Posted in Shalyse Speaks

“Now y’all kids need to get involved in politics.”

Oh that beauteous howl of our parental units and those well-meaning older generation folks who are often so wrought with their own assumptions about us.

” You need to learn about the political system.”

Oh buddy, we have.

We have become acutely aware of just how f*#ked the political system and our government have gotten.
I mean it wasn’t super fabulous, to begin with.  How can it be when we built a nation based on hypocrisy and I don’t know, the backs of other people.

Equal rights?

No. Only if you fit into a preconceived notion of what is right. Otherwise you have to fight for your rights, and struggle  get by in a world  that views you as less than or deficient in some way; and for what? Because of the color of your skin and the ingrained  stereotypes and even some very stupidly conceive prejudices. Yo, don’t event get me started.

Or because your sexual or romantic attractions are deemed unnatural, because of a very narrow view humans hold and call it being evolved. I mean have you seen our culture being ravished by the  ideology of toxic masculinity and possessiveness.

What about ignoring the gender and sex spectrum, and calling transgender and non-binary confused when you are the one is confused because this is new to you. Or better yet calling intersex people monsters or needing to be fixed.

OMG, gender equality, because we have ridiculous predispositions towards all genders.

Y’all! VETERANS. How long has it taken us to move forward with helping to take care the people who risked their lives to defend all of our so called rights. Bruh.

I’ll stop right here. That “All  men are created equal”, not so much. And you can have the “pursuit of happiness” and the “American dream”but if you don’t reach it it’s your fault for not climbing out of poverty because you are lazy and uneducated. Even though you probably work full-time and maybe even went to school and couldn’t find a job that allows you to meet your basic needs and get out of debt.

I read somewhere that America needs a moral rebirth. I agree. On more levels than just economic, we need to care about more than just getting where we are going.

We ( the younger generations)  are out here educating ourselves and noting all the shit that is happening. We see a system that in theory was suppose to work, but we let greed and power take over and we want to fix that.

“You need to vote.”

Welp, I don’t disagree with that either.

We do. We have to use the current system to some degree to change it.

But we don’t know a lot about certain political processes and how to get involved.

I grew in an apolitical household because that’s what our religion told us. Government  class didn’t teach you all the real things you need to know and I was AP. Our teacher tried to get in as much extra stuff into the curriculum, but even in 2009 they were still testing us for test.

Onward college, I started seeing things a lot differently.and trying to figure out what to do.

Now this is definitely not the we didn’t know excuse.

I mean some of us don’t know at 18, but we have resources, but we only have them after we realize that there is so much more than the major elections.

See, what happens is that you are busy telling us what you think we don’t know, that you aren’t telling us what we really need to know. But this isn’t the blame game. This is just a synopsis of how screwed up education and politics are.

My life partner was into politics. She wanted to be a politician before she died. One of the major things that she helped me to see is that no, the current system doesn’t serve a lot of the younger generations interest and needs, but we can change that.

She believed in activism and using the current system to get what we want.

Voting falls short. Some of the major reasons we don’t vote include:

  • We are away for college, interning, or traveling for experience so we don’t have stable addresses or can’t be there for most local elections,
  •  but that is also if we do know about the local elections. This is a problem that can be addressed to some extent by better outreach and education before we get out of high school as well.
  • If we work, we may have conflicting work schedules that make it hard or near impossible to make it during election times.
  • Being busy is a real thing if you are balancing an education, gaining experience, and even having a job just to get by. I think sometimes the older folk forget things like that.
  • Some people just don’t deal with politics because they don’t see how it helps.

The last one is really for everyone. Since when we are tiny children, we are told to avoid the topics of politics and religion because they cause issues. We aren’t taught to respect differing opinions, respects people right to be able to have the same rights as you, have a healthy debate, and explain ourselves, we are taught to avoid the subject (Which is why many activist get the to the “shut up” point when dealing with people). Like let’s talk about the weather and shit instead. BTW I can turn that political too. Please, stop with the small talk y’all.

Essentially this avoidance of political discussion has caused younger folks to not see the importance of  political discussion in our everyday lives. My personal experience has showed me that many of my peers don’t care until something affects them negatively.

We also have the problem that people view activism in a negative light. Sorry folks, but you don’t get to say what types of activism are ok to use. There are various audiences out there and not all methods work for all people, but it gets people talking. Don’t white-wash any revolution and pretend it was all peaceful. America’s freedom wasn’t even won with a “Pretty please with sugar on top.”

So yea, we may be apathetic and we may not know what to do sometimes, but as our parents. mentors, and predecessors its your job to foster environments of political involvement and education. Not the version where you force us to follow your beliefs, but to really think for ourselves. You want to guide us, do it. Hiding from politics helps no one.

We should be able to critic, explore, and discuss the reinvention of the political system without the words entitled, selfish, ignorant, lazy being thrown at us.

The economic and political environments have been experiencing a shifts for a long while now. We can’t necessarily keep doing things the same way. That’s just something you have to deal with.

xox,

Shalyse

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Author:

Shalyse Wright-Bethea is the Founder of Design and Scheme. She has been working as Professional Organizer and Event consultant. Shalyse is an activist and she’s passionate and that reflects in everything that she does. Want to chat, have questions or want to hear my thoughts on a topic? Send me a shout: designandscheme@gmail.com. B.A in Interdisciplinary Studies ( Focus disciplines: Business, Humanities, Marketing) Event planner. Organizer. Loving my crunchy, veggie life.

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