February Surprise


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February
I Will Vote


I guess voting is casting my vote, only it never seems to matter; my candidates never win. So, instead, unplugging my TV is casting my vote.

I will vote the day a candidate goes to the Wounded Knee Memorial, slashes his arms in grief, and gets down on his knees to beg for forgiveness for the slaughter of 267 unarmed Lakota refugees.

Canceling my newspaper subscriptions for biased coverage is casting my vote.

I will vote the day after a presidential candidate walks into the board room of a Fortune 500 company and demands 385 years of lost wages to be returned to the descendents of slaves.

Choosing to do work I believe in (and not making much money) is casting my vote.

I will vote the day after a presidential candidate spends a day picking pesticide-encrusted vegetables in a blazing California field.

Buying fair trade coffee and family farm–raised food is casting my vote.

I will vote the day a candidate speaks to me in Spanish or Mandarin or Portuguese or Khmer or Urdu or even Swahili—anything but English!

I will vote the day a candidate spends a January night in a cardboard box in the park.

I will vote the day a candidate makes his elite Yale fraternity giveback Geronimo's skull.

Cutting up my Citibank card is casting my vote.

I will vote the day a candidate showers in Agent Orange before telling me it's safe.

Dating a woman is casting my vote. Dating a man and being his equal is casting my vote.

I will vote the day a candidate escorts a pregnant woman through a screaming mob to get her safely into an abortion clinic.

Loving my grandmother's memories is casting my vote. Protesting against police brutality is casting my vote.

I will vote the day a candidate's child is arrested under the Patriot Act.

Calling my congressman is casting my vote. And yet I still vote, because I have to believe that voting is casting my vote even though I am still not convinced it makes a difference. It's just too depressing to think that I may never make one at all.

© 2007, Anna Lappé and Sara Littlecrow Russell

I WILL VOTE by Anna Lappé and Sara Littlecrow Russell from the We Got Issues! Performance Piece and excerpted from We Got Issues! A Young Woman's Guide to a Bold, Courageous and Empowered Life

 



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