Ya'll Suck!!! (My post-election bitchfest.)

On Tuesday November 2, 2010, I began my day at the Ikea in Red Hook, Brooklyn. My coworker and I got there at 10 o’clock ready to get the order for our office kitchen done. I had the sniffles. Unfortunately, we didn’t leave until 3:30pm. The combination of combative white shoppers and poor minority service not only prolonged my day, it worsened my sickness. This isn’t a random race rant done for shock value. Retain that part as it underscores my argument. The galvanized trample the complacent, the indolent. Always.

By the time we left Ikea, I had a full on migraine (flashing-lights-i-probably-shouldn’t-drive-type) and labored breathing. I returned to work, but after 30 minutes at my desk, I decided to give up the fight and go home. Somewhere past the thick traffic in Williamsburg, the jay walkers and car-sized pot holes in Bed Stuy, the slow vans in Crown Heights, I realized I forgot to vote. Damn! And because I move so much, I always keep my job as my mailing address which means I walked right past my polling place, got in my car and drove all the way to Flatbush before I realized I didn’t cast my ballot. An entire borough away! What should I do? Should I go back? Or should I walk the ten feet to my apartment and get in the bed? I returned to Manhattan.

Dems Suffer Without Young Voters of Color Who Stole the ‘08 Show

Dems Suffer Without Young Voters of Color Who Stole the ‘08 Show
Jamilah King, Colorlines, November 3, 2010

Today, as Democrats are solemnly tallying up their losses, there’s one inescapable fact about what the midterm electorate looked like: it was overwhelmingly whiter and older than 2008. The questions for President Obama now are what happened to the energetic base of young voters of color who thrusted him to power in 2008? And what will it take to bring them back into his party’s fold before 2012?

According to exit polls’ early tabulation, people under the age of 29 accounted for only 11 percent of voters on Tuesday, a decrease from the 18 percent mark of 2008. More than 20 percent of voters who showed up at the polls this time were over the age of 65, a marked increase from the 15 percent who showed up on Election Day in 2008. These numbers may shift as more data becomes available, but the larger picture is clear: The youth wave of 2008 receded.

Granted, it’s dangerous to compare presidential elections to midterms. Voter turnout is always much lower. The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) released a report this morning arguing that exit poll numbers aren’t really that bad, when taken into context. The group estimates that the youth voter turnout in 2010 was only three percentage points lower than in 2006. But to many observers, the numbers still suggest Democrats are widely underestimating the importance of one of its key constituencies.  (Read the full article)

Exit Poll: Lower Turnout Among Youth and Black Voters

Exit Poll: Lower Turnout Among Youth and Black Voters
CBS News | November 2, 2010

Based on CBS News’ preliminary national exit polling, Republicans are poised for significant gains in Congress. The youth vote–18-to-29-year-olds–who helped catapult President Obama into office makes up an estimated 9 percent of voters this year, compared to 18 percent in 2008. About 58 percent of the youth vote favors Democratic candidates.

Independents make up an estimated 28 percent of voters in the early exit polls, with 39 percent voting Democratic and 56 percent Republican.

Black voter turnout also appears to be lower during the midterm election. An estimated 10 percent of blacks are voting, compared to 13 percent in 2008. The exit polling found 8 percent of voters are Hispanic, with 66 percent voting Democratic.

In addition, men are voting more Republican, 55 percent compared to 43 for the Democrats. Among women, Democrats have a one point edge, 49% are voting for Democrats and 48% for Republicans. In 2008, more women voted Democratic. In 2002, women voted 49 percent Republican and 49 percent Democratic.

"Vote Or Die"? Whoa.

I hate Election Day. For many of the reasons Summer mentioned in her brilliant post but also because it brings out the worse in some people. These are the political zealots who believe that the world will end if everyone with a pulse doesn’t manage to find their way to a poll site. They believe, in short that you are committing a crime against humanity by not exercising your right to vote. Indeed, you’re a worse human being if you don’t have one of those snazzy stickers to wear with pride.

I often vacillate between the idea that everyone who is still possessed of their right to vote should use it and the idea that the system is so fucked up it doesn’t matter anyway. The Vote or Diehards will have you believe that voting is a civic duty, sort of like paying taxes, an obligation we have to the government.

Elections, Education, & Enigmas

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FiQJ9Xp0xxU

As I reminisce on voting day, I narrow my reflections down to focus on two things: the first being how I continue to lose faith in most politicians and the second being how we have an education system in America that continues to fail youth around the country.  Both of these issues I look at in the context of Ohio (where I vote) and Illinois (where I go to school and work with students in the Chicago Public School System). I never understood how so many people could vote for so many individuals that continue to spit on the lives of students who go to school in systems that continue to fail them. Furthermore, I am absolutely tired of people finding external scapegoats to create reasoning for not funding schools properly.

Midterms, Free Snicker Bars, and Democracy.

Every Sunday morning after I thank the Big man above for waking me up I usually roll out of bed and turn on the Sunday political talk shows. Like a caffeine addict, I usually need my political fix around 9 am.  I’m not much of a coffee drinker, but if I was I would probably like it black. I prefer things unadulterated and pure without any sweeteners (embellishments) or cream (fluff). As I watched these shows all I heard were politicos babbling about who’s up and who’s down. Rarely did I hear anyone discuss his or her vision for the country. The political sparring without regard for the issues, like coffee will leave a nasty stain that not even crest whitening strips will be able to fix. No matter which party controls the House and Senate after Nov. 2nd it is important that Americans hold their elected officials accountable for representing their interests. Don’t allow the composition of Congress to silence your thoughts and opinions about the way our country should be run.

