It's just about time to head to the polls and vote in the midterm elections! I've only been of voting age for the past decade or so, but even I feel the electricity around this election like I've never felt before. Why does it matter? Why should you take the time out of your day to vote in these midterms? I think the answer is simple - it's a display of personal values.
It seems like a long time ago when Obama was running for president the first time. What I'll never forget about this era in my life was the fact that prejudices started to appear in people I'd never expect to see them. Someone I even considered a friend posted to his Facebook account (after the votes had been counted), "Damn, I wish they'd re-instated the Three-Fifths Compromise". How could I continue to be a friend to someone who said something like that? How could I not do what I can to make sure his vision never comes to fruition? With our new president, even more of this sort of rhetoric has hit the scene, and despite your political affiliation, I hope you can understand that people like me have to fight against this in every way we can.
I bring that story up to make the point that voting is our time to put our values into play. I don't believe in voting to "cancel out" a vote on the other side, but rather to do what I can to create a country, and ultimately a world, that I want to live in. If someone whose values I disagree with wins an election, so be it, but I made my voice heard. I believe in justice for those wrongfully imprisoned in America. I believe in equity for people of color, like myself. I believe in promoting freedom for ALL Americans.
My position at APM prevents me from making any "out-right" political statements, so I won't, but as a young, black, homosexual in the arts I don't really need to announce what sides I'm on, right? **POPS GUM** Instead, I'm asking you to go vote. Do your research, read up on candidates and prospective bills, and HEAD TO THE POLLS! Even if you don't believe your vote matters, show those in power (and those not yet in power) that you are willing to put your values in action.
The importance of voting has hit the black community particularly well this cycle - shout-out to rapper Remy Ma for being one of the leaders in this charge to raise the black vote. Click her image below to get a closer look at what she's been doing in regards to promoting the vote.