Yes, that’s right. You read correctly. This past election was the worst display of childishness I’ve ever witnessed among presidential candidates. But, that’s not why I voted for Jill Stein. This was the first presidential election in my life that I actually made a conscientious decision about my vote. Let me interject by saying, please don’t be frightened by this post. It is about reality, not race. Also, I’m not here to vote-shame anyone. Each American has the right to one vote. In conjunction with that right, individuals are entitled to choose the candidate that can construct a functional reality based upon our individualistic needs, goals, inalienable rights, ideals, and beliefs.
Tryggvi Thayer, Project Manager at the School of Education for the University of Iceland, explains the concept of functional reality:
The concept of functional reality refers to those reality contexts in which individuals are able to make sense of their experiences. What constitutes a functional reality is distinct to each individual and dependent on the individual’s unique experiences, knowledge, and skills.
For example, I know the basic rules of American baseball. However, the few times that I see a baseball game on television, I am confused by all of the data displayed on the screen. I know that somewhere there is the number of strikes, balls, speed of the pitch, batting average, etc., but I don’t know what’s what. Hence, although I am experiencing the reality of the baseball game, my understanding of what is going on is hampered by the fact that all that data that is being displayed is not a part of my functional reality. I don’t know how to make sense of it. If this were a part of my functional reality, we could assume that I would be far better informed about various aspects of the game as I watch it than is the case.
Instead, each election, media outlets, political parties, and persons of status indoctrinates voters with fear to vote the way they want us to. Suggestions that are usually followed up by…or die, which [Vote or Die] was 2004’s campaign. Well, since you put it that way. Yes, I’ll vote for Kermit the Frog. Honestly, if Kermit was running for office, I’d probably vote for him. I mean, green is green.
Rounders and Rogues blogged a post called Indoctrination, Propaganda, Fear and Idealism where he talks about the powerful weapon of indoctrination.
The idea is to remove the urge of the individual to be an individual. By making one feel like they are on the periphery, alone and estranged, when the need for social acceptance is paramount, conformity of thought is likely to solidify. The innate fear of being separated from the herd is so strong, and the power structure so adept at manipulating that fear, we hardly notice the depth of the indoctrination as it incrementally entangles us.
It’s an unspoken rule that if you’re Black you vote democrat. Not gonna lie, I once lived by this cultural belief. In 2007, after eight tumultuous years of Bush, I decided to finally vote green. Then appeared Hillary Clinton, pre-Haiti and scandalous emails controversies. I forgot all about voting green because who wouldn’t another Clinton in office, right? Even if you’re not a fan of former President Bill Clinton, you must admit we had eight great years of saxophone playing, no war, and a booming economy. I rode steady on the Clinton wave, as I wrapped my mind around the first woman president and four years of American bliss.
Out of nowhere, [former] President Barack Obama gallantly emerges as the great Black hope causing me to forget all about Hillary. Seriously, it didn’t matter to me, both were liberal; we couldn’t lose. Just like that, I jumped the Clinton ship, not wanting to miss that historical opportunity of electing the first Black president. I had to prove all the naysayers wrong, including Tupac, who said “…we ain’t ready to see a Black president.” Ha! We were ready. Not once, but twice. I can’t even remember who ran against Obama his second term. And it didn’t matter, because he’s a democrat, and I’m Black. Boom! He had my vote.
However, I couldn’t ignore the surging guilt. My spirit was amiss. For two terms, I promised to follow my heart and vote green. But, it wasn’t about me, so I pushed aside my true desire. Nothing against President Obama, but I feel deeply about what the green party stands for. Nevertheless, I couldn’t slip-up and let that other guy (what’s his name) steal the presidency.
2016, and here we go again. Every time I make up my mind to vote green, I’m either tortured with an immense amount of guilt or cast into a life or death voting situation. This time, it was to protect President Obama’s legacy and vote for Hillary Clinton.
Legacies build over time. Nobody can destroy a person’s legacy if they acted in truth on behalf of those who entrusted them with their power. President Obama did the absolute best job he could, considering the condition Bush left America in. Not to mention, maintaining dignity in the presence of bigotry and direct backlash from his own peers.
