I registered to vote today. I REGISTERED TO VOTE TODAY!!!!!!! Why am I yelling at you you might wonder?! Well, because I registered to vote.
Being a Jehovah’s Witness meant that I was committed to staying neutral in the political affairs of any nation. I took this seriously for a couple of reason. The first being Jesus’s mandate to remain no part of the world. He exemplified that by making sure he never got involved in the political affairs of his day. They tried to make him king, he ran away. They tried to get him to weigh in on matters that concerned Israelites being slaves, he refused to comment. So, as a Christian whose mandate was to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, I did as he did and stayed neutral.
The second reason was that I felt that humans were incapable of effecting any lasting change try as they may. Yes, while a legislation here and a legislation there had improved lives in one country or another, I was after a change that was universal. I didn’t care about individual countries (still don’t), I cared about life being better for human beings around the globe. From the hungry child in Bangladesh to the pregnant mom in a slum in Kenya to the crack baby in an inner city somewhere. That’s the kind of change I wanted to see and I was convinced that humans will never be able to effect a change on a large enough scale to bother being involved in their limited political endeavors.
The only system I felt convinced could do this was God’s kingdom. Only God’s Kingdom could eradicate hunger on a global scale, end sickness and pain and bring a complete end to death! So, that was the government I stanned for. So, in lieu of going on marches, I went preaching door to door with the aim of giving people hope from the Bible – hope that actually brought comfort. Hope in something meaningful so they could rest easy knowing that when God’s kingdom comes, it will bring an end to all their suffering. So, to that end, I had never voted in any country ever, I never had political discussions with people that didn’t involve me saying, “let’s put our hope in God’s kingdom.” I wasn’t Obama’s supporter, I wasn’t clued in on women issues or otherwise. I just stayed away because as far as I was concerned, time spent on manly political affairs was time spent not promoting the Kingdom of God.
This remained my attitude even after I began to draw away from religion because honestly, if you can’t get rid of death, I had no time for you. We might make all the legislations that improve lives only for death to meet us all at the end. So, for me, eradicating death was the only political movement worth going to bat for.
Well, that is until Trump became president. Whew! That was the biggest trigger that ever triggered me. I began to witness FB friends spout anti-black nonsense. I saw black boys and women being shot down in the streets by the police and women’s bodies being policed and in the most disgusting ways. I saw Christians fanatically want to impose their Christian ideologies on the whole country. I thought, these people are no better than the Islamic state! If you’re gay, it’s okay for you to be killed because you’re violating Christian principles (this was an actual statement made to me by a former school mate), if you’re a woman who chooses abortion for whatever reason, you should be imprisoned because you’re violating Christian principles. And the list goes on and on.
That was the first time I found myself getting involved in actual political debates and calling people out on hiding behind the Bible to perpetuate hate on people who didn’t share their same beliefs. Trump and his supporters made me become political and I thank them everyday for it.
Because while no political party can eradicate death, there are policies that allow black people meet an early death without consequences and I add my voice to oppose those policies because everyone deserves to live without fear of being killed by the system that’s supposed to protect them #blacklivesmatter. Women deserve to make decision on their bodies without interference from bible fanatics. LGBTQIA+ folx deserve to live and love as they are without being killed in alleyways.
This is why I register to vote. It is my first act of patriotism as a new naturalized American. Receiving my citizenship on September 10th, 2018 conferred upon me the right to vote. And I will use that right to do my part in ensuring that people who are elected are people who support human rights, freedom and equality for all regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or religion. Yeah, it’s not an end to death, but it’s something.
So once more I say I REGISTERED TO VOTE YALL!!!!