I turned 18 in September of 1999. This means that my first time voting was in the Gore/Bush election of 2000. You can imagine how discouraged I felt when the guy I voted for didn’t win. Although I paid attention in social studies growing up and I understood how the electoral college and popular votes worked I still felt cheated somehow. My state (Maryland) is a blue state and since my state won I felt like Gore should at least be president of my state. I just couldn’t understand how people could vote for Bush. I wouldn’t live in a red state until 4-5 years later.
Although I felt cheated and discouraged I still voted again in 2004 because voting in this country is not a privilege. It’s a right. I performed my civic duty and was only met with more disappointment. George Bush for another four years. This is when I became more interested in politics. It fascinated how the presidential election could be determined by one state (Florida).
Fast forward to 2008 and my third time voting was met with a sense of triumph. Although the state I saw living in at the time was as red as a state could get (Tennessee) I still felt as if my vote counted for something.
This is where I have a problem with Lupe Fiasco. Lupe has no problem telling media and rapping that he doesn’t vote. As a result he is impressing upon malleable minds that voting isn’t that important. Lupe catches a lot of flack for being “fake deep” and to that I retort “I’d rather listen to a fake deep rapper than one who fills my ears with pointless dribble.” Lupe’s reasoning for not voting is that black people in this country endured 400 years of slavery.
Even if that were true I don’t understand how not voting is going to change that fact. If anything not voting will only retard the efforts to have equal representation in our local, state and national government. By not voting we are doing a disservice to those who endured beatings, killings and humiliation to achieve the right to vote. Not more than 70 years ago black people in this country had to face intimidation, poll taxes and literacy tests in order to vote and you mean to tell me you’re not voting to try to prove some half-assed point? Bullshit.
It’s not just Lupe. I’ve come across quite a few people who told me they don’t vote because they feel like their vote doesn’t make a difference. I implore anyone who reads this post to find at least 5 people who aren’t registered and make sure they do it. Voting is important. Not just in national elections. Make sure you are informed of your local and state representatives. Learn their legislation tendencies. Hold them accountable. Make informed decisions.
Vote or die. Speaking of where is Puffy in all this? He was adamant in getting people to vote in 2008 but now he’s missing like Cheri Dennis.