Why I Vote

It’s Election Day, and though many people are probably sick of hearing why it is important for them to vote, I thought I would share why I personally choose to.

 

I am a naturalized American citizen, born in Seoul, South Korea, and assigned adoption to my parents the moment I was born. I was born in November, and arrived in America on March 4. The paperwork for getting your child citizenship sounds easy, but it’s actually quite complicated. https://www.alllaw.com/articles/nolo/us-immigration/how-foreign-born-adopted-children-get-citizenship.html. My mother is a blue eyed blonde with two Polish parents, and my father is a redhead with German, Irish, and English heritage. Both of my parents were educators, starting off as teachers and then my father went into Administration and my mother specialized as a learning consultant.

 

I grew up in an affluent and extremely non-diverse area of NJ, where 95% of my classmates were white. In my HS, I was the only Asian American student in my year, of over 300 classmates. The majority religion is Catholicism, of which I am as well. There were 3 Jewish students in my year. We had less than 5 hispanic classmates, and no black classmates until a pair of sisters transferred in.

 

In 2014, I married my white, Jewish husband. In 2015, we purchased a home together in the DC suburbs of Virginia. Prior to 1967, our marriage was illegal and our cohabitation, jailable.

 

This all might seem like unnecessary info. The reason, I call attention to my background and ethnic background, is because it effects me every day. Race and Nationalism and oppression have become political agenda. And people excuse it because, “politics… agree to disagree.” Racism and racial baiting is a huge part of this current midterm cycle. I found a great piece in GQ magazine of all places (Like Teen Vogue, since 2016, GQ has become a bastian of interesting political commentary (and if you haven’t seen their suggested presidential makeover video, it’s pretty fantastic). People are willing to ignore anti-semitism, and racism, and white supremacist agendas in the name of politics and party. This cannot stand. This must not stand.

 

The Midterm Election Is a Referendum on the GOP’s White Nationalism
GQ Magazine

In Connecticut, Republican candidate Ed Charamut released an anti-Semitic flyer of his Jewish opponent, Democratic state Rep. Matt Lesser, in cartoonish form with bulging eyes holding $100 bills. In Minnesota, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) released another anti-Semitic ad depicting Soros, who had just been targeted with a pipe bomb, surrounded by stacks of cash as some sort of puppet master behind Democratic Congressional candidate Dan Feehan. In California, Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter, who was indicted for federal corruption charges, accused his Mexican-Palestinian American opponent Ammar Campa-Najjar, a Christian, of being a radical Islamist terrorist attempting to “infiltrate” Congress. In New York’s 19th congressional district, where Republican Representative John Faso is falling behind, the NRCC released a dog-whistle attack ad calling Democratic candidate Antonio Delgado, a Harvard Law graduate and Rhodes Scholar, a “big-city rapper.” In Florida, a racist robocallattacked black Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Gillum, over monkey noises in the background, with an impersonator saying: “Well hello there. I is the negro Andrew Gillum and I’ll be askin’ you to make me governor of this here state of Florida. My state opponent, who done call me monkey, is doin’ a lot of hollerin’ about how ‘spensive my plans for health care be.” Similarly, another bigoted robocall targeted Georgia voters, mock-mimicking Oprah Winfrey as a “magical Negro,” dabbling in anti-Semitic conspiracy theory, and calling another black Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams “poor man’s Aunt Jermima.”

 

As Republicans have displayed more overtly bigoted messaging, right-wing activists have taken up an aggressive and absurd campaign of denialism. Far-right polemicist Dinesh D’Souza, Turning Point USA communications director Candace Owens, and the conservative YouTube channel PragerU, funded by fracking billionaires Dan and Farris Wilks, have all asserted that it is, in fact, the modern Democratic party that is made up of the realracists. All three have been repeatedly taken to task by Princeton historian Kevin Kruse, who specializes on civil rights and modern conservativism, for using doctored photographs, making misleading claims, and otherwise distorting historical truths. Republicans have also aggressively pursued Jim Crow-style voter suppression—modern versions of poll taxes and literacy tests—particularly after the Supreme Court, led by conservative Justice John Roberts, struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act. In Nevada, a restrictive voter ID law targeted Native American voters by invalidating IDs with a P.O. Box—common for Native American reservations—for voting. Georgia, Texas, North Carolina, and many other red states have targeted the black vote by closing poll stations, mass purging voting rolls, and relentlessly introducing restrictive new ID laws and rules, despite the fact that voter fraud is extremely rare. While both parties have shameful records on racism in American history, the fact remains that it is the modern Republican party, not the Democratic one, that is currently infested with actual white supremacists.

 

The current Republican candidate on the ballot next Tuesday for Illinois’s 3rd congressional district is literal neo-Nazi and Holocaust denier Arthur J. Jones. He recently told Politico he’s running against the “two-party, Jew-party, queer-party system.” Jones is no mere aberration. There are also white supremacist Russell Walker, the GOP nominee for North Carolina’s state House of Representatives; neo-Nazi Paul Nehlen, who lost the GOP primary for Paul Ryan’s old seat in Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district; and alt-right Corey Stewart running as the Republican nominee for the U.S. senate in Virginia. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) spread the anti-Semitic conspiracy theory that Soros was behind the caravan and also called Andrew Gillum “Andrew Kill ’em” for his “horrific crime rate” as Tallahassee mayor, despite the fact that violent crime fell by 24 percent. Gillum’s Republican opponent in the gubernatorial race Ron DeSantis has had enough incidental affiliations with racists that the Miami New Times rounded them up in an article: “Eight Times Ron DeSantis ‘Accidentally’ Did Racist Stuff.” Then there is Steve King, eight-term Republican representative in Iowa’s 4th congressional district, who has affiliated himself with global white nationalists, including Canada’s Faith Goldy and the Nazi-linked Freedom Party in Austria, and has a long history of making bigoted statements, such as asserting that “we can’t restore our civilization with somebody else’s babies.” He is hardly out of the party mainstream. He still has his committee assignments, hasn’t been rebuked by House Majority Leader Paul Ryan, and he was a national co-chair for Senator Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) presidential campaign.

 

Our country is filled with people differing in ethnicity, race, religion, and sexual orientation. Different body types, and interests, and passions. There are too many people in this country who feel that there is only ONE way to be an American, only ONE ethnicity, only ONE religion. That only people who look a certain way and believe a certain way should have rights. We cannot allow people with these views to lead us. It’s unAmerican.

It is my civic duty to make my voice heard. Political leaders are able to cast an effect on us all, even if we do not realize it. I was proud this morning to cast my vote not only for Tim Kaine, but against Corey Stewart, a man who has embraced white supremacists, spoken at their gatherings, and as a Minnesota man draped himself in the Confederate flag, and has compared those who wish to remove monuments to ISIS members.

 

There is too much at stake to sit at home and not make your voice heard.

 

It’s so important to get to your polling place and vote!

Google has a GO VOTE today. It links to a form where you can enter your address and it will tell you where your voting is!

 

If you are turned away, you should request a provisional ballot!

http://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/provisional-ballots.aspx

 

Opposing racism, using our rights to make our opinions heard… what’s more American than that?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outfit Details: 

Shirt: Ralph Lauren 

Skirt: Murray’s Toggery

One thought on “Why I Vote

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