“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” -Martin Luther King, Jr.
When I voted for Senator Barack Obama the first time, I was pregnant with my second child, hadn’t eaten breakfast, and thought I was smart for just coming out to vote early. It was the second presidential election I had voted in! And, to think that I was pregnant when it happened? That is a mix of joy, disbelief and complete relief. I remember watching the results come in when he beat Senator John McCain. And Governor Romney. In reflecting on this, my fourth presidential election I have voted in, it seems much more important!
As of this posting, I am working 12-hour shifts (nights of all things!) in the midst and grips of a global pandemic which has killed over 225,000 people. After my shift, I will drive to my voting site, unshowered, hair wrapped up and may not see my bed before noon! I am not saying this complain, only to be observant. With this year, living in Missouri (which does not offer early voting), it seems like an extra insult to injury; another affront or hurdle to maneuver.
But, I will go. I will stand. I will wait. I have books, Apple Music, and Audible. I will not be moved. I’ll grab breakfast and keep it pushing. I refuse to be silenced in this election surrounded by so much death, misinformation and quasi-fascism! I have found myself watching Rod Serling’s The Twilight Zone again for either reminders or prevention. The episode entitled The Obsolete Man (Season 2, Episode 29) is most applicable to this current state of our nation. There is a quote at the end of this episode which only Serling could deliver:
“Any state, any entity, any ideology that fails to recognize the worth, the dignity, the rights of man, that state is obsolete.”
With this said, I make my declaration clear. It is not an exaggeration what the corrupt right desires to do. It is not exaggeration of their intent, their desire and their willingness to prove or shift their fallacy into truth through blood if necessary. I am a cis-het, Black, and woman living in the last slave state in the Union. I am living in a time similar to my hero and patron saint of Black writers, Ida Bell Wells Barnett. Lynchings are still happening. Racism still determines legislation! To be a woman is now to be a pre-existing condition, with my womb not even mine to control! It is surreal, completely surreal. And yet, it is happening!
Could Election Day be a national holiday? It could be, it should be. Should the Electoral College be abandoned because it is an archaic appeasement to an unruly time whose then citizenry was mad it could no longer own people as chattel? Yes, immediately! But what fun would that be for racists? What glee does equality grant to the bigot? No, power and fear drive such people–equality is to admit their dominance is an illusion. So, I will vote. My voice will be heard. My faith is through works! If my ancestors can live, to make sure I could, then I will not die in the land of MAGA, under the dictate of the Mad King.