So picture it, it’s the 1950s in America. It’s a time where smartphones don’t exist, the term social media hasn’t yet been coined, and hoeing is not a glorified expedition sport. (To be clear, I’m not reading or shaming those that embrace their sexuality a little more frequently and publicly than most.) If I’m to believe the wonderful stories shared by my grandparents, which I most certainly do, the 1950s was a drastically different time then than it is now. Especially, when it comes to dating and relationships.
While I might find this man to be morally reprehensible, culturally ignorant, politically unaware, and by all appearances completely narcissistic, today’s post is not actually a bash Trump session. In fact, I can’t believe I’m about to write this, but I think Trump should be thanked. I know I sound foolish, or perhaps heavily medicated. However, I do in fact credit Trump with a few “good things.” His political career has served as an eye-opener on three fronts.
Hello folks! As tensions continue to build between Trump and pretty much the rest of the country outside the confines of Capitol Hill, there has been a sentiment among some notable figures in America that people should get in line and support 45 in his presidency. That the American people should overlook his unapologetic insults toward nearly every demographic in the U.S. And in case you’ve forgotten, allow me to remind you.
Welcome to part two of my “Advice for the New Year.” Now if you’re saying ouch after reading the title, let me say sorry but not sorry. This type of activism is simply not working. And if I’m calling anyone out about it, I’m calling myself out too. I want to do more in 2017, and I suggest you all join me.
I wanted to write this letter post-election not to necessarily express my discontent, but to express my hope. Don’t get me wrong, I’m truly disappointed by the results of yesterday’s election. It has been no secret that I was pulling for the former secretary of state. Although my enthusiasm for her dipped substantially over the course of the election, I always knew in my heart of hearts that she was the better candidate between her and Trump. Heck, I thought, and continue to think, that Trump embodies the dangers of white privilege and money, and is a champion of xenophobia, racism, and sexism. But regardless of my feelings of the now president-elect, he will be taking the oval office in just a few months.
As I’ve said, I’m not really writing this to express my discontent, so let’s get to why I’m hopeful. If you recall, at the start of the century, George W. Bush was elected to the highest office in the land. You can argue until you’re blue in the face about the legitimacy of that election process, but it won’t change history. People thought his election was the worst thing that’s happened to this country. That was until he was reelected in 2004. Eight years of bad foreign policy, economic plans, and overall decision making, left this country in a pretty low place. However, it also left this country and it’s voters in a position to receive change. Big change.
Folks we’ve got less than two weeks until Election Day, and I’ve got one word for you. VOTE! I know PSAs and the media describe every election as extremely important, but this one truly is. There is a lot at stake with this election cycle, and if you don’t exercise your right and duty as an American citizen, you’ll be doing this country, and more importantly yourself, a real disservice. Don’t believe me, well let’s look at some of the things at stake here.
- Post Obama Race Relations
It should be no secret to anyone that since the election of President Obama, race relations in this country have taken some unfortunate steps back. The fact people must chant “Black lives matter” in 2016 is just sad. I for one don’t want to let my vote go uncast knowing politicians hold a lot of power in making sure this country is truly dedicated to seeing that there is real “justice and liberty for all.” Marching in the streets and posting named hashtags is symbolic and sentimental; but, if you want to make a real difference, you’ll show up to the polls.
- Potential for War Deployment of Troops
With the looming threat of Russia, the ongoing conflict in Iraq and Syria, and the infamous ISIS still present, matters of national security will be increasingly more important during the next presidential term. You’ll want to vote for someone you believe can keep the country safe and out of wars. Someone that is of sound mind and temperament to engage with other international powers. I for one don’t want someone that will be like a “bull in a china shop.” (Old country saying for you. LOL)
- Higher Education Costs
If you are reading this and you’ve never heard of Sallie Mae or Navient, consider yourself blessed. There are those like myself that are very familiar with the two. College is expensive and is not getting cheaper. There are many in this country that hail education as being the great equalizer, and the major key needed to get ahead and reach the American dream. However, for millions of millennials it’s becoming harder to reach that dream because they are drowning in student loan debt trying to pay for a degree (or two) they were told they had to have in order to even pursue the dream in the first place. Where is the fairness in that? It’s important you go out and vote to stop the increasing price of degrees, and to help alleviate some of the financial burden on countless college graduates.
- The Supreme Court
The right for members of the LGBT community to get married just became nationally legal and recognized a little over a year ago. I want you think about that when you say you won’t vote, because that is what’s at stake. The highest bench in the land has an opening, and possibly a few more openings in the next four years to come. Do you want to risk having the wrong person elected as president, or people elected to the senate, that could possibly shape a court that overturns the rights of millions of gay couples?
Besides gay marriage, the future makeup of the Supreme Court will also be deciding on some cases involving voting rights, women’s rights, and affirmative action. These are things that impact your everyday life. And if not directly, these issues impact someone you know. Trust me.
- Empowerment of the Average Man
I may not agree with most of the things Trump says, but he and Bernie were right about the corruption in DC. Too many companies and special interest groups have their hands in politics. These groups use money to persuade politicians into making horrendous policy decisions that often disenfranchise the average man. Take for example the criminal justice system and the private prison industry. When politicians voted to impose mandatory sentencing, they often did so knowing they would be directly benefiting the private prison industry, but disguised their decision as voting to protect public safety. (Check out 13th on Netflix.)
Heck, you can look at the gun lobbying groups such as the NRA. The NRA has pretty much immobilized many politicians from voting on simple common sense gun reform policies. Politicians claim they don’t want to pass anything that limits the Second Amendment, but you would think they would pass something that makes it more difficult for the wrong people to get weapons. But again, many politicians are more loyal to the money getting them elected than the average people they swore to serve. And you can apply a similar argument to failed banking reform and failed checks on Wall Street. (It’s understandable why so many people felt the Bern.)
So in short, VOTE! If you can vote early, go. If you are sending an absentee ballot, send it. And if you are voting on Election Day, get to the polls before they close. We’ve got to take this seriously people. Remember, if you don’t vote, then don’t complain.
With the reboot of the classic Roots hitting airways this week, I’ve seen a number of posts on social media platforms and blogs bashing the miniseries and blacks recent depiction in film. While I’ve admittedly not been the biggest supporter of this remake (I just feel certain projects should not be rebooted), I’m not against the miniseries for the same reasons most naysayers are. But I most certainly understand the naysayers’ frustrations.