Turn Out, Tune In, Drop Outrageousness

Alexa VanHooser, Reporter

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Supreme Court judges, media outlets, and social media users have all made the case that presently, the topic of voter rights is definitely a “hot potato.” Your everyday American tends to depict the melting pot of diversity we find ourselves in as an ever-progressive nation. A bit of cognitive dissonance occurs as said Americans remember the fact that less than 60 years ago, voter intimidation plagued the country with the brute force and blind cruelty of an actual medical disease. Finally, there’s been a slight antidote to this seemingly never-ending stream of negativity Americans have grown accustomed to.

For the first time in a long time, I share their pride. Let me explain myself.

On Tuesday, December 12, history was made as 98% of black women and 93% of black men in Alabama rallied together to vote for Doug Jones in Alabama’s Senate race. Turnout of Republicans in the characteristically red state paled in comparison with 72% of white men and 63% of white women voting for Roy Moore. A hotbed of past and present racial tension, this vote represents more than a win for the Democrats – it represents a fundamental step toward the eradication of voter prejudice. Though discrimination is by no means cured by this vote, it certainly does make waves in the former home of Jim Crow.

You’d think that 25 years of less-than-adequate voter representation in the state would not only marginalize – but encourage apathy in – black voters, but the opposite is true. Rather than accepting the seemingly crystal-clear potential of electing another Republican senator, the black vote played a crucial and much-needed role in this election. Gone are the days of silence, of compliance.

The resurgence of political activism garnered by the 2016 election has worked in America as of late – some contest that this outspokenness further contributes to hotheaded division in our country, but I feel the opposite has happened. Sure, people have differing ideals. That’s nothing new. The difference, however, is that the media has made an effort to celebrate the efficacy of minorities, members of the LGBT+ community, and so forth. Rather than turning a blind eye in favor of comfort, many Americans have been drawn out of their ideological shells to test the waters for themselves.

It is now that I encourage you to follow in the footsteps of these voters, regardless of your political ideology. Instead of standing on the shore, take a swim.

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Turn Out, Tune In, Drop Outrageousness