“I believe that democracy has so far disappeared in the United States that no ‘two evils’ exist. There is but one evil party with two names, and it will be elected despite all I can do or say.” – W.E.B. DuBois, 1956
Earlier this year I had the pleasure of being a panelist at “The Great Debate: Delivering the Black Vote” discussion at Columbia University Law School and had the opportunity to confront so many positions supporting participation in our modern electoral system. I debated myself on elaborating on this presidential [s]election since then because for one it completely insults our intelligence, secondly it’s incredibly divisive when now more than ever we need unity, and last but not least it’s just a big ass distraction – but the more memes flow through my timeline, and the more ignorance I encounter from self-righteous voters who somehow feel offended by my exercising my freedom to NOT vote (lol) I realize the need to express a point of view that all too often gets over shadowed by the dominate “vote or die” mentality of the status quo.
Contrary to the popular slogan “if you don’t vote you can’t complain”, it’s more logical to say that if you vote you can’t complain. If we don’t participate in the rigged pageantry every four years then clearly we don’t approve of the tyrannical government. Doesn’t that make it more appropriate for you to complain? But who just wants to sit around and complain anyway? If we do our “civic duty” and vote all we do is legitimize the oppressive system one would even “complain” about to begin with.
Goes to show the level of intimidation necessary to mind fuck people into voting. As the political class had noted years ago what they called the rise in “mass political consciousness“, they turned it up this time around… I thought they got us good with Obama, but I mean Donald Trump? Really?! That gets the never ending side eye. As transparent as I find it, I guess it was a brilliant move because so many people have actually turned to Hillary out of fear. Too many people really think that if you don’t vote then that’s a vote for Trump. Clearly the math in this game is all the way off cause this shit just don’t add up!
But what about our ancestors who died for us to have the right to vote?
As Co-Director of D12’s Harriet Tubman Fannie Lou Hamer Women’s Collective last year I was compelled to really connect with these two ancestors on a deeper level instead of the typical narratives of these powerful leaders. Fannie Lou Hamer’s testimony at the 1964 Democratic Convention seemed to be the main highlight of her activism by the dominant society used often to push the notion that so many of our ancestors died for the right to vote. I find that to be disrespectful of the freedom fighters who came before us and paved the way for us to be here. Voting was a tactic toward freedom PERIOD. If we’re here 50 years later and that tactic has proven hallow it is an insult to their legacy not to advance the fight for true freedom.
We were far beyond the civil rights struggle, it seems we’ve since back tracked from Malcolm X’s call for Human Rights. Many are completely unaware that in 2001 at the UN World Conference Against Racism for the first time the global community acknowledged the transatlantic trafficking of enslaved Africans as a crime against humanity. Interestingly enough the US has never apologized for enslaving our ancestors, most likely to avoid paying for these crimes in the form of any reparations. These historical milestones are quietly swept under the rug to keep us at a perpetual stand still without any advancement in our struggle *See “Black Lives Matter?” post* My point is , we’re far beyond voting at this point.
At the end of the day if you voted, plan to vote, or NOT… It won’t change anything at all. But whether or not you believe that, tomorrow we will be right here with a new puppet in place to carry on the charade with more power and authority given to the newly selected than the last. Then what? You can’t possibly expect things to shift without your direct action.
This twisted system cannot be the focus. We can’t allow this sideshow to be successful in distracting us from the POWER we actually have. We have to focus internally. There are so many challenges we face and we have to get out of this reactionary state and actually organize to deal with our problems holistically. There are so many issues, so there are plenty of solutions. They are all necessary and important, but you have to begin with yourself. Here are 99 solutions VOTING AIN’T ONE, but if you need a starting point choose one…
- Question your own belief systems and deal with your personal contradictions
- Clean out your home, recycle what you can, donate what you don’t need
- Organize your neighbors to get together and clean your street, parks, environment
- Reuse bags/totes
- Interact with and study nature
- Spend time in the sun daily
- Make time for rest and relaxation
- Don’t rush
- Think before you speak
- Create your own thoughts
- Deprogram your mind from external, societal standards and ideas
- Listen to inspiring and uplifting music
- Stop listening to trash music without substance (radio)
- Create your own music
- Find new artists to listen to
- Stop wasting food
- Start composting
- Go to a farmers market
- Prioritize your health
- Budget money for organic plant-based foods
- Meal plan/prep and cook for yourself at home
- Spend your money at places with sustainable business practices
- Don’t support businesses/organizations that don’t reflect your values
- Don’t shop at businesses who use prison labor
- Don’t spend another penny at fast food conglomerates
- Don’t eat junk food – you know what junk food is!
