Why Black people need to vote

You Can't Convince Black People To Vote For A Politician That Is Going To Continue To Suppress Them, But I'mma Try

Sometimes even the simplest of changes comes down to a few hundred ballots.

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I am a black woman who votes, but you know what, I fully understand why my fellow black-folk don't vote.


2018 Florida Govenors Race Results

How can a government conceived in 1700-something-or-another by white slave owners do anything for me or us as a community? Especially when 200 years after slavery the only things that have changed are us not being forced to work on literal plantations and having the right to vote for new and improved white oppressors?

What sense does it make to play into the hands of a system built on our oppression? What sense does it make to support and respect a constitution that refuses to acknowledge any one of us as a whole person?

And we can really go there. The Democrats don't actively do anything to uplift the black communities --- at least not on purpose. Year after year they pander to us, promise us a reform on this and a reform on that, with little to no intention of doing anything besides waiting for their moment to exclaim that they "have the black vote!" Then they ride off into the sunset on one of the horses from their ranch, while they line the pockets of their designer suits with our blood, sweat, tears and hip-hop culture.

I mean, damn! Has anyone seen our white savior lady, Hillary? She was at cookout after cookout, eating up all of auntie's mac & cheese during the last election, but with all of her influence and "brand" last name, she has sure been quite on black issues since then...

And then there's the obvious fact that capitalism and the oppression of people of color go hand in hand. The rich get rich and stay rich with a boot to the fact of the black man, and so the only way to have rich people is to have poor people. Rich white-folk have a ton more respect for middle-class white-folk than they do black-folk, so we know why black communities always get the shorter end of the stick. Grade "D" schools, streets without sidewalks, and voter suppression. So why support a capitalist system of government when centuries have shown us that socialism has taken care of Black people a lot better?

Not to mention that the Democratic and Republican parties are the same damn thing. They have the same capitalist agenda, with slightly different ways of getting there. But the painful similarities are that they are both corrupt and again serve no one but rich white men.

I know exactly what you want because it's what I want. A black politician who isn't afraid to run on a race-based platform. A black politician we hoped Obama would have been. A black politician who will stand up in front of America, say "I'm Black and I'm proud," condemn our criminal justice system and offer solutions, have a plan to raise the minimum wage in a way that specifically targets communities of color while raising taxes on big businesses and billionaires. A black politician who isn't afraid to say that we aren't at all equal, but that his or her social, political and economic plans will make it so.

A black politician who can keep their composure while being called a "nigger," receiving death threats, being boo'd, having everything including their 1st-grade spelling test grades used against them. A black politician who you probably wouldn't want to be a bodyguard for.

Here is the thing. I know you're holding out for this politician, because so am I. But in the meantime, what you need to understand is that voting in the Black community isn't about making large-scale political changes. We're only 12% of the population, and if anyone has the power to bitch-slap Merica into shape, it's white women, and maybe at some point, they will wake up and start voting in their best interest.

But until then, this is what it is. Voting in the Black community is about the little things. It's about giving ex-felons (many of whom are black and were unnecessarily imprisoned in the first place) their right to vote back. It's about keeping a majority of the House and Senate somewhat decent so that a man literally locking children in cages and deporting their parents can be impeached and jailed. Voting in the black community is about, reducing harm, damage control, keeping people afloat and allowing them to have or keep their most basic of human rights.

Yes, this whole system of government needs to be dismantled and rebuilt, but until then... I took 30 minutes of my day to vote and get an ugly lil' sticker and I hope next time around, you do too.

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Dear Senator Walsh, I Can't Wait For The Day That A Nurse Saves Your Life

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

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Dear Senator Walsh,

I can't even fathom how many letters you've read like this in the past 72 hours. You've insulted one of the largest, strongest and most emotion-filled professions.. you're bound to get a lot of feedback. And as nurses, we're taught that when something makes us mad, to let that anger fuel us to make a difference and that's what we're doing.

I am not even a nurse. I'm just a nursing student. I have been around and I've seen my fair share of sore legs and clinical days where you don't even use the bathroom, but I am still not even a nurse yet. Three years in, though, and I feel as if I've given my entire life and heart to this profession. My heart absolutely breaks for the men and women who are real nurses as they had to wake up the next morning after hearing your comments, put on their scrubs and prepare for a 12-hour day (during which I promise you, they didn't play one card game).

