I’ll still complain about politics even when I don’t vote – fight me.

I am a non-voter who has the audacity to still be upset that my people are dying. I have been told innumerable times that I am not supposed to be allowed this. “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain” is perhaps the most common non-voter shaming refrain I’ve heard, right up there with “your ancestors died for the right to vote.”

But I am not generally one to accept what society allows me to do as gospel.

I learned this from those very same ancestors, who, as even non-voter shamers acknowledge, lost their lives so that I could do what they weren’t allowed. Some say their deaths were only for my right to vote, but I know they died to get closer to freedom. I know they died also to be able to refuse the vote if it does not work towards that freedom. I know that my people are still dying–still died even when I did vote–and, if anything, my ancestors lost their lives so that I would never let anything get in the way of raising hell about it.

Dissing the Franchise

For weeks I’ve gone back and forth about whether or not to say what I’m about to. There are several reasons for this. First, I didn’t want to be repetitive, and what I’m going to say is in some ways an updated version of a couple of blogs I wrote on my old personal site four years ago. Second, what I’m about to express is in some ways antithetical to the aims of this site. Finally, paroxysms of righteous indignation on Facebook and in private emails and texts aside, I’ve shown great restraint, and like my friend Ashon said to me, “I refuse to be called a hater everyday.” But whatever. It’s the Monday before the national election, and not mentioning it on a blog about pop and American culture would just seem odd. As much as I’d like to wax poetic about the cognitive dissonance of watching Black Girls Rock! on BET with a #RHOA season premiere chaser, I should say a word or two about tomorrow.

Well, here are three: I’m not voting.