Sunday, October 19, 2008

Beyond Barack: We Need To Be More Aware And Get Involved Folks

Other other day Mr. TK said something that has been on my mind kinda heavy since. He was frustrated about a business situation when he mumbled, "Sometimes knowing a little about something is worse than knowing nothing at all." After I let his statement marinate for a bit, I realized how much it related to the way I (and most of the folks I know) associate with politics. While it is fantastic that we are all on Team Obama and eat, sleep and dream about the presidential election, I think most of us have forgotten about the other politicians who have a strong impact on our lives as well. Everyone (even my five and seven year old nieces) knows the importance of voting next month. And it is certainly important - without a shadow of a doubt important. But guess what? The pothole on your block that took six months to get filled? A local politician tends to that. The disgust I often have when shopping in my local supermarket because of a lack of fresh(er) veggies and poultry? A local politician. Your kid's after-school program slipping with quality extra-curricular activities? A local politician yet again.

In light of Mr. TK's comment, I want to make it known that I am far from knowledgable about politics. But, over the past year or so, I have been much more aware of what is going on with the federal government simply because of Barack Obama. And yes, this is a beautiful thing. But, me not knowing who my councilman, congressman, borough president, school district president (it shouldn't matter that I don't have children), local judges, and even the folks who run my co-op board are is pretty pathetic. NEWSFLASH: Even after Obama gets to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, we can't go back to being zoombies. Having just returned from South Africa, I am reminded of how much most Americans take democracy for granted. (Yeah, our democracy is f**ked up but try voting in Jamaica.) Add to that I'm a Black American, and there is an entire extra layer of guilt for me because some of my folks truly fought for me to have this right. And I know they didn't intend for me to just exercise it every 4 years.

Michelle Obama was on Larry King a couple of weeks ago discussing how great it is that this election has gotten people engaged again. As if we have been awoken from a deep slumber. And now I really get what she meant. (Told y'all I have delayed reactions.) I have challenged myself and I challenge you to research your local politicians so that you can really be educated. And after November 4th, keep up with what elected officials are and aren't doing in your 'hood. Yes, I'm busy, you're busy -- everyone is busy. But we all make time for the things we find important.

We've been sleeping long enough.

Sorry I have yet again posted about something not related to "conventional style" but this is what is on my heart and mind to blog about today.


Light Traveler said...

Amen! The produce comment at local stores in the Black community really struck a chord with me. It's something I feel very strongly about! It's one of the things that is true no matter what city you live in the U.S.

sweetpea said...

"We all make time for the things we find important." Preach on Sister! the things that stress me on an everyday and weekly basis are important. It's time I did more about them then just complain. That pothole that delays traffic and causes daily aggravation. The food I eat and end up traveling outside my neighborhood to get so I can have better quality, selection, prices. The schools in my neighborhood that train and partially raise the kids in my neighborhood. It all directly impacts my life. But then those daily stresses and everyday issues are so much bigger. They add up and have consequences that end up affecting everyone.

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