For me, it wasn’t about what Obama did, per se, but the way he expressed the hurt, pain, and indignation of people of color—whenever graced with the opportunity. I know it’s uncomfortable and a hard pill to swallow, but do you know what it’s like being Black in America? Let me help you to simply understand. It’s like being capped in a fish bowl, unable to swim. Even if I manage to stay afloat, there’s no way out. No way out of the bowl. Nobody to teach me to swim. Nobody to save me.
I can only speak for myself, in saying President Obama’s legacy, in relation to me, has always been personal, not political. In that respect, I didn’t feel his legacy needed protecting. Nor, did I feel obligated to vote for Hillary. Therefore, my conscience was clear in voting for Jill Stein.
I didn’t make a mistake in voting for Jill Stein. Although, much of America insists a non-vote for Hillary was a vote for Trump. What about my inalienable right to vote for the candidate I choose? My biggest mistake was sharing my choice with the world. Oh my god! You would’ve thought I was voting for Hitler. My family, especially, wouldn’t let me live it down. They constantly reminded me I was Black, therefore, democrat. I was a traitor for betraying the Black race. You should’ve seen their perplexed faces. It’s the same (somebody farted) look when I cook vegan food. They just don’t get it.
For several months, I pleaded my case to friends, family, and YouTube. Actually, I just yelled I’M NOT A DEMOCRA-AAT!
I’ve evolved in my 18 years of voting. I read bios, ballots, resumes, research history, and stalk websites. The point is, I no longer cast a shallow, biased decision at the voting booth. Nor, do I jump on the celebrity bandwagon. More than likely, the outcome is not going to financially affect them either way. That’s what it boils down to resources or a lack thereof. I came down extremely hard on celebrities this past election season—having a lapse in judgement. It’s not that celebrities want to manipulate our votes; it’s pulling for the greater good of our community. Yes, I do believe that many of the issues that negatively impact us, evades them. However, it’s a misconception to think they haven’t been in our position before. I’m sure many have lived on both sides of the tracks having been poor and rich. Famous and broke. Rich and obscure.
Do I regret my decision? Nope! I have my reasons for not falling into the democratic trap and voting with the greater community in mind.
First off, I have issues with the entire voting system. For people of color, in America, voting is a more of a “privilege,” than a right. Caucasian people are the only ones with the right to vote. I, on the other hand, must be grateful, even though I am a natural-born citizen, and my ancestors died contributing to the foundation of this country. Got it. With my “privilege” I get to choose a candidate that supports my interests. After I carefully select that person, I must then separate myself from that choice, and take on the unknown interests of my fellow-man who may not value or respect me, himself, life or the things that matter.
Here’s the truth: As a culture, mainstream society has engrained us to have a defeatist mind-set. Knowing you have a right to act gives you power. Believing you’ve been given a privilege—undermines that right—thus, stripping away your power. Our weak mentalities and self-loathing reduced our legal right into a privilege. So now, when we go into election season, we feel we owe it to a particular political party or group to vote for their agenda.
I don’t owe anyone anything, except Sallie Mae, (who now disguises herself as Navient) she is the devil. Somehow, my single vote for the candidate of my choice, was repositioned into an indirect, un-cast vote for another candidate.
Absolutely not! My single vote for Jill Stein, went to Jill Stein. It wasn’t a “non-vote” for Hillary Clinton or an “indirect” vote for Trump. Our government is trying to force us into a two-party system, aka, capped fish bowl, when clearly we have other options. I got into an argument with a YouTube subscriber who said, “Yeah, but realistically, Jill Stein is not going to win.” No, she won’t because you’ve been brainwashed to think the presidency is entitled to a democrat or republican. The way voting works is the person with the most votes wins. For example, if the majority of America votes green, that candidate will win, unless our government sabotages the voting process like they’re prone to do. If you never come into the realization of your personal power, you will always live under someone else’s psychological regime.
I Voted for Jill Stein is a two-part think piece. I urge the audience stop here, if you can’t handle issues regarding race relations in America.
Live. Bless. Prosper.