I have spent the last three years of my life surrounded by nurses. I'm around them more than I'm around my own family, seriously. I have watched nurses pass more medications than you probably know exist. They know the side effects, dosages and complications like the back of their hand. I have watched them weep at the bedside of dying patients and cry as they deliver new lives into this world. I have watched them hang IV's, give bed baths, and spoon-feed patients who can't do it themselves. I've watched them find mistakes of doctors and literally save patient's lives. I have watched them run, and teach, and smile, and hug and care... oh boy, have I seen the compassion that exudes from every nurse that I've encountered. I've watched them during their long shifts. I've seen them forfeit their own breaks and lunches. I've seen them break and wonder what it's all for... but I've also seen them around their patients and remember why they do what they do. You know what I've never once seen them do? Play cards.

The best thing about our profession, Senator, is that we are forgiving. The internet might be blown up with pictures mocking your comments, but at the end of the day, we still would treat you with the same respect that we would give to anyone. That's what makes our profession so amazing. We would drop anything, for anyone, anytime, no matter what.

You did insult us. It does hurt to hear those comments because from the first day of nursing school we are reminded how the world has zero idea what we do every day. We get insulted and disrespected and little recognition for everything we do sometimes. But you know what? We still do it.

When it's your time, Senator, I promise that the nurse taking care of you will remember your comments. They'll remember the way they felt the day you publicly said that nurses "probably do get breaks. They probably play cards for a considerable amount of the day." The jokes will stop and it'll eventually die down, but we will still remember.

And I hope you know that when it is your time, you will receive the best care. You will receive respect and a smile. You will receive empathy and compassion because that's what we do and that is why we are the most trusted profession.

Please just remember that we cannot properly take care of people if we aren't even taken care of ourselves.

I sincerely pray that someday you learn all that nurses do and please know that during our breaks, we are chugging coffee, eating some sort of lunch, and re-tying our shoes... not playing cards.

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Dear Nancy Pelosi, 16-Year-Olds Should Not Be Able To Vote

Because I'm sure every sixteen year old wants to be rushing to the voting booth on their birthday instead of the BMV, anyways.

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Recent politicians such as Nancy Pelosi have put the voting age on the political agenda in the past few weeks. In doing so, some are advocating for the voting age in the United States to be lowered from eighteen to sixteen- Here's why it is ludicrous.

According to a study done by "Circle" regarding voter turnout in the 2018 midterms, 31% of eligible people between the ages of 18 and 29 voted. Thus, nowhere near half of the eligible voters between 18 and 29 actually voted. To anyone who thinks the voting age should be lowered to sixteen, in relevance to the data, it is pointless. If the combination of people who can vote from the legal voting age of eighteen to eleven years later is solely 31%, it is doubtful that many sixteen-year-olds would exercise their right to vote. To go through such a tedious process of amending the Constitution to change the voting age by two years when the evidence doesn't support that many sixteen-year-olds would make use of the new change (assuming it would pass) to vote is idiotic.

The argument can be made that if someone can operate heavy machinery (I.e. drive a car) at sixteen, they should be able to vote. Just because a sixteen-year-old can (in most places) now drive a car and work at a job, does not mean that they should be able to vote. At the age of sixteen, many students have not had fundamental classes such as government or economics to fully understand the political world. Sadly, going into these classes there are students that had mere knowledge of simple political knowledge such as the number of branches of government. Well, there are people above the age of eighteen who are uneducated but they can still vote, so what does it matter if sixteen-year-olds don't know everything about politics and still vote? At least they're voting. Although this is true, it's highly doubtful that someone who is past the age of eighteen, is uninformed about politics, and has to work on election day will care that much to make it to the booths. In contrast, sixteen-year-olds may be excited since it's the first time they can vote, and likely don't have too much of a tight schedule on election day, so they still may vote. The United States does not need people to vote if their votes are going to be uneducated.

But there are some sixteen-year-olds who are educated on issues and want to vote, so that's unfair to them. Well, there are other ways to participate in government besides voting. If a sixteen-year-old feels passionate about something on the political agenda but can't vote, there are other ways of getting involved. They can canvas for politicians whom they agree with, or become active in the notorious "Get Out The Vote" campaign to increase registered voter participation or help register those who already aren't. Best yet, they can politically socialize their peers with political information so that when the time comes for all of them to be eighteen and vote, more eighteen-year-olds will be educated and likely to vote.

If you're a sixteen-year-old and feel hopeless, you're not. As the 2016 election cycle approached, I was seventeen and felt useless because I had no vote. Although voting is arguably one of the easiest ways to participate in politics, it's not the only one. Since the majority of the current young adult population don't exercise their right to vote, helping inform them of how to stay informed and why voting is important, in my eyes is as essential as voting.

Sorry, Speaker Pelosi and all the others who think the voting age should be lowered. I'd rather not have to pay a plethora of taxes in my later years because in 2020 sixteen-year-olds act like sheep and blindly vote for people like Bernie Sanders who support the free college.

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