Browsing Tag:

politics

  • Misc

    Being Ready to Vote

    Being Ready to Vote

    Do you vote on class president? Do you vote for homecoming court? How is your prom queen or king chosen? Do you get a vote during class for certain activities? You’ve probably been voting since a young age, and you just never thought about what that truly means. It means you have a voice. You get to decide somewhat of what the outcome of something is. It may be a collective vote where your choice didn’t win, but at least you got the option to vote in favor or against something.

    When I was in high school I never imagined myself voting, whether that meant for state elections or for presidency. I never cared much about politics or what that meant for me. Somehow, I found myself in a situation where my vote would have counted had I chosen to give my input on something. My friends wanted to decide what we were doing for the evening, and they all took a vote. There were seven of us, but I chose not to say anything, because I didn’t want to come off too picky. The vote totaled out with three wanting to go ice skating, and four wanting to go to the movies. I really wanted to go ice skating, and had I voted we would have had to come to some other option.

    It may seem silly that I’m relating my vote for what to do on a Saturday night versus voting for a president, but it does make sense. It was something that I wanted to do and chose not to do anything about. There are probably times where you critique the president in power or say something negative about a local judge or governor. You have the power to do something about it. It all starts now, when you’re young and are not quite old enough to vote. You should be doing research on the candidates, look into how there run in office may shape your future.

    If you think about it, the older generation in power get to say what the younger generation can and should do. We can make a difference in how our future is shaped by voting when we are old enough, or by being aware of our surroundings while we’re still young. You could probably check with local candidates and try to join their campaign teams. You might not be old enough to vote yet, but that does not mean you can’t know the candidates well enough to voice your opinion to those who can vote.

    Here are some links to check out regarding voting and campaigns:

    • If you are 18 or older and live in Alabama, you can register to vote at this site: https://sos.alabama.gov/alabama-votes/voter/register-to-vote
    • If you are 18 years or older and live in a different state than Alabama, go to google and type in: register to vote in [your state].
    • Alabama political parties: https://ballotpedia.org/Political_parties_in_Alabama
    • If you want to volunteer for someone’s campaign: look up their information on google, search their website for volunteer opportunities. If there are no volunteer options on the site, then call the number they have listed at the bottom of their web page.
  • Articles, Celebrities, Sheroes

    Celebrities and Politics: How the Rich and Famous Wield Their Influence

    When we choose our role models, it is ideal that they possess qualities we ourselves possess or wish to possess in the future. These role models could be family members, teachers, mentors, or even peers who inspire us to improve ourselves. Most times, these role models are celebrities who are in the public eye through social media and the news. Often times we are aware of their successes and the steps they took to reach their goals because of news articles, magazine interviews, and social media blogs. But how often is it that we actually take time to research their contributions to the community and to political causes? We may overlook these actions by our role models because of what the media pushes to the forefront, but some celebrity role models are influencing politicians in a positive way.

    What Are Some Roles Celebrities Have Played in the Political World?

    Celebrities are role models especially for young people, therefore they are spokespeople for many political figures when they want to persuade youth to align with their values. What better way to send this message than through a teenager’s idol such as an actor, performer, or famous athlete?

    In 1960, President John F. Kennedy received support from public figures such as Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin of the group Rat Pack. In the 2008 presidential election, Senator John McCain was supported, aka endorsed, by Clint Eastwood. Eastwood also endorsed President Donald Trump in more recent elections. You may be wondering, what makes this person so special that they can endorse presidential candidates? Well, Eastwood is a well-renowned actor, producer, and director. A person of this stature is connected with many sources who can also contribute to the candidate’s cause.

    Furthermore, in the 2008 election, household names like Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney, wiil.i.am, Brad Pitt, and Samuel L. Jackson supported President Barack Obama. Oprah Winfrey is a highly respected entrepreneur who is a role model to young African American women. Other actors and athletes supported Hillary Clinton during the 2008. Some of these role models include LeBron James, Amy Schumer, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga.

    What Are Celebrities Doing Today in the Political World?

