As you know, I don't generally talk politics here on Chookooloonks -- in fact, for the most part, I avoid the subject like the plague. But I do follow US politics pretty closely, and I've been really torn about whether or not to say anything here, because I have such a strong opinion about the upcoming presidential election. But today, I returned to my mission statement (as I often do whenever I'm conflicted about what to share on the site), and therefore reminded myself of my intent to always work tirelessly to counter negativity, violence, discrimination and desperation -- and I knew I had to say something.
As is pretty obvious from my self-portrait, above, I'm a black woman. And while I'm a citizen of the United States, I'm also an immigrant: I'm originally from Trinidad & Tobago, a two-island nation in the Caribbean. My husband, Marcus, is also an immigrant, though not a citizen: he's a permanent resident, originally from England. Our daughter Alex is the only American-born member of our family; however, she was adopted, and is Afro-Latina. We are a full-on, multi-national, multi-racial, multi-ethnic family. So, given all the rhetoric that has been hotly debated during this election cycle all related to gender, and race, and immigration -- not just by candidates, but by everyone -- we are taking this election very personally.
But how the election will impact my family isn't the only reason that I'm so invested in the outcome of this race.
If you've been following Chookooloonks for any amount of time, you know that I am pretty naked about my passion around diversity and inclusivity, and about The Beauty of Different -- not just because our differences make the world a beautiful place, but because I truly believe that those differences, when brought together, are the birthplace of creativity and innovation, both in our communities and our businesses. I think when the diversity of cultures, religions, gender-identifications, sexual orientations, races, ethnicities, nationalities and abilities are all harnessed for good, there's no telling how much the world can be changed for the better. I've said many times before that "differents" are our superpowers. And again, if you've been following me for any amount of time, I suspect that you're pretty passionate about inclusivity as well.
And you've probably been as aghast at one particular candidate as I am.
I became a US citizen 22 years ago specifically so I could vote, and have voted in every election since. This year, of course, is no exception: I voted last Monday, when early voting opened in Texas. I voted as soon as I possibly could. Because this year, there's a candidate who rages again my family, my friends, and every value I stand for. The least I could do is exercise my right to officially record my objection to him, and what he stands for.
And so, for the first time in the almost 13 years that I've authored Chookooloonks, I'm begging you: please go vote, and please vote with best intention. I suspect that I don't have to convince you that this man is a demagogue -- I can't imagine you'd be visiting Chookooloonks if you agreed with his stance. However, if you're eligible to vote in the United States, I beg of you to do so. Vote early, if you can; if you can't, then on Tuesday, November 8th, please find your way to the polls, despite the weather, despite the lines, despite how busy you might be. And as you vote, please be mindful: please don't throw away your vote, and please don't vote for this person simply because you're loyal to his party. He's a dangerous, unkind, mean man, and he doesn't deserve your vote just because he conveniently chose a major political party to hang his platform on.
Thanks, friends, for your indulgence here in this post. And let's keep looking for light.