I saw and shared a poignant protest sign which read “White silence = violence.” It’s true. But not because you’re actually silent. You’re saying a lot…about the things that actually matter to you…none of which seem to include Black people or our lives. You claim to be progressive, smile in our faces, and then post about any and everything BUT Ferguson, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, John Crawford, Rekia Boyd, Aiyana Stanley Jones, Ramarley Graham, Vonderrit Myers, and the countless others. That’s what hurts.
Seeing white people go on with their lives seemingly unfazed by the ever mounting pile of dead Black bodies murdered by police and vigilantes is a brutal reminder of white privilege and just how much Black lives, my life, doesn’t matter to you.
Election day is nearly here. In fact, I would bet most of us in Oregon have already voted.
People give a few reasons why we should vote:
Vote now or shut up later
Voting is your best chance to change the government
Voting is your civic duty
I’m not convinced I agree with any of them.
You don’t give up your right to participate in democracy when you don’t vote. You only give up one avenue.
Voting might not be your best opportunity to effect change. Depending on where you live, your vote is unlikely to have any impact. A better way to make a change might be to work to change how campaigns are financed. Another good idea is to email your representatives. Because so few do so, you have a disproportionate voice.
I’m not sure I buy into the duty idea. Maybe if the those elected acted like they had any duty, this would be more convincing.
Use election season as an opportunity to educate yourself on the issues.1 Spend some time with your voters’ pamphlet. From there, it’s only a little more effort to vote.
Personally, I’m thrilled with Hobby Lobby. If I1 can’t be forced to fund2 something incompatible with my “sincerely held religious beliefs,” then I don’t have to fund war and killing.3 Major decreases in my tax bill, baby!
We don’t give corporations more religious liberty than real persons, right? Right?? ↩
Even indirectly, through third parties, or in the aggregate. ↩
Justice Ginsburg is my inspiration in this, “The court, I fear, has ventured into a minefield.” Thanks to the Hobby Lobby decision, I don’t have to fund any more landmines.” ↩
StopWatching.us is a coalition of more than 100 public advocacy organizations and companies from across the political spectrum. Join the movement at https://rally.stopwatching.us. This video harnesses the voices of celebrities, activists, legal experts, and other prominent figures in speaking out against mass surveillance by the NSA. Please share widely to help us spread the message that we will not stand for the dragnet surveillance of our communications.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is a nonprofit civil liberties law and advocacy center that has been fighting the NSA’s unconstitutional spying for years. Learn more at https://eff.org.
Is he a traitor? Yes, absolutely. But so were Washington, Adams, Hamilton, Franklin, and Jefferson, to name a few. If you think being a traitor is always bad, no matter the circumstances or motives, you’re officially too dumb to vote.
Perhaps I am naive, but I believe that at this point in history, the greatest danger to our freedom and way of life comes from the reasonable fear of omniscient State powers kept in check by nothing more than policy documents.