Voting: Our Collective Responsibilty

When I think about the state of education, gun violence, employment, pollution and injustice in this country, I am astounded when I hear the numbers of people who are not registered to vote- or are and just don’t go to the polls. (I suppose I am in a bubble because all of my peers vote.) I am always surprised when I see the level of GOTV activity when an election draws near. I always think its for those who have reached age 18 since the last election, not all of the hundreds of thousands in every state who don’t think voting is a priority.

Whenever I think about voting, my mind drifts to the countless, faceless people who literally died so that I could vote. They knew how important it was although they were legally treated as subhuman. In the 60s, black and white side by side journeyed south to register people to vote…blood was spilled, lives were lost. Moreover, as a female, I was doubly denied. The suffragettes raised holy hell! I also think about my uncle who was dying from cancer but worried his daughter repeatedly about sending in his ballot during the 2008 presidential election. He lived a few weeks more to see the historic result. I remember registering as soon as I turned 18 so that I could vote for that sax-playing candidate! I was soooo excited by my new-found right.

So how is it that so many thumb their nose at their civic responsibility? Many of the same folks comment on the lack of civil rights in other countries. They complain about the ills of this country…how can you even fix your mouth to say anything?!?

And this recent “verse” by Nicki Manaj on a mix tape about voting for Romney. She has said that it was sarcasm and humor- sure, sure. I mixed the punchline, especially since she is NOT registered to vote. What an idiot! Why put yourself out there, during a contentious election no less, and you have not a leg to stand on. Guess the Barbie bit is not an act. As a black, female, immigrant, I’m thinking you should get that fat ass registered.

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