THOUGHTS, EXPERIENCES AND OBSERVATIONS
I feel like I/we owe this generation an apology. This generation should not be fighting the same battles we were fighting 40 - 50 - 60 years ago and in some cases fighting to gain back some of the things it seemed were won; but here we are.
My generation let the Voting Rights Act die while Obama was President. I was enraged when it happened but I need to admit that I didn't do anything to stop it. I didn't protest. I didn't call my congressperson, I didn't contact Black Lives Matter and say we need to be proactive and make sure this thing does not die. This thing that our ancestors fought and died for is a cornerstone of - Black, Brown, Marginalized Lives and Votes Making a Difference/Mattering. But it died a death as quiet as the Russians working behind the scenes to subvert our democracy and election process. It is disheartening to know I voted into a void of deception. And the current generation? This is the voting system you have inherited, one that is neglected, violated, and manipulated by algorithms and entertainment.
Fake news? Not fake news, but a mesh of entertainment and news because 24 hours of nonstop news needs to be concerned with ratings. So, in between serious news stories we have pundits and experts and tv personalities hired to yell at each other and provide spectacle tv. Elections are advertised with the same drama as a wrestling match. Then there are those who might pride themselves on the fact that they don't get news from tv. Most of this current generation doesn't watch news on tv. Many people get news from social media that fine tunes stories based on algorithms. Then we vote according to the narrowed news stories that algorithms have fed us. Manipulation of the voting process was only a matter of time.
We owe this generation an apology. As the report comes back that Russian operatives interfered with the most recent presidential election. We have no precedent for dealing with this, so beside trying to charge the operatives and get justice, we are doing nothing. No call for a new election, with promises of tightened security.
This is the system my ancestors fought to be allowed to participate in and died for that right. This is the system women protested and pleaded to be included in and here we are. My generation took this for granted, didn't safeguard it, didn't use it consistently and are still lackadaisical about this horrific violation. Granted, some of us became disillusioned with the political process because of a myriad of disappointments, but we did very little to change it and make it better. We took it for granted and disengaged even though we are supposed to want better for you/our children. Instead, we bequeath an even more vulnerable, deceptive, broken system.
Yes - we owe you - our ancestors an apology. We owe you - this generation - an apology.