I am a proud graduate of an HBCU whose college’s history indicates the institution being part of the Mississippi Freedom Trail. Whose college motto is “Where History Meets the Future.” With all this historical, Civil Rights empowerment I was taught through those years, there was a time not too long after graduating when I was in my mid-twenties, I made a statement, “I’m not voting! They all liars! And why vote when neither one is worthy of the role!” 🤷🏾♀️
I can’t tell you what election it was but I remember feeling all righteous in my statement and prideful in my decision. My high school classmate that witnessed me saying this, looked at me and said, “Teshia, it doesn’t matter that you don’t like these candidates. It’s your duty to vote one way or the other.” Now, intellectually and even inwardly, I knew that. But I was completely fed up with politics at the time and not have viable options of representation. I was full of myself yet at the same time, the disappointment in my classmate’s voice towards me, let me know before that statement how much my classmate respected me and after that statement how that respect lessened. I was grieved and shame yet kept it to myself. 🤦🏾♀️
I can tell you there have been plenty of times during those years and in my early thirties, I belittled an election, not going to the polls because I didn’t take the election serious based on what it was or what position it was. Or I would wait and vote in the “big election.” Keeping quiet, never complaining. But, I voted every presidential, mayoral, governor, city council election yet I discounted the smaller elections. But going through my thirties I had to finally said to myself, “YOU STUPID!!” 🥴
Every election counts. Every election involves you personally. If you don’t think so then you can’t say you’re part of a community. What may not affect you directly may affect your neighbor, children, schools and that in turn affects you. We’re living life on earth together and we can’t afford to be selfish in our thinking especially when we want to live peaceably together.
So, I could no longer say I was a proud graduate of Tougaloo College where Fannie Lou Hamer, Founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party and received her honorary doctoral degree from Tougaloo College; where Tougaloo’s chaplain, William Albert Bender unsuccessfully attempted to vote in 1946 with following a cross was burned on the campus, and not honor this legacy and path that had been laid out before me to keep walking on and making the voice of my rights be heard.
Why am I sharing this? Because I was ignorant during those young years that are considered “the millennial years” in today’s time. Frustrated at my selections and not taking into account the duty I had and the trail that was blazed for me with burning crosses and strange fruit hanging from trees along the way…for me. Millennials, this social media expression of political opinions means nothing but that you know how to use your words craftily and somehow you have an opinion and can share it and draw a crowd of followers. Well, tell ya crowd to follow you to the polls today, November 6, 2018. Don’t sit around and post about it. Vote about it. Don’t keep your opinions behind these electronic devices. Go to the voting device at the polls and make your opinion known there.
Choose even if you’re frustrated. Make a choice. If you hadn’t paid attention to the candidates, get online and do your research. One of these candidates will have more of what you stand for than the other. Choose. Even if you don’t feel like it, go to the polls today and make a choice. VOTE! We’re not ignorant of politics in today’s time because of the blatant disrespect of our HUMAN BEINGS is being displayed in the White House and it doesn’t matter what your color is.
Make it a priority in this mid-term election to go vote for these judges, senators, House of Representatives, governors, etc. because it affects you, your parents, your children, your bestie, your job, the livelihood of you and your neighbors. So today and every election following, vote your conscious not your pride.
GO VOTE 🗳!!!