, we have created a new campaign model that prioritizes an expansive approach to reaching Black men. This campaign model we named BMEP Additory Approach© is designed to eliminate the inherent skepticism, lack of voter mobilization, and increase the desire within Black men to participate in electoral politics greater than the causal relationship that currently exists.

BMEP stands for “Black Male Engagement Program” and Additory means “tending to add; making an addition”, thus the name explains our approach to engage and add Black males to the active voting demographic.

BMEP Additory Approach also requires more resources and acts as an alternative to the electoral narrative which employs Progressives, Party officials, candidates, and auxiliaries to prioritize the white swing-voter over Black men. This behavior is at the core of the neglect currently eroding trust between Black men and electoral politics.

At the national and state level, the focus has never been on mobilizing Black men as the base voter. That coupled with massive voter registration projects it is clear why Black men aren’t participating in elections at higher rates. While voter registration projects are undoubtedly important, without meaningful investment in mobilizing Black men these projects fall short. We don’t have a voter registration problem with Black men, we have a voter engagement and turnout problem.

The history of the United States is a story about the disenfranchisement of millions based on their blackness. More than a hundred years of violent voter suppression, poll taxes, literacy tests, and gerrymandering have created a climate that is nothing shy of hostile towards Black men that choose to stand up and be a part of the electoral process, even if that is just being a casual voter. So if the opposition knows how to suppress the participation of Black men, then our only response must be to support a campaign that reverses these ideas. The issue of low Black male voter participation can be addressed by dedicating oneself to reversing these neo-colonial ideas. So we have.


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Sources for audio clips

Black Male Voter Project encouraging Black men to vote [ WCNC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfE8FebCdnA
Some Black male voters say they feel disenfranchised by both political parties https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQYQkxNM3S8
The history and power of the Black vote in America - KARE 11 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdsteN98ilI
Black Male Voter Project encouraging Black men to vote [ WCNC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfE8FebCdnA&t=38s
Disappearing Middle Class
The death of America’s middle class: Sky-high rent, second jobs, & 1% TV | Alissa Quart | Big Think https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mQQG7y5zj10
Sinema Minimum Wage Hike
Kyrsten Sinema's Minimum Wage Vote Coming Back To Haunt Her - The Young Turks https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wIGAxTK12Nw
White supremicist history of police
Evolution of Law Enforcement - Origin of Everything https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flx67DzLgUU
Black Men Not Represented
Some Black male voters say they feel disenfranchised by both political parties https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TQYQkxNM3S8
Doug Jones
Black Voters Send A Message With Doug Jones Win | AM Joy | MSNBC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FpfTOiKszI
Stacey Abrams
Stacey Abrams draws praise, but credits minority voting rights groups for their efforts - 11Alive https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ym9wj1ur-Q8
How Voter Suppression Impacts Black Voters | Global Citizen Explains https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4EGGn0bwdc&t=9s

Show Credits

Host: Alyssa Milano
Executive Producer: Alyssa Milano
Associate Producer: Ben Jackson
Editing and Sound Production: Natasha Jacobs
Music by: Josh Cooke & Eleisha Eagle