Do Something

The speaking sabbatical has been partially disengaged. I'm still only talking to a select few and using my words fairly sparingly, but I have turned my phone back on. I still am steering clear of instant messenger. I don't need to be that attached to the world just yet. I'm getting a lot of thinking done and I really like it.

Right now I'm reading Radical Equations: Civil Rights from Mississippi to the Algebra Project by Bob Moses. I'm only about halfway through and already I'm thinking about basing my master's thesis on it when I go to grad school. It's about the connection between the voters' rights struggles and math literacy. Essentially Moses believes math, algebra in particular, holds the key to tangible progress for poor children of any color. By tracking children and taking them away from college prepatory math, we are handicapping them, making them ill-equipped to cope in an increasingly technological world. While explaining the connection, he goes into a bit of history which I'm mildly obsessed with as well, particularly concerning black people, and the Civil Rights Movement. It's amazing to me how recent this all was and that there is still work left to be done.

(This is actually one of the books I found floating around at work. That's one of my favorite things about work. All the interesting things to read. Y'all already know I'm obsessed with the AP wires.)

I had a disturbing conversation last week that's really stuck with me. A guy told me how he believes "one person, one vote" is a bunch of b.s. and he doesn't really participate in the political process. I can understand the disenfranchisement, particularly with this generation, of the voter. However, I can't seem to get an answer to this question from anyone who doesn't believe in voting. If voting truly lacks importance, why did white people fight and KILL (Medgar Evers, James Chaney, Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman ring a bell? There are many more.) to keep us from doing so for so long? Why was voting a part of the process of keeping black people subservient if your vote truly does not count? Why not just let the "nigras" vote if it keeps them quiet and doesn't mean anything anyway? Why institute poll taxes and require literacy tests? Why was a Voting Rights Act necessary to ensure equal access and a more fair political process?

Today I contributed to my first political campaign. I feel so proud and like I actually accomplished something. Go Barack. I like John Edwards, too, but I can't lie, the $400 haircuts really threw me off. I know he's embarassed about them, but you still got them. Can you imagine how much Hillary spends on her hair? I'm sure its an equally assinine amount. Barack? He's not spending my money on hair. What black barber do you know who charges more than $10 or $20 for a haircut? PLUS he's Barack. The probably give them to him for free and brag about how they cut his hair and they'll do anything to support him.

That was an unnecessary tangent but you know how I get. The point is, I'm very excited about "Decision 2008" and am looking forward to narrowing down the field. If you are a Democrat and your name is not Barack, Hillary or John, kindly sit down. You do not have a chance. If you are a Republican and your name is not Rudy (Guiliani, one of the most Democratic Republicans when it comes to abortion and gay rights. Southern Repubs will HATE that), John (McCain, used to like him, he's now starting to rub me the wrong way, plus he's old as dirt and still supports the Iraq war WITHOUT A PLAN FOR WITHDRAWAL), or Mitt (Romney, former Massachusetts governor). I can't wait for DP to add his two cents on this. Rock the vote, people. Get your vote on, whatever. Do something.


shani-o said...

Ok, so, I understand your points about the importance of voting, but the conspiracy theorist in me truly believes that voting doesn't REALLY matter in the long run (I have absolutely no evidence to back this up... I'm just sayin', didn't Al Gore have more votes than Bush? And I know this is exactly what you were saying about us non-voters not having reasons.).

I'm interested in this idea that algebra is the key... I hated math, and I was horrible at it, and even now, I use a calculator for EVERYTHING (like, what's 2 x 16?), and personally, I believe that the key for success is actually reading: it improves your vocabulary, spelling, and exposes you to great thought, and makes it possible for you to have your own great thoughts.

Sorry I've been away for so long (but I had a good reason)!

Sha Boogie said...

Gosh, reading your blogs makes me realize how interested in learning I was at one point, you inspire me!!...lol..
$400 haircut, huh? moving on...
I'm on the fence about the whole voting thing. One one side, I feel like we vote, so ONE person can vote. But then on the flip side, my ancestors fought and died so I could, so I'd better! And I can't complain about what's going on in this world if I don't vote.

the joy said...

This lady asked me the other day if I was "just gonna vote for obama." I kinda wanted to smack her. So I had to break it down to her that I have only voted the one time but I am a very informed and passionate voter. I don't "just" vote for anyone. On that same note, the issue is the electoral college. Its incomprehensible to anyone who works in the logic that the majority should win and pretty much says that whoever "middle America" wants will win. Example- Kerry won all the major cities in Ga,...

the joy said...

...continuing... However, because there are more rural counties in Ga that voted for bush, bush won Ga. And Kerry won the state's popular vote. Its a no win.

CNEL said...

I was thinking bout the need to sometimes be disconnected, but my baby got here today. I finally have a baby, haha no worries its a laptop LoL.

That Bob Moses book seems like it'd be an interesting read. I have experience with Baltimore's Algebra Project who are among the most ambitious, driven, and passionate young people I know. These young people do math literacy tutoring, and then go and hold protests outside school headquarters to increase school funding. I really do think the fight for equal education is the new civil rights fight.

I'm a voter, always make sure I get scooped up and driven to the polls.

As much as I bitch I do want to be apart of the solution. Until proven otherwise I'll continue to believe voting for the powers that be to represent me, and advocating for causes I feel passionate about, is going to bring about progress.

So...Wise...Sista said...

Got no patience for people who will actually argue you down about voting (and how it doesnt matter). Whatev. Candidates who dont have a chance are always the catalysts for forcing conversations about issues that the party leaders evade. Did you catch last week's debate? Woulda been boring as hell with just the Big 3. The Repubs are gonna debate on my campus in Nov. Should be interesting.

You going to grad school?

OK, I really shoulda just emailed you. lol