    Recently, celebrity entrepreneur Kim Kardashian influenced President Donald Trump to pardon 63-year-old Alice Johnson. The great grandmother was serving a life sentence for drug trafficking. According to Vox, the pardon “goes against the broader policy that Trump has been pushing for drug dealers and traffickers.” Trump has said the government should impose consequences on drug dealers and traffickers. However, Kim Kardashian found the punishment excessive for the 63-year-old great grandmother who is serving a life sentence for a first-time, nonviolent drug offense. Kardashian first came across the case through social media- of course. She then reached out to her lawyer to help deal with the case.

    Johnson had been serving her sentence since 1996, when she was financially strained and needed to support her family. Although Johnson understands her actions were wrong, she questions if she deserved a life sentence.

    Despite these past 20 years, Alice Johnson is now a free woman and her fight for criminal justice reform has just begun thanks to Kim Kardashian West.

    This goes to show that there is more to learn about our role models, and this includes their politics.

  • Articles, Confidence, Woman's History

    My Women’s March Experience

    In celebration of Women’s History month, I have decided to submit an article that I wrote after going to the 2017 women’s march on Washington in Birmingham. I think that the Women’s marches that occurred earlier this year will be remembered during March in many years to come.

    Last Saturday I attended the Women’s march on Birmingham. My mom had made a sign; she was the one who really convinced me to go. It (the sign) was quite well made, with letters printed from vinyl spelling out “WOMEN’S RIGHTS ARE HUMAN RIGHTS” proudly across the colorful poster board She forgot to cut the apostrophe out of vinyl, so we had to add it later with a ballpoint pen. I don’t think anyone noticed, though.

    5,000. That was the estimated number of people who came. 10,000 feet marching. I didn’t expect so many people to march. In fact, I was considerably skeptical about the whole thing at first. I thought,” What difference can it make?” and “If I don’t go, will it really matter?” But, the experience of walking alongside thousands of fellow humans all united for a common cause (as millions did so around our country) was what really changed my mind.

    I arrived with my parents in my dad’s black Ford about 30 minutes before the speakers were scheduled to take the stage. We had to park in a lot a few blocks away from Kelly Ingram park, on account of the tremendous number of cars that had poured in for the sole purpose of transporting people to the march. That’s why I wasn’t that upset that we had to park in a less convenient spot, as I knew that the lack of parking spaces meant that more people were getting out and doing something.

    As we paid our parking fee, kind people spoke to us as if we were their best friends. They asked us if we were going to the march, and were so neighborly and cordial. That was my first experience with the genuine love that was radiating from everyone at the march, heard through confident footsteps and wide, welcoming smiles and echoing throughout the city. I think that feeling may have echoed throughout the entire country that day.

    After paying for parking we strode to where everyone was collecting, seeing others on the streets with signs in hand doing the same.

    Once we reached out destination I finally realized the magnitude of this gathering. A flock of activists being active, all happily conversing and anticipating the march. I could feel the energy, poetic and passionate, the excitement in the air. As I walked around, waving hello to faces I recognized, a teen girl about my age high fived me. Did I wonder why, why this friendly display of comradery? Maybe it was the rainbow I had painted (with watered down eyeshadow) across my cheek, or the “youth pride” button I had pinned to my chest. Maybe it was that I was just there. Yes, I think it was the latter.

    The speakers spoke for a relatively long time, once they finally called everyone to attention. The crowd was large and impatient for the march to start, hoisting up their signs in recognition of words or phrases they signified with. Some songs were sung, but there was a silent consensus among the group that we all just wanted to start marching.

    Finally, I was time to march. I was careful not to lose my parents in the crowd as it shifted to facing toward the road and made its way to the march’s starting point. The mass was dense, so much so that it was hard for me to see exactly where we were heading but I shuffled along with everyone else nevertheless. Then my foot stepped onto the concrete road as my hand was curled, fist like around my sign, and I began to march.

    The march was powerful. It was lively, colorful, happy, and invigorating. It was a brilliant display of human unity. I knew this right as I stepped into Kelly Ingram park when all my skepticism left me. We flew through the streets, birds in motion, out vibrant wings pigmented with the hues of our hearts. It was utterly massive. As I walked down one street I could see another portion of the group marching down another. We were a chain, curling and weaving around streets and parks and parking lots. Everyone joined together. Strong. We chanted and sang, those without signs held up fists, all our voices melting into one. Being part of this march really changed my viewpoints that I had previously had. I don’t wonder if I can make a difference anymore. No, I tell myself I must.