Let’s just get straight to it: We need you to vote before the polls close on November 6.
Since y’alls president took office, the political scene has been a game of, “it can’t get any worse than this, can it?”
And then it gets worse.
Draw four, nigga.
Through all this we’ve seen an increase in both the politically-inclined and the politically-disenchanted. The reality is that Black folks really can’t afford for people to sit out this election cycle.
This is the big one.
That in itself is a part of the issue we’re facing, because a few generations of people have been misled about voting. We’ve been led to believe that the presidential election is the big one--the one that matters--and the midterms are something we can skip. We were so wrong.
I won’t go in depth about the way the three branches of government are set up, but if you are concerned about the impacts of politics on your daily life, the midterm elections are the most important time to cast ballots. It’s the folks elected during the midterms that create and sign laws about women’s rights, healthcare, education, and racial equality. It’s the folks elected during the midterms that confirm high profile political appointments. It’s the folks elected during the midterms that investigate high profile political issues and decide to impeach them. Insert your lurking emoji eyes here.
We know both political parties have a track record for bullshit, and that a two-party system doesn’t really serve Black folks, and all the other things your enlightened commentary comes with. But this isn’t about perfecting a political system. This is about giving the community our best chance in the meantime. How much longer are we going to let the same group of old, trash, racists have so much of an impact on the lives we’re trying to build for ourselves and our families?
If voting weren’t important these folks wouldn’t be working so hard to stop us from doing it, especially after our poll numbers last election. It all comes down to this: Black people, don’t be the person that won’t eat at office potlucks because of who brought some of the food, but will let some old racist man decide whether or not the women in your life can afford birth control, and whether your kids have decent resources at school. In a few weeks you’ll be standing around the thanksgiving table with a sharp eye, asking who made the dressing before you put any on your plate. Have that same energy at the polls, beloved.
And because it isn’t always a lack of motivation that stops people from voting, we’ve gathered some resources to help ensure that knowledge and access aren’t the reasons for our people not filling out a ballot:
Rock the Vote and When We All Vote both have resources that allow you to see if you are registered to vote, candidate issues, and where your polling location is in case you don’t make it before early voting ends.
For those in the Dallas area, DFW Urban League Young Professional group has a Voter’s Hub on their website with some of the most helpful information I’ve seen floating around in months. It provides an extensive overview of candidate issues, sample ballots, voter guides, and polling locations broken down by county and by precinct.
Worried about how you’ll get to the polls? Lyft is offering half price rides to voters (code found here), Lime is offering free 30 minute trips on their fleet of bikes and scooters with the code LIME2VOTE18, Uber is offering $10 off rides, and for those who have their voter registration cards on hand, DART is offering free transportation to the polls on election day.
Whichever message lights a fire under that ass works for me.
Lauren Whiteman is from Dallas, she eats Rudy’s, it’s been a while since she’s been to Big T though. She has a couple of degrees from the University of Oklahoma and is now an educator in the Dallas area. Lauren’s work focuses on advocacy, student development, and the miseducation of Black and African American students in higher education. She’s a TEDx presenter and hopes future generations never forget what to do for the 99 and the 2000. For her twitter shenanigans, visit @itsmewhiteman.