People of color, especially women, were not always granted the freedoms we have now. What motivates me to vote is the African-American women’s suffrage movement. Women who looked just like me were suffering not too long ago because they were a double minority.
Women gained suffrage in 1919, meaning the grandmothers of many non-voting millennials were alive during a time when they were prohibited from casting a ballot. Though the Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, African-American women in some southern states still had to fight for their right to vote up until the 1960s.
Since the era of women’s suffrage, African-Americans, Asians, Latinos and Native Americans have all faced obstacles with voting numerous times, and we all know many issues are still going on.
Problems with accessibility also continue to affect citizens with disabilities of every age and race the right to vote. When minority voters get to the polls, the influence is undeniable.
In a way, we owe it to our ancestors to vote. Our problem is we are taking their struggle for granted.
We often think that our voices will not be heard, but how can they hear our voices if we don’t open our mouth to speak? Our generation feels as though their vote doesn’t count, but the proof is in the pudding! How was a black man elected into the White House twice? We, the black majority and millenials, saw a need for change in this country, so we got up and made that Change!
We have the power! I have lived life off the classic phrase, “If you don’t vote, you can’t complain.” How could you be so passionate about disagreeing with what is going on in your city, state, or country, yet do nothing about it? You are just wasting your breath! Voting is our opportunity to choose the best people to make decisions for us at local and national levels. We live in a democracy that allows us to choose who runs our government. People sometimes only think of the president when it comes to elections, but how much the next president can do depends on whether his or her party controls either the Senate or the House. Voting is an important, meaningful way to back the issues you care about and the representatives you think best effect the changes you want to see. If nothing else, voting is a license to complain about elected officials, with justification.
In conclusion, it is extremely important to me to exercise my right to vote. “The man” already wants to hold us back, keep us ignorant and uneducated. Why would I give him what he wants? I will continue to vote every election and stay informed in both local and national news because it is my duty and right to do so.