- Avoid drinking alcoholic and caffeinated beverages
- Don’t purchase highly processed “food” products
- Stop drinking water right out the tap, order fluoride removing filter
- Avoid buying water in plastic bottles
- Use glass or stainless steel instead of plastic, aluminum or other synthetic materials
- Keep a nutrition journal so you can figure out what your nutrient needs are
- Eat what your body needs, not what it wants
- Avoid soy, corn and other cash crops that are likely genetically engineered
- Plant a seed, grow your own food
- Start your own garden or join a garden
- Exercise in silence, walk, run, yoga,
- Spend a day silent
- Write and reflect about your life, your emotions, concerns
- Make a long list of your life pursuits
- List your long term and short term goals
- Spend a day as often as possible without any technology, phone, gps, radio, wifi, internet, etc.
- Create something artistic, draw, write a poem, paint, sculpt or carve, make jewelry, photograph, etc.
- Get organized
- Create a realistic schedule for yourself, or some way to manage your time
- Spend time with a friend or loved one with a child
- Start a book club reading books of substance instead of novels
- Make a list of things you’re unhappy about and what you can actually do about them. do those things.
- Organize people around an issue that concerns you
- Innovate an alternative to the system creating that issue
- Build on that with those you’ve organized
- Don’t shop for fun, stop buying things you don’t need
- Make the things that you do need or buy directly from a small batch producer
- Trade in and thrift
- Do a clothing swap
- Repurpose, upcycle, design your own clothes
- Buy clothes thats not mass produced
- Don’t follow trends
- Stop following celebrity gossip
- Stop gossiping period
- Stop associating with people who are critical or bring you down
- Stop associating with people who don’t add value to your life
- Focus on enhancing your spiritual life
- Focus on developing useful skills
- Question everything
- Develop a personal filter for the information you acquire
- Seek balance in all areas of your life, and avoid extremes
- Express yourself
- Communicate authentically
- Don’t do things just to please others
- Fill your own cup before trying to fill others
- Be honest with yourself
- Respect others, genuinely attempt to connect even when you disagree
- Sing, even if its in the shower
- Have an attitude of gratitude, list all the things you appreciate in your life
- Don’t project your insecurities, envy or hatred onto others
- Drink organic herbal teas
- Look for natural homeopathic alternatives to pharmaceuticals
- Avoid artificial, hormone altering, substances of all kinds
- Get involved in public schools in your neighborhood
- Facilitate an afterschool program
- Create alternative educational programing
- Advocate for children/students whose parents are not involved
- Host a healing circle for survivors of traumatic events (murder, sexual abuse, war, prison etc.)
- If you know someone coming out about a traumatic experience support them
- Share your story, it matters
- Make a plan for acquiring land/property
- Travel, but don’t be a tourist
- Organize families in your neighborhood to build community
- Connect new parents to people who have raised children
- Turn off your tv
- Live your own life and don’t concern yourself with everyone elses
- Advocate for people who are in prison without representation
- Study your body
- Learn about your direct bloodline ancestors (create a family tree)
- Study suppressed history
- Go to a shooting range
- Get a gun license
Ok, so you still want to go for the lesser of two evils? Who do you want to represent you, Stalin or Hitler? It’s Shit vs DooDoo, and you actually choose one? How about the fact that you didn’t even choose these candidates so really to hell with this illusion of choice. You didn’t choose them they were chosen for you and the president will also be chosen for you. When will we let go of the bullshit so-called democratic myth imposed on us? When will we decide that we don’t want this violent totalitarian regime ruling over us? My vote is for reparations! If my voice is going to be heard it damn sure won’t be limited to the two clowns the media is parading before us.
Slavery is slavery, if the goal is to have a nicer slave master we’ll never be free because we’re not even free in your own minds. We’re not voting for freedom, we think voting is our expression of “freedom” but really we’re just voting for what we think will be a more pleasant version of enslavement. Voting in a way is worse than doing nothing because it projects to the world that this is fine. We’re playing along… it’s like a fucking SAW movie. Giving your consent to this domination they call taxation, law, and order. The saddest part is that we can’t imagine living without this centralized authority to make the judgments for our society.
Does anyone really expect the process will achieve anything other than what it already has for centuries? Does anyone really think this system is the best or most ethical way of finding common ground with those around us? Does anyone out there believe that the corrupt, fraudulent and criminal political class is anything other than that? I’d say that’s a big fat NO. How could we really believe that? That would literally be insane.
So why are so few willing to say that?? The sooner we accept that this rigged game of democracy has us banging our heads against a brick wall, the sooner we will stop feeling the moral obligation to participate in it. If the answer isn’t found in voting and meaningless political pageants, that leaves us with answering well how is society to be organized? We don’t need anyone’s permission to choose to live like free human beings. We don’t even need the majority of people to wake up and smell the cow manure, we just need a dedicated organized group of people who know and believe in self ownership and people power.
Resistance may prove challenging considering the paralyzing fear many have of state aggression and terrorism, but even if we just disobey and choose not to play the game, what can the ruling class do? We are the majority. The system itself is falling apart so all we need to do is put our attention on creating the alternative(s). These days I feel most liberated in the time I spend working on that instead of fueling my own oppression. Best decision I’ve ever made! ALL POWER TO THE PEOPLE.