Pollsters and pundits have already crowned the GOP as the victors today. As I write this blog post I do not know the outcome of any of the races, however I do know that if the Republicans win 10 senate seats and 39 house seats they will become the majority. Let’s put the statistics aside for a moment. No matter if an elephant or donkey wins, Americans will still be on top. Continue to lobby, advocate, and mobilize around the issues that matter to you.  In my mind Democracy is a verb. The only way to flex your democratic muscle is to stay involved in the political process. There is still much work to do in the areas of jobs, healthcare, civil rights, and education.

Here are three things that I will continue to fight for after Nov. 2nd

October 25, 2010 – October 31, 2010

Families visit Youth Challenge cadets
Kyle Martin, The Augusta Chronicle, October 31, 2010

Education is central theme of NAACP speaker
E. Richard Walton, Greenville Online, October 30, 2010

Anti-bullying teens pledge to ‘be an ally’
Morgan Josey Glover, News Record, October 30, 2010

Will Black Youth, The “Most Connected” Generation Ever, Vote In 2010?
Staff Writer, News One, October 29, 2010

Organization of Black Designers holds conference in Greektown
Ursula Watson, The Detroit News, October 29, 2010

Gay Bullying and Suicides Hit Black Community
Cyril Josh Barker, The Atlanta Post, October 28, 2010

Chicago firefighters praised for opening doors to black youth
Fran Spielman, The Chicago Sun-Times, October 28, 2010

I don’t know how to act black
Julius Rea, The Inquirer, October 28, 2010

A rough day at school
Sandra Johnson, Austin Weekly News, October 27, 2010

Empowering Young Black Youths with Education
Sean A. Stinnett, Baltimore News, October 27, 2010

School system’s graduation rate up, over state
Michelle Floyd, Newton News, October 27, 2010

High school students get taste of voting with mock elections
Cassandra Colson, Jackson County Chronicle, October 27, 2010

Obama Takes Policy Talk to `Daily Show’ in Young Voter Outreach
Nicholas Johnston, Bloomberg News, October 27, 2010

Educator/author to speak at Creative Visions tonight
Staff Writer, Des Moines Register, October 25, 2010

Upping Chicago’s dismal graduation rates
Megan Cottrell, Chicago Now, October 25, 2010

New movie highlights the plight of the black man
Staff Writer, Living It News, October 25, 2010

African American Youth Joblessness and the “New Normal”
Carl Bloice, Political Affairs, October 25, 2010

Will Black Youth, the "Most Connected" Generation Ever, Vote in 2010?

Will Black Youth, the “Most Connected” Generation Ever, Vote in 2010?
Biko Baker, Huffington Post | October 29, 2010

For young voters, November 2, 2010, like every election, is about our future. Even the 2008 presidential election. Yes, Barack Obama was a compelling candidate, but people turned out in record numbers because they believed that he had a plan for their future. This election is about the same thing.

While parties and partisan groups want to focus on the past, and debate about ideologies and the complexities of America’s contradictions, young people are trying to make sure that they can afford to go to school, have a decent job, and have a safe place to live.

I know that a lot of people think that young voters won’t turn out in the midterms. But I think we are going to see a higher turnout amongst young people than people expect for a couple of reasons.

First, we are the most connected generation ever. From Facebook to Twitter, we can communicate at a much faster pace than ever before…we definitely didn’t have this in 2006, and even in 2008, social networking and new media were sort of new. But we’ve been practicing for two years. I can’t speak about other cities but in the last round of primaries I was excited by what I saw on Facebook.  (Read the full article)

Preparing for the National Premiere of Tyler Perry's For Colored Girls

This coming Friday, Tyler Perry’s movie, For Colored Girls, will premiere nationally on November 5, 2010. The premiere of Perry’s movie is preceded by the viral YouTube Sesame Street video; I Love My Hair, and Willow’s video, I Whip My Hair. Both videos tell a black girl story of empowerment and self-love.  The last couple of weeks have been a type of black girl haven considering the predominance of negative images that saturate various forms of media. I must say watching a little chocolate Muppet with natural black hair sing about how she loves her hair makes me smile a big smile within as if a part of my black girl childhood hair issues are healed.

So, to say the least the coming of Tyler Perry’s movie, For Colored Girls, has a huge act to follow. And, given his film track record, we as black feminist, womanist, cultural workers, mothers, daughters, sisters, aunties, and big mommas must prepare ourselves for the spiritual and emotional outcomes of the movie. We need to have places both online and offline that can absorb the emotional openness that the film will produce. That being said there are several online groups who are organizing various national discussions about the movie.

The Ballot is No Silver Bullet

Dear Diddy, I suppose I am choosing death.

In 2008, I voted for the last time.  I will not be voting tomorrow. Two years ago, while many were swept up in the whirlwind of hope and change, I cast what will probably be my last ballot.  I didn’t vote for Obama; I didn’t vote for McCain.  I voted in an effort to get another party some permanent recognition.  It didn’t work.  So I’m going to use my voter registration card for something else.  Like scraping eraser shavings from my desk, because that kind of thing really bothers me.