With the 2016 presidential election this upcoming week, there is an even more amount of media I’ve seen on voting, especially on social media. I’ve come across polls showing statistics on ethnic groups voting preference and votes for each candidate. Along with this has come a lot of discussion on what it means to vote, especially during this election. Many share their ideas like “don’t boo, vote,” and state that no one is allowed to complain about the outcome of the election if they didn’t vote. This reminded me about the lecture on “authentic” politics and what some people think it means to not participate in any of the traditional and organized political practices, like voting.
It became so crucial, that people on Twitter were holding minority communities accountable for taking action and voting. I find this problematic in a couple of ways. One is that it’s inconsistent to rely on specific ethnic groups to determine the outcome of an election, while ignoring who other participants are actually voting for. This discussion on Twitter was specifically mentioning that getting minority communities to vote was the only way to stop Trump from becoming President. But this argument completely ignores why Trump has gained such support and where his support is coming from: majority white supremacists.
Identifying people who don’t vote as not being politically involved with this election also ignores the cultural practices that these communities have used to fight against injustice. Specifically, minority communities have endured years of discrimination like segregation, slavery, and institutional racism. And they have challenged this with symbolic actions like sit ins, protests, and resistance. It’s also important to recognize that not everyone has the right to vote in this country; this can be due to citizenship status or having a felony record. Furthermore, it ignores the issue that these members of a society would like to be involved in such political practices, like voting, but are not allowed to be.
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