PLEASE READ! SPECIAL GUEST BLOG: “WHY I ENDORSE VOTING…IN 2012”


Hey friends, I’ve been really busy with a number of photography-related projects,  and I apologize for not having the time to post regularly.  I encourage you to check out my Flickr or 500px photo streams if you are interested in keeping up with my work.  I’ve also been maintaining a few photography-related boards on Pinterest so feel free to connect with me there as well.  Please stay tuned because I will be sharing some great news with you later this month on this blog about what I’ve been working on and what to look forward to in December from me.  I promise you it will be worth the wait.  

At any rate, you all know that Election Day in the US is tomorrow, November 6th.

Since I was asked not too long ago to use my voice via social media to help get out the vote, I decided to turn over the reins of the blog to Cynthia Landrum –  a dear friend of mine, and a friend and advocate of the arts – who took the time out of her busy schedule as a library administrator to write a thought-provoking post on why it is vitally important for Americans to exercise their right to vote.  Cynthia’s bio can be found here if you are interested in learning more about her background.  So, without further delay, here it is!

WHY I ENDORSE VOTING IN 2012

Your right to vote may atrophy if you don’t exercise it

Certainly, if you have the right to vote, you should also have the right not to vote.  Imagine, though, what would it mean if you discovered that your right to vote had been taken away. Most of us believe that it could not happen (or at least not with us knowing about it and putting up a fight). If we’ve been paying the slightest bit of attention, each election cycle has become more aggressive and stealth attempts have been made to suppress voters’ rights.

While most of these attempts have been aimed at specific groups, it is only a matter of time before a wider net is cast amongst the general electorate. Remember the Jews were only Hitler’s first target on a long list of those to be eliminated. He was able to institute his plan, because no one was paying attention. When a record turnout doing a presidential election is just above 55% and the average turnout for biennial elections are at about 30%, it sends the clear message that we are not paying attention. Our inattentiveness and lack of engagement is an open invitation to those who want to slowly and systematically disfranchise us in an effort to dismantle our basic freedoms and liberties. (ed note:  is this something we’re good with?)

Say it wit’ your ballot

Most of us spend the period between elections, talkin’ behind elected officials backs in our kitchens, office cubicles and barber shops. When election time rolls around, our representatives challenge us to (in the voice of Kevin Hart’s Uncle) “Say it wit’ your ballot.” Just like on the street, we have two choices: 1) Grow a pair and get all up in their grill or 2) Stutter and backtrack, then talk about how it wasn’t worth fighting them anyways. If we opt for #1, we empower ourselves. Even if we don’t win, they definitely have to take notice. If we opt for #2, we may end up giving up our proverbial lunch money for decades.

It’s not all about you, boo!

I already know… There isn’t anyone or anything worth voting for…. or against. You don’t trust/like any of the lyin’ politicians (BTW, they might not lie as much if the American public could accept the ugly truth some time); voting “no” means “yes” to some referendum that is 100 words too long, and your vote can’t change a damn thing. 

First of all, let me get this off of my chest…

You selfish bastards, you! Voting is not about your interests at the moment. A vote cast (or not cast) today reverberates for generations.  Can’t vote for your interests? Then vote on behalf of the sick and infirmed, the small business owner, the recent college grad, or the CEO of the corporation where you work.   

Dark Knight 2012!

Yes, I have raised my sword and am prepared to slay the sacred cow…. Vote for Jill Stein (Green), Gary Johnson (Libertarian), Virgil Goode (Constitution), Bruce Wayne aka the Batman (DC Comics) or Mickey Mouse (Disney)!

I know your Civics teacher warned you about “wasting” your vote. I contend that a vote not cast is a far greater waste than one cast for Batman.

I like to think of it this way… The two major parties vie for and split about a half or less of the electorates’ votes. Imagine 100% of the eligible electorate casting a vote and 45% of them voting for someone other than the candidates from the two parties. Over time, it may be possible to increase third-party representation in the government.

In the interim, it would send a message to the dominant parties….”Get it together, or we are signaling the Batman!”

Thank you Cyndee!

Feel free to speak your piece in the comments below, or over at my Facebook page or on Twitter.  We would love for you to share your thoughts on why you’ll be voting in the general election tomorrow.  And if you do nothing else, please be sure and VOTE VOTE VOTE and tell your friends and family to do the same!!!

If you are interested in viewing some fabulous photography that documents the civil right struggle during the 1960s to ensure that African-Americans gained the right to vote, check out Robert J. Brand’s  “It’s Has Always Been About Voting.”  An exhibit of this series by Mr. Brand is currently on display through the end of the month of November at iMPeRFeCT Gallery, 5601 Greene Street, Philadelphia, PA.  

And if you’re interested in writing a guest blog next month on how you’re working to transform society using art and innovative ideas, or are looking for another audience to share news about the work you’re doing in your community to drive social change, please feel free to contact me with your ideas.

Peace and blessings,

Tieshka

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