The midterm election is upon us and, let me tell you, I’m nervous.
Over the past few days, my anxiety has kicked in, my mouth is a little slicker and I’m itching for a Trump supporter to (attempt to) address the likes of healthcare, immigration, gun control, education, etc etc. The fact of the matter is, America is struggling. Our country is grasping to maintain a certain level of influence on the world stage while also adapting to the racially-charged political climate that has overcome our nation since the inauguration of 45. We, as a people, are lost. We’re fishing for ounces of hope in the most desolate places and we are turning a blind eye to the slightest glimmer of progress. Yet, with the midterm election, citizens have a chance to turn the House on its head by allowing their voices to transcend through their votes.
As an African-American woman living in the reddest of states (Texas), I still carry the gift of knowing that there is always room for the impossible to manifest. #BetoForTexas
For centuries, we were taught that there would never be a Black president. We were scolded for striving towards better lives for our families, we were ridiculed for believing that we could, successfully, attain the right to vote, and we were punished for attempting to validate the constitutional rights that were so, conveniently, tucked away at our expense. But, like my grandmother always preached, “You’ve got to keep pressing on.” And, we did. Through the tumultuous Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s, countless individuals sacrificed their safety, their reputations, and more importantly, their lives to advance the chances of the generations that followed in their footsteps.
So, when I hear young Americans (between the ages of 18-30), proudly proclaiming that their vote “does not count”, I pull a J. Cole and I educate. I drop knowledge, I encourage them to reconsider their current perception and I attempt to present alternative ways to signify their own personal reason for voting. The current generation has a responsibility to be present within today’s society because there is too much at stake. America’s livelihood is on the chopping block! Between retirement looking like a thing of the past, taxes being skyrocketed and dealing with this ongoing flaky job market, millennials are at a crossroads. Our parents are getting older and our grandparents are steadily transitioning; thus, the civic duty has now fallen into our hands. My only request is that we get excited about something other than social media, invaluable celebrity beef, and reality television. Be present in the representation and progress of America, become passionate about making a change. Become a multifaceted citizen rather than one who simply sits back and complains about how the world is just one big fuck up. The entire “woe is me” argument is played out. The responsibility of allowing your voice to be heard is placed on you. There’s value in actually engaging and educating, but the reward for showing up and being active is even sweeter. Let’s do this!
Photo Credit: Huffington Post